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Playing with "not so good" players


nikemike
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Started a great round yesterday with birdies on the first two holes of a course I've never played. It was myself and one other person who is normally a 20 handicap. I'm not sure what has happened to his game, but it was the ugliest golf I've ever seen. The guy would get off the box decently with the driver, but would be short on every approach and then proceed to chunk/skull the next 4-5 shots on every hole. It was back and forth all day with a 4-some nipping at our heels. After several holes, I finally told him to pick up after he was easily doubling the score. I lost my patience several times but tried to refocus and scratch out a good score. I ended up with a 77, but it was the most frustrating 5 over I've ever shot.

 

How do you guys deal with days like this?

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Playing with "challenged" golfers can be a pain in the @ss. However, I never blame someone else for my game. Unless they are yelling in your back swing you just focus on your game and your game only.

 

Over the weekend I played a challenging resort course in Orlando (Mystic Dunes) and shot an 80 (I am a 7 handicap so I was happy). The two other guys in my foresome played a scramble together since they were terrible. Even with the scramble they still shot in the 90's. Longest 5 hour round of my life. But I was proud of myself for staying focused and knocking out a good score.

 

Good luck and try not to let hackers bother you. Think of it as a good way to test focus when you play with those types of golfers.

 

-Steve

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I don't really pay attention to "how" the rest of my group is playing as long as it's reasonably quick and is more of a ready golf type variety.

 

The only times I pay attention is when they tee off- in case they need help finding their tee shot and around the greens- greenside bunkers and on the dance floor (it's less about what they do and more about me staying out of their way while they do it).

 

I don't really know if my playing partners are shooting 80 or 100. I like to zone out a little on the course- a day on the course is a day NOT in the office!

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I don't really pay attention to "how" the rest of my group is playing as long as it's reasonably quick and is more of a ready golf type variety.

 

The only times I pay attention is when they tee off- in case they need help finding their tee shot and around the greens- greenside bunkers and on the dance floor (it's less about what they do and more about me staying out of their way while they do it).

 

Great advice,

 

Go down to the lake and look at fish and frogs, look up at the sky, think about work. Although you're on the golf course, you don't have to be focused on golf until you need pick a target and play your shot.

 

With that said, it's important to be a good playing partner. EVERYONE has bad days on the course, and you getting furstated and upset is going to make that person feel even more self conscious and mechanical. There are ways to help your playing partner without watching him hack it up. If you can get even with them on the tee box and watch the flight of their golf balls you can still avoid watching herky jerky swings.

 

Above all, be patient, you can't let outside factors dictate YOUR performance, that's giving up control.

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Some good responses so far but keep in mind there is a "foursome nipping at our heels all day". There was only two of us, so you can imagine the pace of play. I could care less about how a person plays as well, but when I'm waiting 5 minutes just to hit my first putt and witnessing the back and forth disaster he calls chipping, it gets to you.

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Some good responses so far but keep in mind there is a "foursome nipping at our heels all day". There was only two of us, so you can imagine the pace of play. I could care less about how a person plays as well, but when I'm waiting 5 minutes just to hit my first putt and witnessing the back and forth disaster he calls chipping, it gets to you.

 

 

Was there anyone in front of you two? Why not let the foursome through?

 

I am not sure how this works, but I have heard of different versions of the understanding that if you are above a certain GHIN, then the most you should take on a hole is a set number. Anyone else heard of this??

Seems like if you are a 15 GHIN or higher, then the most you could take on a Par 5 would be an 8 or 9. I just don't get how you could accurately track your handicap this way. But I have heard of this. Just not sure how it could accurately work.

 

My point is, maybe put this in play or have an agreement before play starts. Envoke the "nothing higher than a double or triple agreement" or something. Maybe that would help.

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....With that said, it's important to be a good playing partner. EVERYONE has bad days on the course, and you getting furstated and upset is going to make that person feel even more self conscious and mechanical. There are ways to help your playing partner without watching him hack it up. If you can get even with them on the tee box and watch the flight of their golf balls you can still avoid watching herky jerky swings.

 

Above all, be patient, you can't let outside factors dictate YOUR performance, that's giving up control.

 

 

I agree...there was a point when we all started at the bottom of the totem pole or golf stick, so to speak. We didn't all shoot in the 90's, 80's and 70's on our first day out. I'm always patient with someone who doesn't hit the ball as well as I do or is a beginner. We were all beginners at one point and it would serve us well to remember that the next time we get frustrated or upset with someone else's lack of skill on the course. :)

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I am what everyone here is calling a hacker. I am a 20+ HC, played maybe 6 rounds last year and fell in love with the game. This year I'm really working on game improvement, but I'm also realistic. I'm not gonna take a couple of lessons from a PGA teacher, swing a training aid, and suddenly shoot like Tiger or Phil. I am going to skull shots until I really refine my game. So for now I play 2 different games of golf...

