who has actually played with a legit scratch golfer/pro level player?

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  • NoTalentLeftyNoTalentLefty Members Posts: 3,456 ✭✭
    Yes and I was in awe. The guy is maybe 5 ft 7 inches at best. Hits the ball consistently over 270, not long but straight. Hits his irons close . His weakness? The putter that can beat just about anybody’s. He doesn’t like to play with wood choppers but once a year he comes out to play with us mere mortals. One the city tournament many a time. Never tried to qualify for the US Open.
    Livin' proof that Lefties are not naturally talented.

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  • ChillyDipperChillyDipper Members Posts: 1,029 ✭✭

    MtlJeff wrote:

    larrybud wrote:
    I'm not sure why scratch is put in the same category as "pro level" with this question. There's a ton of scratch guys.




    That was the point I was making, scratch may be the dream goal of many of us on this forum, but it is hardy elite.




    I would consider top 1.6% of people keeping an index (meaning top <1% of total golfers) elite.



    Scratch players aren't pros but they aren't chumps either



    Pretty sure people consider the top 1% of earners "elite" for example. A pro saying a scratch player isn't elite is like a billionaire telling a millionaire he's poor.




    Relatively speaking, millionaire to billionaire is a wide margin in wealth. Again, you are banking on the fact that most covet scratch just like we would covet settling for millions. Some of us want more than that in life.



    In my previous employ, I have worked for both, I have saved the finances for both. They are very different worlds.




    I saw a funny thing on Reddit about this: The different between a billion dollars and a million dollars is approximately a billion dollars...crazy to think of.
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  • EKELLYEKELLY Members Posts: 2,593 ✭✭
    oregongolf wrote:


    I've seen a 59, two 60s, 3 or 4 61s and a dozen or so 62s. Scary how many good players there are out there that people will never hear of.
    I've seen that THIS YEAR.....Pretty close!
  • wrmillerwrmiller Members Posts: 1,569 ✭✭
    I've said for many years that the players on the PGA tour are not the only good golfers in the country. They are just a few that managed to get onto the tour because they or their family had the money, or were 'connected', e.g. daddy was a club pro, tour player, etc..



    The PGA is not scouring the country looking for the best-of-the-best. Korea has a much better development mechanism for skilled young players than this country does. Oh wait...
    Primary bag:
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    Mizuno MP-18 4-PW
    Scratch wedges 50, 55, and 60
    Bettinardi mid-shank putter

    Backup bag:
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    Bettinardi mid-shank putter
  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers Posts: 28,369 ✭✭
    wrmiller wrote:


    I've said for many years that the players on the PGA tour are not the only good golfers in the country. They are just a few that managed to get onto the tour because they or their family had the money, or were 'connected', e.g. daddy was a club pro, tour player, etc..



    The PGA is not scouring the country looking for the best-of-the-best. Korea has a much better development mechanism for skilled young players than this country does. Oh wait...




    I've long believed this though i understand that people who have played mini tours or PGA tour would take offense to that notion. But while i do think the PGA tour is very capitalized due to the money offered, i don't believe it's as capitalized as say, the NBA for example. Basketball is relatively cheap sport to play, if you're good you can get a scholarship, and if you get drafted you get a per diem and your team covers all of your travel expenses even if you make the league minimum (which is still a lot). D league guys don't make a lot but you can still hang around there a bit longer without much risk of losing money, i mean travel and accommodations are paid for



    So there's no reason to say, not try to make the NBA. You can always quit at 26 and join the "real world" debt free



    Golf is a bit different, if you graduate at 22 and are a "tweener" in terms of making it. If you have a job waiting for you that pays 60K or something with room to grow......it may be a better option than thinking of kicking around the mini tours and ending up in debt and worrying about rent every month. There are probably many guys who "could've" made the tour and didn't. However those players were likely not landscape changing guys, just dudes we never would have heard of
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  • wrmillerwrmiller Members Posts: 1,569 ✭✭
    I played with a number of guys back in the day that were every bit as good, if not better than the 'average' tour player of the day.



    It simply cost too much for these guys to attempt it. I had a co-worker offer to pay all of my living expenses as well as fund all golf related expenses for two years. At the end of that time I was to either have my card, or come back to work as an engineer.



