I play with a few local pros in Pro Ams - I have learned a lot from them in lessons and in Course management. Best part after a 2 or 3 day Pro Am is to get a critique of my game afterwards. Instead of a lesson feedback actual feedback on my game. Also after a day of competition to get an invite to the same tourney the following year is a big plus. One of them during a Pro Am was on fire - landing his second shot on a par fives near the center of the green.. he was doing everything right! -- lipped out 4 Birdie Putts.. and he still shot a Gross 63 - My Oh My what could have been.. Team took 1st place anyway.
14 Clubs - Good ones
My calcutta partner is a +4 and he's obviously really good. Played with him one night on my course (he's from a different town). Told him he played pretty well that 9. Then I tallied it up, he shot a 29 on a par 36. Went on to shoot 63 on a par 72. As for him and several of the pros I've seen live, they hit some bad shots too...although not as many as the rest of us. What amazes me though, is their recovery shots are unreal. A bad shot from me, usually leads to a bad decision, which leads to another bad shot. They don't do that. They seem to stay more calm than I do too, perhaps they don't have the command of the four letter language that I do. I asked him once on a bad shot of mine...which I walked up to and said, "now wtf do I do?" He didn't even flinch as he said, well from what I see you have 3 options. Different mindsets...
So Nick a lot of people ......For me it’s hard to play a good game when you’re playing with someone that needs to look or give them help looking for a lost ball on every other hole, when you’re playing good I played some of my better golf! I’m guessing throughout play you’re not real chatty, more focused I’m guessing? I’m thinking you probably wouldn’t want to play with a guy like me that has a Lee Trevino fuzzy Zoeller attitude? People who have played with me in the past, if I try to adapt to them that don’t talk on the course except for nice shot nice putt, they think I have an attitude, but I’m trying to come down to their level but when you have that type of personality it does not work so I stay the same and if it pisses them off and they’ve got the whatever to tell me to shut up lol, do I accept that.
I played a couple of times with a guy that used to be on the European tour, taught golf, and as a seven handicap I could meet him on some days, and he would just tell me look you know how many thousands of swings I see every day that are terrible definitely has an effect on your game maybe there’s some that are immune I guess he wasn’t. depends how close you are I’d like to play with you LOL
There is some truth to this.
Lots of mystical stories here of scratch or better never missing fairways and never hitting anything outside 20 feet. This is a lie. I watched the farmers insurance this week and the best in the world missed fairways and missed greens.
He's the thing, they aren't perfect either. The difference is they have the ability to recover and minimize damage from the bad shots while taking advantage of the good shots.
This comes from some natural ability and lots of practice.
When I was in high school and playing quite a bit of golf, I had the great fortune of getting to be pretty good friends with a guy who’d been around the mini tours and played his way into a couple smaller (I.e. he never made Augusta) PGA events. I was probably around 17 when we started playing together and could go par or below on my home course without too terribly much effort, and thought “hey I might have the game to make a run at the tour one day.” I started playing with him and realized that while I was a pretty good player for my area and course, I was on another planet from what that dude was doing. He would hit some wild shots occasionally, but besides those the control he had over the ball was unreal. It truly seemed like we played two different versions of the same game. After moving south to a place with a ton of golf, I’ve been able to play with a couple former pro’s due to some other players I’d become friends with, and it was the same story. I’d love to say it’s because I don’t play much golf now, but being honest with myself even at the prime of my game, I couldn’t begin to touch those guys. The most surprising thing I noticed from playing with all of these guys, is watching really good golf be played is honestly kind of boring to watch. It’s really impressive to see the scores, but it’s not a non-stop highlight reel compared to some guys I played basketball and football against that eventually went pro. Those guys were better than us and showed it via ESPN worthy moments whenever they got the chance lol.
Yep and all you had to do was watch last 3 holes of the Dubai tournament. I was really pulling for Bryson DeChambeau, 325 par 4, on the green in 4. A lot of misses to right, maybe he should go a little smaller on his golf grips.