 

If I'm playing along with someone who's a lot better than me (which is pretty much everyone for now) I play the double rule. Once I hit double the par for the hole I pick up the ball and move on, to prevent slowing people down too much.

 

If I want to work on my game, I play solo, that's when I take every shot until I hole out, to really work on improving my game. This way If I'm slower than a golfer/group behind me, it's easy to let them play through.

 

All I'd ask as a beginner is a little patience, some time to reach a level that low handicappers have worked years to acheive, and in return feel free to ask those of us who aspire to your level to pick up the ball rather than taking 30 shots and 20 putts while you stand waiting.

 

It's all about having fun in the end. :)

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I am what everyone here is calling a hacker. I am a 20+ HC, played maybe 6 rounds last year and fell in love with the game. This year I'm really working on game improvement, but I'm also realistic. I'm not gonna take a couple of lessons from a PGA teacher, swing a training aid, and suddenly shoot like Tiger or Phil. I am going to skull shots until I really refine my game. So for now I play 2 different games of golf...

 

If I'm playing along with someone who's a lot better than me (which is pretty much everyone for now) I play the double rule. Once I hit double the par for the hole I pick up the ball and move on, to prevent slowing people down too much.

 

If I want to work on my game, I play solo, that's when I take every shot until I hole out, to really work on improving my game. This way If I'm slower than a golfer/group behind me, it's easy to let them play through.

 

All I'd ask as a beginner is a little patience, some time to reach a level that low handicappers have worked years to acheive, and in return feel free to ask those of us who aspire to your level to pick up the ball rather than taking 30 shots and 20 putts while you stand waiting.

 

It's all about having fun in the end. :)

 

I totally agree. I am also a begineer and have a high handicap and try my best to keep up so if i am playing with someone better than me I dont keep them waiting, but I also do not want to rush my shot as that would just make it worse. IMO some are the better players are pretty snobby when it comes to playing with new players or high handicappers. No one started off playing well and when they started, im sure most of them made others impatient as well. I am out there to have fun, but also keep in mind to not ruin the fun for others.

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I actually enjoy playing with hackers, (as long has they have good attitudes :) ) I'm hitting at about 12 handicap and would be a lot lower if I had a decent short game.

 

I just remind them to keep pace with the group in front of us, and play ready golf. I'm not a pro and obvious they are not either, so let's just have fun.

 

I like to see what they do wrong and see if I used to do that! This helps me not put pressure on my game and gets me more relaxed.

 

I'll get more uptight if I play with better players, hoping that I don't hold THEM up or anything like that.

 

So.... What comes around goes around...

 

Ken

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Golf is a gentlemens game. But it does work both ways. I and most golfers are tollerable of hackers (I define a hacker as someone who has no chance of breaking a 100). However I do get anoyed by the hacker that spends a lot of time over their shot, time after time with the same bad result. I play quick and I think most good golfers do also.

 

I can't stand watching someone spend 2 minutes over a 3 foot putt that's for a 9. And someone who has hopelessly hit a ball into the woods and spends 5 minutes looking for it. Even if you find it, you can't play it. Move on.

 

Sorry, just had to gripe.

 

-Steve

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I use the, (Un-Official) Double Par Rule. On a Par 4, if it takes someone 7 strokes to get on the "Dance Floor", They get ONE (1) Putt! Period! End of Story! I think its only fair to give them that. More than that, they are being in-considerate to their fellow players. I NEVER laugh, belittle, or "Show Up" any golfer with lesser ability. We all started the same way, albeit some better than others. You just have to politely explain to them about slow play and etiquette. :)

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I am a hacker and so is my buddy that I normally play with. Both of us are 18 handicap. I am a pretty fast player and do not like to be holding anyone up. So if some one is waiting on me I hurry or just pick up and go on. It hurts my game but I cannot stand for soemone waiting on me. My buddy which I play with can not stand to wait on anyone. I have to keep telling him not to hit into the group in front. Although they should let us play through and they don't but I still lay back but he doesn't. But what I can not stand is when the shoe is on the other foot and he gets mad when I let some one play though. If you are having a bad day and holding someone up let them go through if there is an opening. I also do not like when a group wants to play though but there is no where for him to go when you are already waiting. I don't know why they can not see that. I understand they get tired waiting but we do to.

 

Soem people just needs to be reminded that it is still a gentleman's game.

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I don't think it bothers anyone if the playing companions are not very good, the issue is pace of play. Furthermore if one is a poor player and picks up after reaching triple, I have found that he has more fun. Bobby Jones in one of his letters to IKE told him to pick up once he reached double...IKE you see, had sufffered a couple of heart atttacks while in office and Jones knew how seriously he took golf...he gave him a way to still play but without the stress.

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I dont know but if you shot 77 and I shot 97....I think I would feel bad and be mad at myself more then enough for both of us. Give a hack a break !