    But I had to pay the money back if I didn't get my card. I told him thanks, but no thanks. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    A really, really talented person can literally 'walk on' to some training camps and be given a chance. You don't get that opportunity in golf.
    Primary bag:
    Titleist 913 D3 8.5
    Titleist 915Fd 13.5
    Titleist 913h 17
    Mizuno MP-18 4-PW
    Scratch wedges 50, 55, and 60
    Bettinardi mid-shank putter

    Backup bag:
    Ping G400 9
    Ping G30 fw 13
    Ping G30 hybrid 19
    Ping iBlade 4-PW power spec
    Macgregor VIP wedges 51, 56, and 60
    Bettinardi mid-shank putter
  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers Posts: 28,369 ✭✭
    edited Sep 30, 2018 #128
    wrmiller wrote:


    I played with a number of guys back in the day that were every bit as good, if not better than the 'average' tour player of the day.



    It simply cost too much for these guys to attempt it. I had a co-worker offer to pay all of my living expenses as well as fund all golf related expenses for two years. At the end of that time I was to either have my card, or come back to work as an engineer.



    But I had to pay the money back if I didn't get my card. I told him thanks, but no thanks. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    A really, really talented person can literally 'walk on' to some training camps and be given a chance. You don't get that opportunity in golf.




    There's variations of these decisions in a lot of sports but i agree it's particularly significant in golf. There's probably some guys in sports like basketball or football who chose not to play in the D league or CFL hoping to work their way up . If you have a good corporate job lined up as you did, sometimes that may seem like the better path. But especially in sports like Basketball or Football, chances are the guys making these decisions never would have been important players.



    But who knows in golf, there could be alternate world 1-2 time tour winners working in an office somewhere. I do believe that. There are barriers to entry worth considering especially if you have options
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  • tatertottatertot Members Posts: 4,385 ✭✭
    wrmiller wrote:


    I played with a number of guys back in the day that were every bit as good, if not better than the 'average' tour player of the day.



    It simply cost too much for these guys to attempt it. I had a co-worker offer to pay all of my living expenses as well as fund all golf related expenses for two years. At the end of that time I was to either have my card, or come back to work as an engineer.



    But I had to pay the money back if I didn't get my card. I told him thanks, but no thanks. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    A really, really talented person can literally 'walk on' to some training camps and be given a chance. You don't get that opportunity in golf.




    There's a big difference between guys that can play golf and guys that can play golf for a living.
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  • wrmillerwrmiller Members Posts: 1,569 ✭✭
    tatertot wrote:

    wrmiller wrote:


    I played with a number of guys back in the day that were every bit as good, if not better than the 'average' tour player of the day.



    It simply cost too much for these guys to attempt it. I had a co-worker offer to pay all of my living expenses as well as fund all golf related expenses for two years. At the end of that time I was to either have my card, or come back to work as an engineer.



    But I had to pay the money back if I didn't get my card. I told him thanks, but no thanks. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    A really, really talented person can literally 'walk on' to some training camps and be given a chance. You don't get that opportunity in golf.




    There's a big difference between guys that can play golf and guys that can play golf for a living.




    Mentally, I could see that being a hurdle. Tournament play was a big change for me personally. That has nothing to do with a person's golf skills.



    Or maybe you just have to be mental to play competitive golf. image/wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />
    Primary bag:
    Titleist 913 D3 8.5
    Titleist 915Fd 13.5
    Titleist 913h 17
    Mizuno MP-18 4-PW
    Scratch wedges 50, 55, and 60
    Bettinardi mid-shank putter

    Backup bag:
    Ping G400 9
    Ping G30 fw 13
    Ping G30 hybrid 19
    Ping iBlade 4-PW power spec
    Macgregor VIP wedges 51, 56, and 60
    Bettinardi mid-shank putter
  • AlecEmersonGolfAlecEmersonGolf Members Posts: 583 ✭✭
    edited Oct 30, 2018 #131
    I've caddied in a few monday qualifiers. Lowest round i've ever witnessed in the same group is 66



    EDIT: I've also played with Andres Gonzales and Pat Perez
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  • rayrobinsonrayrobinson Members Posts: 67
    I now play off 2. I am 44 and don't get to play as much as I like . Lowest I have been is scratch. Shot 65 last year (7 under ) image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />.