My better ball partner is probably anywhere from a 2-10 handicap based on how well he can get off the tee. Some days he's fine and in the fairway and others he's in the trees every hole. I'm always in there looking for his ball and it never affects my game. There's definitely a mental side of it where you have to ignore how bad he's doing and just do you, but this doesn't mean not talking to him or avoiding looking at his swing. (It also helps when you can joke about it and laugh that he's in the woods on every hole)
But I agree with Nick, I'll play with anyone and I don't care if you're a scratch or a 20, as long as you're fun and have a good attitude I will play with you again.
Trust me we’d play together and we would get along just great. I play with everybody, I guess I’ve never been in that group that owns that particular tee time every morning which confuses me, technically you can make a tee time up to two weeks out so how they own one every year for a whole year I don’t know LOL, That’s why I’m always either on the range or trying to horn my way into a group so I can get around in but if I get off in front of the first group I can be done in two hours but they really hate to say go ahead I don’t understand that. I actually enjoyed playing with the ladies , I probably played better with them, I know I swing smoother I guess I don’t have the mental fitness to take that into every round why am an amateur 😆
Not a lie. Context is king, though. I don't play in 1st tier professional tournament conditions with them so my impressions of what they are capable of come from courses that nearly anyone can play, on days when they aren't playing for 7 figures worth of simoleons.
They all have their off days, yes.
A good friend of mine is the head pro at a course a couple hours away and plays to a +2. Actually plays quite a bit considering some stories you hear of the head pro never playing.
While I agree that the 'hit all the fairways and greens' thing is a bit misleading, we met half way and played a decent muni course that was 6500 yards not 7500 like the Farmers. He didnt miss more than a fairway or two all day because he didnt pull driver often outside of some par fives that suited his eye.
His driving iron was as long as my driver once it rolled out and he was able to put it down the middle whenever he wanted. I'm a 2 handicap and would say our good shots are the same....Its the misses and dispersion that separated us by so much. He is in complete control of the trajectory and curvature on most of his swings. Beautiful to see a player like that with a gear you don't have. I actually putted better than he did too. My makes were 6 or 10 footers for par all day though haha.
I assume if I stretched him out to 7500 yards his accuracy and GIR would drop but he used what he wanted off the tees and had fun playing a casual round. He wasnt gearing up for a tournament or mad the back tees were not used. Dropped a 66 on the course his first time seeing it and dusted me by 10 shots LOL.
First, I'm a .2 at the moment with the goal of getting to + by the end of 2020. The weakest part of my game is hitting greens, but that has more to do with the fact of playing on a course with abnormally small greens (Pebbles are huge compared to my home course). When I travel to other courses my GIR% is normal relative to my handicap.
I played with 3 professionals getting ready for the Mayfair Inn Open during PGA Show week and honestly given the stories in here I was expecting an Asian or Latino Tour players to completely light it up, but I walked away impressed with how well I was able to hang in there in specific facets of the game. It was truly enlightening to see where I had a lot of room to improve compared to the skillsets they possessed.
First the toot my own horn stuff (with a mix of hard reality):
Putting is the fulcrum of my game, I can't even remember the last time I had a 3-putt. I wasn't really surprised my putting was better than theirs and it was. I will say the one difference is that no matter what, even if the result could be bad, they never left their putts short of the cup. I can't always say that about my game, especially when I get to a putt that is between a 1 or 2 count and I have to feel a perfect 1.5 to make it. I typically leave those a cup or two short unless it's an uphill putt and I feel more confident I can take a whack at it and it won't race by the hole. So, it was pretty evident they were playing for birdie and I was often playing to not give away par.
Driving the ball they were long and straight, which I can be, but when I'm feeling it with driver I prefer to shape my shots. I was struck by their inability, or more likely true their unwillingness, to shape shots with driver. They were committed to the same shot with driver every time. Boring. Repetitive. Predicable. Safe. I was able to get in better positions off the tee on a majority of the holes by shaping shots. However, I also got myself in deep trouble more off the tee than they did. I think I saw them end up in an area they would need to get truly creative on a hole maybe twice. I played from a position that was impossible to get to the green from twice. I imagine if I took their approach with driver and kept my aggressiveness on and around the greens I might learn to be a plus golfer and not just a scratch golfer.
