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Driver and what club into Par 4?


Pepperturbo
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and how long is that Par 4?
People say it all the time - "short game means scoring". If, when someone says short game they mean putting - "OK"; but NO one normally scores with wedge, unless they get lucky and hole out.

All you do is save par by hitting it close for a tap in, after missing GIR shot. For most "average" golfers, they are not saving par. On par 4's they are hitting 3rd maybe 4th+ shot on to the green - then putting; I can understand four wedges there.

But, playing long courses where par fours are 450+yds means driver and mid-long iron into the green; miss the green and SW or LW gets us up and hopefully down. GIR we're hitting it within 15-30', maybe a birdie putt otherwise par, unless you'z a stinky putter. :lol:

What' I'd like to know is how many of you are hitting it so far with driver that GAP or SW are clubs into a Par 4's? And how long is the hole? I get a few guys hit driver 290+ ... but that's NOT the NORM. I've played in plenty of regional events. Proportionally, they are not all that different then tour events in that a small percentage of players hit it big the rest are 265-280yds.
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[quote name='Pepperturbo' timestamp='1296156030' post='2929786']
People say it all the time - "short game means scoring". If, when someone says short game they mean putting - "OK"; but NO one normally scores with wedge, unless they get lucky and hole out.

All you do is save par by hitting it close for a tap in, after missing GIR shot. For most "average" golfers, they are not saving par. On par 4's they are hitting 3rd maybe 4th+ shot on to the green - then putting; I can understand four wedges there.

But, playing long courses where par fours are 450+yds, that means driver and mid-long iron into the green; miss the green and SW or LW gets us up and hopefully down. GIR we're hitting it within 15-30', maybe a birdie putt otherwise par, unless you'z a stinky putter. :lol:

What' I'd like to know is how many of you are hitting it so far with driver that GAP or SW are clubs into a Par 4's? And how long is the hole? I get a few guys hit driver 290+ ... but that's NOT the NORM. I've played in plenty of regional events. Proportionally, they are not all that different then tour events in that a small percentage of players hit it big the rest are 265-280yds.
[/quote]


Hi Pepper,

I play at a course that is 7186 from the tips and there is only a few holes that allow me a wedge to the green after a drive. I would say my average drive is in that 265-280 ballpark. However, most of the holes are more like a driver and mid-iron for me rather than wedge.

One example - Par 4 478 yards at tips, 461 middle tee. With a 280 drive that would still be 181 out from the middle tees.

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On a 450 yard par four I would be hitting a driver and 7 iron to the green assuming the pin is in the middle, there's only one tier, conditions are typical of summer afternoon play, etc. etc. I hope to not disappoint you with my rather modest response. I realize most people here hit 300 yards with a 3 wood.
With my typical style of play if I landed within 20 feet of the pin on the approach I would probably 4 putt for double bogey, if I miss the green I probably chip in for birdie.

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I don't generally play courses that are over 7k yardage. Of course from time to time I'll end up on a long track that plays 7k+ but for the most part courses around me play to between 6600-6900 yards.

I hit my Driver 290+ consistently and no that isn't "internet yardage" or playing on burnt out courses in the dead of summer haha I've hit that far since I was 16 years old. (22 now).

My wedge distances (ignoring PW) start at:

50* - 145 yards

so combine that with a 290+ yard drive and I expect to be hitting a 50* wedge or less into every par 4 that is under 435 yards, which where I play is most of them.

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Pepperturbo, I assume that you question the validity of the ongoing debates about "yardage gaps" between the shortest clubs. I do as well, but I have come to the conclusion that, in my case, I just don't understand it, because I am not good enough.
For me, it makes absolutely no sense to ever hit a full shot with anything shorter than a PW, because no good ever comes from it. With my PWs being 47° (46° in one set), I only add a 52° and a 58° wedge, and I use those exclusively for pitches, chips and bunker shots. At times, I replace the 52° with a high bounce 54°.
On the two courses I play most of the time, there is a total of 8 holes, on which in certain wind conditions, I could hit a full 52° or even a full 58° to the green. Those are 6 par 4s of 300 to 340 meters (the longer ones are doglegs) and two par 3s of little more than 100 meters. With the wind behind (and it blows around here), I could have that "full speciality wedge" distance on those holes. But for the sake of safety, I usually lay up to a full PW distance on the par 4s, and I rather hit some sort of 3/4 PW on the short par 3s. With different swings, my PW covers everything from 60 meters to 105 meters, and I feel a lot more comfortable playing that way than having 4 additional wedges with 4° gaps between them to hit full shots with. As I said, full shots with a GW or SW/LW usually result in disasters.