No worries, if I shot 77 now I would be happy enough for both of us. I like IKE, had a couple of heart attacks, anything under 85 is reason to rejoice. Always remember unless you are good enough to do it for a living you are not good enough to get mad at a bad shot.

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I dont know but if you shot 77 and I shot 97....I think I would feel bad and be mad at myself more then enough for both of us. Give a hack a break !

 

A 97 is more like what he normally shoots, but this time it was a 118 and that was verrry generous. If I had to guess, it was more like a 125-130 if EVERY stroke was counted. He couldn't tell that I was getting impatient, but watching the same mistakes, hole after hole was getting to me. It was a perfect pattern from 25yds in; duff, skull, chunk, chip, and 2-3 putt.

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I play most of my golf these days as a walk on single, simply because it's hard for me to predict when I can play. I have wife and two young kids, and a mid-career job with its usual demands.

 

So I've played a ton of golf with the first tee luck of the draw. I've paired up with very good players, and a lot of very bad players.

 

I can recall one particular day where I was at a local course where the starter was always unhappy to see me coming, since that meant he had to work me in somewhere.

 

He pairs me up with an older fellow...mid 60s, but I could tell from his overall appearance and clubs that he probably wasn't a 10 handicap.

 

We go the first few holes and he's struggling a bit and I'm thinking, geez how can I get a good solid round out of this?

 

Well, on about the 7th hole we get to chatting about what I do for a living and what he does for a living. The story is "young ex-scientist turned MBA looking for a job" (that would be me), and "veteran entrepreneur who had started 7 biotech companies, two of which had been sold for beaucoup bucks".

 

That's why golf is such a beautiful thing...

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Sounds like every round I play with my son, he hits good tee shots then stumbles home and slowly. I've worked hours and hours with him but he doesn't listen, go figure. So I tell him its OK to hack just hack quickly.

You should have him use a tee on every shot, even from the fairway. I think this would help a lot of beginners and would really speed up play. When your first learning to play, its hard enough to hit it solid from the tee box, forget about some of the lies you get on the course. Once they start striking it well enough, let him start hitting off the ground. I'm sure it would be more enjoyable for him and build some confidence. matt

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since leaving augusta I have played with nothing but hackers... My dad who is taking up the game as a prep for retirement, my best friend who can't break a hundred to save his life, or my girlfriend who is just starting out this year.

 

I definitely don't play my best when I am playing with them...

 

I was playing with my dad one weekend at 17 a twosome behind us caught up and asked to play the last two with us since daylight was dwindling. I had been plodding around the course all day. Not hitting anything particularly good or bad... just playing. Then after watching these guys hit some decent drives, I stepped up and crushed one and finished out the day with two birdies... the only birds I had that day!

 

I tend to be a very competitive person, and playing down to my competition has always been a problem...

 

... I guess its just another mental part of the game I need to work on.

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I don't care what standard of player I'm playing with. Regardless of whether your playing partner plays off +2 or 22 you treat them the same. There should be no discrimination against higher handicappers.

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By all means I am not an expert on this subject. I usually shoot in the ninetys no matter whom I am playing with and when I have a bad hole or when things are going bad. I will just pick up and take a double. Then move to the next hole. I always try to stay cogniscent of others on the course, and never hold up anyone else. If you approach the guy that is having difficulties in a positive way I am sure he would be more than happy to pick up the pace a bit... At least I would.

 

Fish

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Golf is not an easy game to learn, especially if you are not taking lessons or have a good friend to help you.

 

Couple of suggestions, obviously this type of player gets into your head. Tell the ranger ahead of time that you would prefer to play solo or get paired up with a lower handicap player. Another option is to learn to deal with it and play your own game.

 

I would suggest that you learn to play your own game and deal with it. You can politely make some suggestions to the "not so good player" if they are slowing play or going double par on all holes. If they are a friend, offer to practice with them at the short range. This is probably one of the easiest skills to teach and but requires a ton of practice. While you are doing this, casually mention some rules or etiquette to help make everyone's golf more enjoyable.

 

Whatever you do, try not to be rude to this type of person. Golf is a gentleman's sport. They may not know many of the rules or proper etiquette or they are so focused on trying to play well (or upset they are playing terrible), it kind of slips their mind.

 

One tip that I have used and it works, suggest to them to improve their lie/foot wedge or move the ball to the fairway if they are on a severe slope, bunker, deep rough, etc.....It helps with their confidence and speeds up play. Not like you are playing Sunday at the Masters, it is a casual round of golf. :)

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Since I play all public courses, I've played with just about every type of golfer there is. I'm no pro, but usually a bogey golfer. I just remember back to when I was learning the game with my dad. I try to keep an eye on their ball and just relax and play my game. We were all 'hackers' once. By watching their ball and allowing faster groups to play thru, we all can have an enjoyable round.

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