Second the reality portion:
I thought my short game was really good, but compared to how in control they were of their golf ball from ANY lie, I am not. Their ability to basically come close to holing out anything around the greens was ridiculous. I am good with wedges, they were surgically precise with wedges (often better with them than their putters). The one guy in the group almost holed out 5 times for birdie over the 18 (he did hole out for Eagle on one of the par 5s).
Their bunker play is almost automatic. I am good out of the bunker, but I have a system which helps hide my flaws and make up for a lack of practice time. You could give them any club in their bag and they would execute an elite bunker shot. They could execute high quick stopping shots, high releasing shots, low chunk and runs, low quick checking irons, etc.
Last, on approach shots with wedges hit to a yardage, they flight and shape to a yardage. It was different to say the least. It is something I have started practicing on extensively hitting more 3/4 and half shots with to shorter distances with clubs other than just wedge (i.e. hitting a low half punch shot with 9-iron from 75 yards out versus trying to barely dial back a high lob wedge).
Played in the PGA Club Professionals Pro-Am when it was in at Philadelphia Cricket Club a few years back. Was a really awesome experience. I can't remember the name of the pro I played with (should have written it down) but it was a pretty eye-opening experience. He wasn't crazy long or throwing darts into every pin. But the guy just didn't miss, and when he did, the recovery shots (particularly around the greens) were very impressive. I was pretty nervous that day so didn't play my best. Did make a nice up-and-down from a bunker. But I generally like playing with guys much better than me and would love to do it again.
Played in my first pro-am here in Scotland last year. The pro we played with had a good day (he was joint winner, at -4 on a well known modern links in East Lothian), and the thing I took from the day is just how otherworldly the ball striking and all-round course management of someone at that level is. He hit, I think, 14 or 15 greens. He hit one poor drive all day, which unluckily ended up in a lost ball on the crook of a dogleg - but had a "birdie" with his second ball, for a bogey on the card. His iron play was unbelievably good - perfect, crisp strikes, gentle fade or dead straight, and a very high trajectory. He didn't miss any putts from outside 10 feet, either.
I've played with a lot of low-handicap players including family members off 3 and 4, and this was like a different game. This guy is in his late 20s, but teaches and plays events on the third tier in Europe - not even the challenge tour. I was surprised that someone as good as that isn't able to play higher up. That gave me a small amount of insight into how competitive golf at the top must be.
All in all, it was eye-opening for me, as I hacked round off a 9 h'cap.
This is very true - I think theres a huge misconception that scratch golfers don't hit bad shots. Ultimately it's all relative, they might not hit bad shots compared to someone playing off twenty but they hit a lot of bad shots by good player standards - the saying 'scratch is ****' really does apply here
Driver - Titleist 910 D3 10.5 Motore Speeder VC6.13 wood - Titleist 910 F 15 Motore Speeder VC 7.1Hybrid - Titleist 910 H 19 Diamana Kai'li Irons - Titleist 718 CB 4 - PWWedges - Titleist SM7 53 & 60Putter - Yes! Callie
Amen brother, maybe because every time a new golf club comes out I put it in my bag who knows LOL have a good night have a great weekend can’t wait to hit my new Mavrik & my new ping irons, i have not even been able to get out and hit yet with this weather in North Carolina!
Got paired with a +4 at Kiawah and it was unreal watching him tackle that course. The short iron play in particular was incredible and kind of inspired me. Within 100 feet he was no more than 5 feet from the pin on every single approach, and those greens are extremely difficult to hit. I just didn't know golf could be played like that. Have been to tournaments but it's different when you're playing with someone that good.
I’ve played with Monte.
Its incredibly impressive.