    Biggest I have seen is when player are +4 or better . They are real players.
  • Tcann32Tcann32 Members Posts: 3,527
    I have..



    It’s always been eye opening to play with guys like that too. They don’t necessarily hit it a long way, or make crazy long putts, chip in, etc. and at the end of the round, you tally up and realize they didn’t do any of those things because they never had to, and played a pretty boring round of golf and shot even par or better. They’ll birdie most par 5’s, save a couple pars, and never make a double, and there’s your even round.



    The very first time that happened was almost a let down for me.. lol I was writing the scores down but not keeping track, and couldn’t believe it.. partially because that round was on the heels of a round earlier in a week when another guy in our pairing had made 8 birdies and failed to shoot even or better, so i figured anyone breaking par must just go lights out all the time, but they really just make very few mistakes
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  • ginger718ginger718 Members Posts: 335 ✭✭
    Really good players follow a few themes. I would not consider myself to be really good any more, but I generally shoot below 80 and have shot even somehow this year a couple of times. The keys to catching good players are.



    1. First groups generally at the crack of dawn you will catch some guys who can really play, or used to be able to really play and are now weekend warriors who can put up some really good numbers.

    2. Around 9am if there are a bunch of them traveling to play together they will generally get a group together around 9 that way everyone can whether their morning hangovers and get the right amount of booze in them to even out the levels.

    3. 12pm these guys are generally the partiers that are in their mid 20's and they will generally have 1 guy who is a really solid player out of the group. The rest of the guys are just there for the beer cart girl.

    4. Around 5pm on a weekend if it is a generally dead day. You'll run into some younger guys who are either in high school or college as well around then too. Just trying to get a round in before dark or are playing a practice round at a course for an upcoming tournament.



    This is what I've noticed over the year.
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  • Jwin323Jwin323 Members Posts: 1,423 ✭✭
    NM44 wrote:


    I play a decent amount of public course golf in the south Jersey area(usually one or two rounds a week and one on the weekend). I play a lot of my weekday rounds as a walk on single. I've been paired with all types. I am a mid capper and on a good day can get the ball out there pretty deep but i have never been paired with one who blew me away. I've seen guy hit the ball my distance, seen good putters, seen plotters that shoot in the low 80s, old guys that make a ton of pars,etc. But I've still have yet to see someone shoot within 5 of par let alone 60's or even close. Just wondering if you guys have seen the same or if its just same run of bad luck for me to not catch someone super good.




    If you were in CA I’d invite you to play in our weekly game. You’d see a lot of under par scores.
  • Rice & GravyRice & Gravy Members Posts: 19
    I have an acquaintance that was a mini-tour player for a bit back when that I've played with a few times. The worst he shot when I've played with him was -5! There are 2 guys (brothers) at my club that played on the PGA tour on exemptions a few times that I've been in groups with during club events. It's crazy how long and pure they hit it. I won't play with them in regular rounds because I don't want to drag them down to my level.
  • larrybudlarrybud Members Posts: 11,230 ✭✭

    larrybud wrote:


    I'm not sure why scratch is put in the same category as "pro level" with this question. There's a ton of scratch guys.
    According to USGA.org, 1.60% of golfers have a handicap index of zero or better. Using this number, If you are a member at an American club with 400 members, 6.4 players will be scratch or better.




    What's your point?
  • Big BenBig Ben Members Posts: 8,973 ✭✭
    edited Oct 2, 2018 #138
    When you play with tour or tour caliber players there games are so quiet you don’t even realize they shot 68. You are like what?? That’s how good they are truly. They play sub par and shot 72 on any day or course. Also, they can putt like nobody else, it’s fun to watch. I really like it because it’s a reminder of how much room I have for improvement each and every round. BB
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  • lchanglchang Members Posts: 544 ✭✭
    Played with a +1 recently (member of a challenging course, too). Not super long. Not super high shots. Nothing crazy in terms of sound when hitting the ball or anything. Just solid every time. And every putt seemed to have a chance from all distances.