I see a gap. There definitely is a gap.

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I generally play courses between 6,500/6,800 yards, whether it be from the tips or the blues. My avg. drive is 240-260 depending on many, many variables. That said, I find myself hitting a lot of 8 and 9 irons into greens.

What is the purpose of this exercise?

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Man..... a 460 yard par 4 would likely be driver (250 give or take with the occasional great shot out to 275) and 4 hybrid for me. I only have two documented 300+ yard drives (with GPS) both of which rolled FOREVER and one of which won me a scramble LD contest.

Just play it like a short par 5.... one of my psychological ploys. Always have found it amusing that people view a long par 4 (460) as terrible, yet always expect birdie or better on short (480-500) par 5.

Luckily, my club courses aren't terribly long, with the worst tees being right at 7000 at one of the courses. I hit everything from 5 iron to PW into the greens on the 4s. Probably more 7 and 8 irons than anything else.

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[quote name='Blakester' timestamp='1296164653' post='2930145']
What is the purpose of this exercise?
[/quote]

I'm not following it either. Are you trying to prove / disprove the short game = scoring corollary ?

Like you said - short game is important to score when you miss the green on those long and medium par 4's.

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[quote name='avrag' timestamp='1296163187' post='2930070']
Pepperturbo, I assume that you question the validity of the ongoing debates about "yardage gaps" between the shortest clubs. I do as well, but I have come to the conclusion that, in my case, I just don't understand it, because I am not good enough.
For me, it makes absolutely no sense to ever hit a full shot with anything shorter than a PW, because no good ever comes from it. With my PWs being 47° (46° in one set), I only add a 52° and a 58° wedge, and I use those exclusively for pitches, chips and bunker shots. At times, I replace the 52° with a high bounce 54°.
On the two courses I play most of the time, there is a total of 8 holes, on which in certain wind conditions, I could hit a full 52° or even a full 58° to the green. Those are 6 par 4s of 300 to 340 meters (the longer ones are doglegs) and two par 3s of little more than 100 meters. With the wind behind (and it blows around here), I could have that "full speciality wedge" distance on those holes. But for the sake of safety, I usually lay up to a full PW distance on the par 4s, and I rather hit some sort of 3/4 PW on the short par 3s. With different swings, my PW covers everything from 60 meters to 105 meters, and I feel a lot more comfortable playing that way than having 4 additional wedges with 4° gaps between them to hit full shots with. As I said, full shots with a GW or SW/LW usually result in disasters.
[/quote]

You nailed it... :clapping: plus the value of a 4th wedge, and what constitutes a scoring club. People, even big hitters on this board say wedges are scoring clubs, and its the reason they might have 4. Most people do not hole out from off the green, and inside of 100yds many, including myself, are not hitting full wedges, because cover or target yardages almost always vary based upon the prior missed shot.

Again, scoring clubs are well struck mid-long irons for GIR because they position the ball close for a birdie putt. If anything wedges save strokes, while the only club that actually scores is a putter. Only when facing unreachable Par 5's will I lay up and that's to a predetermined wedge yardage. Again the need of the 4th wedge is???? I've played long and short tracks. The only time I find myself between clubs is after a poorly struck shot for GIR or on Par 3's. Maybe its what I call scoring... "par", "birdie" and "eagle", and the rest is obvious.

You sound as though you understand your game - nice :)

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450 yard par 4 would probably be driver 8 iron or 9 iron, depending on the conditions.

And anything that helps you save shots I would consider scoring, whether it's getting up and down, better course management, etc. Hitting it long can turn holes of that length into scoring holes for longer hitters if they hit the fairway though, I think that's what you might be getting at.

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[quote name='TLUBulldogGolf' timestamp='1296173915' post='2930604']
450 yard par 4 would probably be driver 8 iron or 9 iron, depending on the conditions.