I played with TA3 recently. I would out drive him, he would hit to 10 ft below the hole, I would hit to 15 ft right or left even or above the hole. I would out drive him again, he would hit 6 ft below the hole, I would hit 10 ft left or right even or above the hole. I hit one OB, made a double. He hit one OB, made a bogey. I definitely learned a lot. Placement on the green is so important. I think he shot +1 and I shot +6.
Caddied a pro-am with Justin Thomas in his official rookie year. I told him I took him in my draftkings lineup. He was not good in the pro-am. He struggled with the rough at Torrey Pines. He missed the cut. He finished T10 the year before.
I was able to watch Xander Schauffele practice in San Diego, I worked at a course he went to. Seemed like he would be there for my entire shift.
Regularly play with a +5.5. Hits it a mile, but relatively straight. His distance control on irons and wedges are spot on. Always in the correct spot on the green or if missing a green, misses on the correct side to save par. Nothing spectacular, but just solid. Played mini tours a while and said it was a whole other level of guys able to shoot 65 every day.
As the title of the thread impliesThere is a huge difference to being a domestic scratch and true scratch golfer. And a huge gap to a tour pro.
I got down to scratch at 19 and played in English amateur championship. BUT I was a domestic scratch really which is what a lot of scratch players seem to be which as name suggests means scratch on home course as thats where most of us play regularly- our home club. but to say pick randomly a number of unknown courses and go play them new and play to scratch is a whole different game. I played a few sub par scores on unknown courses but if I had to play a different course each week I would have to have been a far better player to be true scratch.
At 19 I played with a couple of full time European PGA tour players a couple of times who played in British and US open championship and US masters etc. Both nice blokes and my best shots could get somewhere near theirs but they hit far far more of what I would call 'my best shots' and shots I could only dream of playing- no situation fazed them and around greens and putting they were outstanding and just didn't make errors they showed up my shortfalls and believe it's at the pointy end of a hole that makes all the difference.
To me if you are a scratch player but aren't playing at that on different courses regularly then you are a domestic scratch but to be honest most handicaps are domestic as we tend to play mainly on our home course.
Tour players and top amateur players just turn up and produce par or better scores almost anywhere just so much in tune with their game and totally unfazable
Sounds like you're a really good player, and everything you've said makes sense. The point that needs to be driven home is that the difference between a scratch player (0 HC) and a Tour player is nearly as great as the difference between a scratch player and a 10 handicap. I dont think most people realize this.
I wasnt what I would call a good player I was an ok player that worked hard on my game.
I fully agree with you when I was at scratch and played with these tour pros when they were at their peak even on my home course I would prob.: over 4 consecutive rounds, be atleast 30 shots or more behind The gulf between scratch and tour pro is enormous.
What I think needs to be acknowledged is that once your say at scratch and taking an arbitary time period of say 12 months as long as your competition scores average par you remain scratxh but like I say above the key is 4 consecutive rounds a tour pro can't afford to look at a long term average they need to produce the scores over a single tournament to make a living. It does them little good to produce 3 good rounds 1 poor and next tournament all low scores and the next all high yes their average score may well be over 12 months a reasonable sub par average but dependent on their fellow competitors and what tournament they may fail to make a living. It's this skill of producing the level of golf they do under the scrutiny of needing to do it over 4 consecutive rounds regularly they don't have the luxury of being able to average out their scores over a specific period to maintain their low handicap like an amateur can
Agreed. Think of it this way. I've been a 0 HC (+ or -) over the past several years. Still, my blended scoring average over that time frame is around 76, and that's mostly on par 72 courses rated ~72/133.
Tour pros have scoring AVERAGES in the 68-70 range playing under the gun on courses rated at ~76/140.
Multiply the difference over a 4 round tournament and it ain't even close. 😁
Haven't ever played with a pro golfer, but I know someone who spent some time on the ATP (tennis) tour. My guess is he was good enough there to look like he belonged without getting to the upper tier.