    As people say (especially in the threads about a scratch playing Augusta and against lpga players), there are different kinds of scratch players.
  • maamoldmaamold Matt Aamold Members Posts: 178 ✭✭
    I've played with multiple good players.



    First one I got paired with on the 1st tee had his Oregon Ducks bag and tons of lead tape on his blades (Curtis was his name I think). I mentioned that to the starter and was told he holds both course records from the champ and back tees. Nice guy hit every fairway and bombed it, hit the greens and one putted a lot. He was 7 under at the 9th tee. On that tee he pounded one over the bunkers on the right, I step up and hit the same line with what I thought was the same speed. I get up and I'm in the bunker at 260, he's just off the green another 60 yards up.



    Second is a guy I've played with at a fun tournament a couple of times. I remember once I pounded a couple balls during the round both about 300 - he outdrove me by around 35 yards each time. The amazing thing about his game was no matter where he was he could and would play a shot to the green no problem. I managed to outdrive him once by 5 yards, because he took a 3 wood off the tee, and just barely caught this deep bunker. I hit a 3hybrid from the fairway and just came up short. He hit a 5i to 5 foot from an odd stance in a that bunker. Most amazing thing was he had no fear of the current shot or the next shot. He would hit a risky shot as long as it got him close to the green knowing he would get the next shot on the green and within birdie range.
  • ctmason_98ctmason_98 TOTALLY outta the bag... Members Posts: 1,827 ✭✭
    Closest I ever came was on a range in Columbus with Larry Mize and one of his sons who he appeared to be helping with something. They were two spots down from my friend and me. I believe this was ‘07 but may have been “08.



    I only saw Larry hit a handful of irons but the sound at impact was something I’d never heard before. He was clearly playing a different game than the rest of us.



    Not to mention people at the range were constantly interrupting him and bothering him to say hello. He was gracious as could be and all smiles.
  • Forged4everForged4ever To See A Man’s True Character, Play Golf With Him The Burgh/Hdcp: My gene poolClubWRX Posts: 15,684 ClubWRX
    edited Oct 3, 2018 #142
    I have....



    Many, of both~



    FWIW, I was one, at +2.8, and I Played with, against and beat a +4.8 for that trophy in my avatar😊



    Cheers🍻

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  • RetiredCartBoyRetiredCartBoy Members Posts: 14 ✭✭
    IamMarkMac wrote:


    I have a cousin, much younger than me so I rarely saw him, and was surprised when I found out he played golf and was scratch/near scratch. He came to visit for several weeks and I got a good look at his game and what struck me was how "normal" it all seemed. He hits a fairway, then a green then two putts for par. Same as I do an any number of holes.



    Of course, it's quite a feat to do that 18 straight times but he didn't need to bomb 300+ yard drives nor do masterful knockdown wedge shots so basically, I didn't see him do anything physically that I couldn't do, he was just **** consistent (you don't make highlight reels for consistency though).




    I had the same experience with a friend I used to play with quite a bit. I was a six at the time, and had no idea he was a 2 (he had been better, was just getting back into it). The first time we played, I thought he had probably shot in the low/mid 80's. He actually shot around 75. There was simply nothing interesting about what he was doing - he just didn't really miss. Over the next couple of years he got back to being a little better than scratch. He averaged maybe 240/250 off the tee (this was almost 20 years ago), hit his 7 iron 150, and hit boring looking chips. But he never got in trouble, and his misses never hurt him - hence the ability to make boring looking chips.



    Around that time I got to play a practice round with guys about to Monday qualify for what's now the Web.com tour, and they were astonishingly good compared to my friend. I felt like if I could just clean up my game I could have gotten to scratch, but what these guys were doing was on a whole different level.
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  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,600 ✭✭
    ctmason_98 wrote:


    Closest I ever came was on a range in Columbus with Larry Mize and one of his sons who he appeared to be helping with something. They were two spots down from my friend and me. I believe this was '07 but may have been "08.



    I only saw Larry hit a handful of irons but the sound at impact was something I'd never heard before. He was clearly playing a different game than the rest of us.



