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What can happen if a PGA Tour pro plays on a regular club course


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I heard this too somewhere. I think the point he was trying to make was that easier courses are tough to separate on. If there are a bunch of wedge holes, the caddie will make a lot of pars and a few birds. Pro will make a couple more birds. Whereas the tough course will cause the caddie to make some big numbers.

^ That's obviously a heck of a round from Dahmen. That course is no regular muni. 6900 yards with a 134 slope isn't a tour course, but it's not easy. As was said, those guys are good.

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I agree with what guys above are saying, i think the better the player , the harder a course they'd rather play on to beat a normal schmo.

To shoot a 59 or something you still have to make a ton of putts. Doing that on a regular muni that has imperfect greens can be challenging even for a pro. There was a famous article some time ago that has been linked 10,000 times here featuring Steve Marino where he discussed this a bit. As he had played a regular muni and shot 69 or something like that.

Obviously a tour pro can do things like shoot a crazy score on a normal course, but i don't believe they will shoot 60 every time playing a normal course. That still means you have to make at least 12 birdies, and that means a lot of putts have to go in.

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anyone else see a hairy butt in a thong when you first started scrolling?

no? just me then...

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My foursome had this very same discussion over beers after our last round playing our course. 6,500 71.8/131 with bumpy bermuda greens with some bare spots and poa annua sprinkled in for good measure. I was of the opinion that if you put a group of 10 tour pros out there, all of them would shoot at least 68 based on ball striking alone, but I didn't think you would see nearly as many scores in the 59-63 range as my buddies did just because of putting.

It is so different than what they are accustomed to, they would feel like they had to absolutely hammer putts. Their normal grooved putting stroke for a 30 footer might leave them 10 feet short.

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Yeah, wouldn't doubt full field. They would also eat it alive over multiple days, or if they had a practice round beforehand.

This goofy hypothetical was just 10 pros showing up one day. They could putt on the practice green and hit on the range like normal, but their first stroke on the course counts. But I could very well be underestimating their adaptability.

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Makes sense. Having their full attention with the caddies and all would make a difference. In a full tournament there would be some high scores also, with a slope of 131 there must be some trouble for guys not playing well to get into. Also the greens would have an effect and you can make any course nearly unplayable with ridiculous pin placements.

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Surprised I'm going to be the first to bring up Brooks Koepka's quote about preferring tougher courses as it really separates the pack, like in majors. In a birdie fest on an easy course a lot of guys could be in the hunt. But, setup the course where you need to grind out pars and the top of the leader board gets thin.

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I always thought that's where someone like Tiger was better suited to play a US Open at Olympic Club or some place similar where you can't just hit a driver off every hole. Someone like Tiger and now Koepka don't win those -24 events, but they can win the ones where -4 will. Going low on an easier setup and grinding out the really tough setups are two completely different skills.

In search of solid contact...
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I remember Joel when he was playing on the mini tours in AZ like 8 years ago. He was always good but I dont think many of the guys thought he would make the tour one day. He worked hard and made a couple tweaks to his swing then it clicked. Good dude and great story.

 

As far as pros lighting up muni's...we had a skins game every Tuesday at the club i worked at that would bring in mini tour guys like Dahmen, Harkins, Jimmy Gunn etc. along with guys like pat perez, jeff quinney, scott stallings, Colt Knost, even a major champ Geoff Ogivly once. One of them shot +4 one day(i think it was Stallings but dont remember).

 

The fact is that yes, when one gets it going look out for 59, but as MTLjeff says, you still need to make putts and hit shots. If your fightin your swing that day, it doesnt matter much where you play, it just limits how bad your score will end up.

 

And as far as this particular round goes, yes it was from the tips, and "Kyle" is kyle schwarber from the Cubs who is a pretty solid golfer from what ive heard.

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Callaway

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Right, i think "better" players don't like birdie fests as much because it just becomes a putting competition, and frankly those can be a bit random. Even the best players in the world are not going to go 10/10 on 15-footers especially not on a bumpy green.

I think sometimes we assume that from 100yds these guys will stick it to 2 feet every time for kick ins but that is not what the stats say.

to shoot 61 you have to make a lot of 10-15 footers.

Will a pro shoot 67 with his eyes closed on an "easy" course. Absolutely. But big difference between 67 and 61

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When I was 16 I played 9 holes at a regular course that wasn't a very good course with Wayne Levi. He was 3 years removed from player of the year on the PGA Tour. And he shot....-1 under par.

 

Years later I read the article where they had Steve Marino (in his prime) playing a local muni outside DC and they pondered what he would shoot...and he shot 68 (-4 under).

 

Marino theorized (and I agree) that he would likely never play the course at over par and that he would mostly shoot a lot of 68's (or around there) if he played the course all of the time. Then occasionally he would go super low.

 

Years after that article, Steph Curry, a 2-handicap, gets to play a Web.com Tour event. They claimed that he would not break 80 and finish dead last because he's a 2 handicap afterall.

 

Instead, he shoots 74-74 and beats a few of the Tour pros.

 

In reality Curry could play that course and that event 100 times and he would probably shoot around 74 most of the time (particularly as he's a world class athlete used to extremely pressure filled situations). But, he probably would break 70 may 1 out of the 100 times..

 

My theory is that on average the difference in actual strokes between a Tour pro and a legitimate 2 handicap isn't as wide of a chasm as people think. But it goes to show just how difficult it is to cut into that difference. Even cutting into that stroke average by 0.5 strokes is a major improvement in skill level.

 

 

 

 

RH

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@RichieHunt, good points about average courses and scores of pros and low handicappers.
The gap between a 2 index and a tour player will also depend on the difficulty of the course and the more difficult the course the wider the gap. Just for fun I ran the numbers on the USGA handicap calculator for a two index at TPC Sawgrass the Stadium Course and the 2 index is a 7 handicap there. A +4 index which is about the average tour player would be a +1 handicap at TPC so the difference would be expected to be 8 strokes there. TPC slope = 155; CR= 76.3; par = 72. I am guessing that a course all setup for the US Open would make for a considerably larger gap.
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Man, the number of tees on that course is interesting. Is it a par 73 if you're playing from the Forward or Forward Combination tees?

Now I wish that my course offered a "Regular Combination" tee. I play from the whites ("Regular", I guess) usually but there are a few holes where it would be more interesting to play from the blues ("Championship", in this course's vernacular). I know I could do this on my own, but entering my score would be impossible.

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If the yardage difference for your combo tee was less than 300 yards vs. the next set of rated tees you could still post using the USGA table for adjusting course rating and slope for unrated tees. Go to https://www.usga.org/handicapping/roh/2020-rules-of-handicapping.html and see Appendix G.

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