Anyway, we played once and it was very evident the different level of coordination that pro-level athletes have. I'd be swinging out of my shoes to match his swing speed (and while I'm not to the level that many on this forum are, I'm no slouch either), and yet he was constantly in the sweet spot and made it look effortless.
I watched him carry 30-ft tall trees 240+ yards out to cut a dogleg. Twice.
He lipped out one birdie put, got angry and then birdied the next 5 holes.
I think he shot 65 that day. Granted, it wasn't at a tour-level course, and we weren't playing from the tips. It was an eye-opening experience nonetheless.
Titleist 913D2 10.5*, Diamana S+ Limited 60S
Titleist 913F 15*, Diamana S+ 72X
Titleist 818H2 19* / 21* Tensei Pro White 90S
Mizuno MP-54 4-PW, Dynamic Gold X100
Mizuno S18 50* / 54* Dynamic Gold S400
Taylor Made TP Rossa Fontana Kia Ma
Probably should have posted this in Hustler forum, not GolfWRX forum...
My old bishop in my church was a scratch golfer. He was very fun to play with just to see what is possible. He actually ended up joining the senior tour after wrestling for a long time with whether he was okay with playing golf on Sundays (the sabbath).
I played with a guy who was a former d1 player and a +3 handicap at what's probably the toughest course in my area. I played really well and I think I shot something like 78 (I think I was about a 5/6 cap then) and he didn't seem to do anything spectacular and shot like one under I think. The consistency was the separation. His shots came out of the same window every time.
I asked him for advice. "how do you get from a 6 handicap to scratch?"
His answer was 1. weaken your grip and 2. quit your job and play 5 times a week
Driver: PING g410 plus 9* with even flow black 75x
Fairway: PING g410 16.5* Tensei orange 70x
Hybrid: PING g410 19* Tensei blue 85x
2iron: Titleist TMB Project xi 6.5
4iron: PING i500 (retro spec) Project x lz 6.5
5-PW : PING blueprint Project X lz 6.5
Wedges: PING glide forged 50/54/58 Project x lz 6.0
Putter: Odyssey stroke lab
Ball: Bridgestone XS
No "big name" players for me, but I have been paired with and got to watch "up close" both Dave Sattler and Steve Wilson for both rounds of the Summit County Am on more than a few occasions.
Man, the things they can make the ball do seem to defy the laws of physics at times, and the sound of the contact they make on a "purely struck" iron shot just make you shake your head in disbelief sometimes, and you realize they are playing the game at a completely different level than most of us. And this is every club in the bag from Driver all the way down to putter (I'm pretty sure I recall one of them actually shanked a putt a few years ago on the back 9 in the final round when things were really getting intense).
One thing that always stands out to me about players of this caliber - even they hit bad shots from time to time, like we all do, but their uncanny ability to try to hit some ridiculously impossible recovery shot is what puts them on a different level. Watching one of them whiff 3 times in a row while trying a back-handed "rescue shot" from under a small fir tree, I remember standing there in amazement, realizing I would never have the guts to attempt to pull that shot off even once, let alone 3 times.
Sure....Living in South Florida. Played with a current PGA Tour player, a couple of former PGA tour players, Former Euro Tour player, Various Florida Tour Players, NCAA SEC Players. It is quite a show to watch great golfers play and the ease in which they can dominate a course and shoot in the 60's. The current PGA Tour player is a top 10-15 last 3 years in driving distance and i could not follow his tee shots with my 20/50 vision in my right eye. Had to laugh when we arrived to his ball on or very close to green on several par 4's and this was from 7100 yards with 30 MPH wind course across street from ocean (North Palm Beach).
First time i played with a former PGA Tour player every iron shot he hit the first 2-3 holes all i could say was "great shot" finally he gave me this look and then i realized to him it was not a "great shot" but a miss for him. We had a good time but i realized there are so many levels to this game. Also i find i don't play so well (other than when i am playing with a Senior former PGA Tour players and its just me and him head to head and we know each other) because i am busy watching their shots and trying to learn as much as i can from them, their routines and how they play.
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