    Not to mention people at the range were constantly interrupting him and bothering him to say hello. He was gracious as could be and all smiles.




    I played with Robert in an open qualifier a few years ago. We are walking off 15 green Robert and our third are up ahead and I'm a good bit behind I talk to my girl for a bit and this guy in a red Cleveland Golf hat comes up and says, "I just wanna say that I think you're playing beautifully, the putts will come just keep plugging along" (I shot 71 that day, and hit a bunch of shots within 10 feet, I did not make anything at all). I just laughed said, "Well it happens" then I said it...I asked him, "Do you play golf?" My girl just laughs and Larry just smiled and said, "Yeah I could play a little bit in my day" I catch up to Robert and still oblivious to who he is, Robert goes "See you met my dad?" I had no clue that this guy following our group in the heat, walking and chatting up my mother and girlfriend was the '87 Masters Champion. I apologized after the round and he could not have been nicer about it, he said that he tries to get out and watch Robert as much as possible (He played at Furman then transferred to Columbus State?).





    Fast forward to next spring I bumped into him again in Orlando (May have been around show week? I am not sure why either of us happened to be there) and exchanged pleasantries I was surprised to see he remembered who I was. But a friend of mine asked who that was, and I told him Larry Mize. His jaw dropped, "you know Larry Mize?!?!" (No I really do not "know" him we have just crossed paths a couple times) We went over again, introduced my friend. And Larry could not have been nicer. He talked to us for 10-15 minutes. He shared a cool story about being a masters champion, he said that as if it was not great enough do you know who won in '86? Jack...Jack put the green jacket on me that was the best moment. I had never ever thought who I would like to put the jacket on, because I mean you're getting the green jacket.
  • isaacbmisaacbm Members Posts: 3,273 ✭✭
    I do have to say that in all of the years that I randomly teed off at a Muni with strangers, only a few times ever was I paired with a scratch...



    Have had at least 20 guys tell me I should be on tour while shooting 72 from 6200!



    This year my son and I got paired with two random public guys in carts. Was at my home course.

    We were walking and the first thing they said before even introducing themselves was “ We play fast. Keep up!”



    I said we’ll do our best. I shot 62 from 6800... 29 on front nine. Son was 37 After 9, my son sarcastically asked if we were keeping up ok.



    Was priceless. I probably found their balks 5 times for them on the front. At the end of the round the one guy told me that I hit it pretty good I should consider playing in a local tournament. I told him I’ll give it some thought...
  • 2ball2ball LEFTY Members Posts: 598 ✭✭
    Walked on my local course on the 4th of July a year or 2 ago, it was pretty empty. Was paired with a young guy about 24 who was passing through town, visiting friends and played on the McKenzie Tour.

    315 down the middle. His approach shots seemed to be on a rope. Low and would check up within 2 hops of hitting the green. Always within 12 feet of the pin. It was crazy to see the ball check up like that, like the ball had an anti-skid system. I think he was 4 under for the day, first time on the course.
  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers Posts: 28,369 ✭✭
    isaacbm wrote:


    I do have to say that in all of the years that I randomly teed off at a Muni with strangers, only a few times ever was I paired with a scratch...



    Have had at least 20 guys tell me I should be on tour while shooting 72 from 6200!



    This year my son and I got paired with two random public guys in carts. Was at my home course.

    We were walking and the first thing they said before even introducing themselves was “ We play fast. Keep up!”



    I said we’ll do our best. I shot 62 from 6800... 29 on front nine. Son was 37 After 9, my son sarcastically asked if we were keeping up ok.



    Was priceless. I probably found their balks 5 times for them on the front. At the end of the round the one guy told me that I hit it pretty good I should consider playing in a local tournament. I told him I’ll give it some thought...




    I would imagine the amount of scratch players that play regularly on munis is probably what, 1/10th or even 1/20th the amount of total scratches, so it stands to reason that playing with a scratch at your local public course would be like finding bigfoot.



    I'm not as good as you by a long shot, but i regularly play public courses with my slovenly friends, sometimes as a twosome where we get paired. Typically if you can shoot 78 or better people act like you are the second coming of Bobby Jones.



    I played with a guy and his wife last year where they apologized to me after almost every shot. Like they thought it was beneath me to even watch them golf. After a few holes i was like "dude, i'm having fun out here, just relax and enjoy the round it's all good just play your game"....i think i shot like 75-76 that day nothing even that crazy



    I've also had 3-4 different girls in my office ask me if i could go to the range with them and give them tips so they could play with their boyfriends.



    In the world of regular golfers, the scratch golfer is king let me tell you!



    (and yes, naturally my response to the girls in my office , was " well, you don't have a boyfriend at the driving range" )
    Ping G400 Max 9 w/Matrix Black Tie 80
    Callaway Epic Subzero 14* w/Matrix Black Tie 80
    Callaway Apex Hybrid 20 w/Diamana D+ 95
    Callaway 2016 Apex Pro 4-PW w/S300
    Callaway MD Forged 52,56 w/S300
    Callaway MD 2.0 60 PM grind w/s300
    SGC Northwood Center Shaft 400g
  • ctmason_98ctmason_98 TOTALLY outta the bag... Members Posts: 1,827 ✭✭
    MtlJeff wrote:


    I played with a guy and his wife last year where they apologized to me after almost every shot. Like they thought it was beneath me to even watch them golf.




    They knew you were a WRX member. That’s standard protocol for non-members. The course didn’t have the signs posted?!?!



    A co worker of my Dad’s asked him all the time to play with him. No idea what his cap was but my dad said he usually shot in the 70s.



    The guy would become just south of enraged waiting on my Dad as he hacked it around. Huffing and puffing, shaking his head and leaning on his club with a disapproving scowl on his face.



    This happened one round, and my Dad gave him another shot. Same behavior, so my Dad said he was leaving after they finished nine. The co worker seemed shocked and asked why, my dad recounted his behavior in some fashion. Then left.



    I don’t think he saw him around work for a week or so, then the guy eventually told him he had decided to stop playing golf. He spent a few minutes telling my dad how he had started playing because of his father, practiced like crazy because his dad was a good player, etc. He said my Dad calling him out (sort of) made him realize he was playing out of habit. He didn’t enjoy playing and likely hadn’t in years.



    My Dad said he felt bad after that but then wasn’t really sure how he should feel. Bizarre experience.



    I guess the moral is, get your friends and acquaintances to quit golf. It’s better for everyone.
  • Bonneville85308Bonneville85308 Members Posts: 1,641 ✭✭
    There is a public course here in Phoenix that I've played maybe 5 times on Saturday mornings this year, having signed up for a time as a single in a random group, 5 out of 5 times the pairing included someone at or near scratch, on or trying to be on web.com tour, former or current collegiate team members, etc. All of the 5 were great folks to play along with, didn't seem to care that I wasn't as good as them (possibly because I play fast) had some fun conversations except for one (female) that didn't say a word to myself or the other single in the group that she didn't know for the entire round.
  •  SwooshLT SwooshLT Members Posts: 7,043 ✭✭
    I got to scratch some 20yrs ago....lasted for 4-5 yrs....then life happened....played with former Tour players Mike Sposa and Justin Hicks quite a bit.....different level but much respect to the hard work these guys put in.
  • JonnyKrasnodarJonnyKrasnodar Members Posts: 1,825 ✭✭
    Had the pleasure of having an ex European Tour player in the group today. It was one of those where as we were introduced in the tee I thought I recognised them, name was familiar but a bit before my time. Didn't think anything more of it as the front nine was unremarkable, one over. Drives were effortlessly straight, sneaky long. Greens hit, putts burning the edges but all the scratch/plus players at my club do that.



    The back nine however was the easiest 29 I have ever seen. It clicked it was him on the 11th when short sided on 187 yard par 3, he played a flop shot that went into orbit, carried the bunker and landed in the three paces between flag and edge of the green.



    Played with numerous ex/current pros, albeit not for a while and I had forgotten just how casual it is for them. Thinking about the other times the thing that stands out most for me is just how unremarkable the rounds are. I don't mean that in a cheeky way but there was absolutely no dramas, no trouble, no bad shots and there were no reactions to going four straight birdies. Calmness. It is and was a pleasure to watch in person.
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