And anything that helps you save shots I would consider scoring, whether it's getting up and down, better course management, etc. Hitting it long can turn holes of that length into scoring holes for longer hitters if they hit the fairway though, I think that's what you might be getting at.
[/quote]

You consider saving bogie as scoring??? Its over par. If anything it's a mental save; +1 on the card.

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[quote name='Pepperturbo' timestamp='1296174142' post='2930616']
[quote name='TLUBulldogGolf' timestamp='1296173915' post='2930604']
450 yard par 4 would probably be driver 8 iron or 9 iron, depending on the conditions.

And anything that helps you save shots I would consider scoring, whether it's getting up and down, better course management, etc. Hitting it long can turn holes of that length into scoring holes for longer hitters if they hit the fairway though, I think that's what you might be getting at.
[/quote]

You consider saving bogie as scoring??? Its over par. If anything it's a mental save; +1 on the card.
[/quote]

Show me where I said that? Anything to save shots I would consider scoring, not just making a birdie putt. You aren't going to be putting for birdie every hole, how would getting up and down not be scoring?

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[quote name='Pepperturbo' timestamp='1296174142' post='2930616']
[quote name='TLUBulldogGolf' timestamp='1296173915' post='2930604']
450 yard par 4 would probably be driver 8 iron or 9 iron, depending on the conditions.

And anything that helps you save shots I would consider scoring, whether it's getting up and down, better course management, etc. Hitting it long can turn holes of that length into scoring holes for longer hitters if they hit the fairway though, I think that's what you might be getting at.
[/quote]

You consider saving bogie as scoring??? Its over par. If anything it's a mental save; +1 on the card.
[/quote]

I believe you have to broaden the context and not hold one absolute for all levels of golfers. For scratch or plus handicaps, I believe you might be right. Those kinds of players score better by hitting it close, rolling in putts, and using wedges for damage control (to save [i]par[/i]).

By contrast, let's consider a 12 handi out on the course. "Par" for that golfer is 84 on a Par-72 course. If, on the 12 hardest holes, that golfer gets up and down for (actual) par 3 times, their equivalent score is "3 under" (all other holes being equal). In that scenario, the wedge contributed directly to making[i] "birdies."[/i]

This may be a stretch, but I believe the context is important.

EDIT: appropriate quoting

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[color=#1C2837][size=2][quote]the value of a 4th wedge, and what constitutes a scoring club. People, even big hitters on this board say wedges are scoring clubs, and its the reason they might have 4. Most people do not hole out from off the green, and inside of 100yds many, including myself, are not hitting full wedges, because cover or target yardages almost always vary based upon the prior missed shot.

Again, scoring clubs are well struck mid-long irons for GIR because they position the ball close for a birdie putt. If anything wedges save strokes, while the only club that actually scores is a putter. Only when facing unreachable Par 5's will I lay up and that's to a predetermined wedge yardage. [b]Again the need of the 4th wedge is????[/b] I've played long and short tracks. The only time I find myself between clubs is after a poorly struck shot for GIR or on Par 3's. Maybe its what I call scoring... "par", "birdie" and "eagle", and the rest is obvious.[/quote][/size][/color]
[color=#1C2837][size=2]
[/size][/color]
[size="2"][color="#1C2837"]I like to play a 60* around the green, whether that is closing it down a little or laying it open, gives me a lot of options. I hit it with a nice, solid swing right on 100 yards, and don't get much more than 5 extra yards if I swing hard because it just ends up going sooo high. Which means if I only played 3 wedges I would be left hitting everything between 100 yards and 160 yards with 2 clubs because I hit my PW 155-160. That is a really big gap for only 2 clubs, and especially in the range where it is expected that I hit the ball fairly close. Also, yes us longer players do call wedges "scoring clubs" because well...they are! The reason we tend to carry more wedges is because for example when I play with guys I know who are anywhere between 5 and 15 handicaps but are pretty average distance players we play from the same tees, and they are hitting Driver - 6 iron into the same Par 4 that I am hitting Driver - GW. They might hit there driver 240-250 yards and then hit a 6-iron 170 yards for a total of 420. I hit a Driver 290+ and then pull out the GW from 130-135 and hit, Sooooo the point is that while you consider that 5 or 6 iron to be your "scoring clubs" because you end up hitting a bunch of shots with those on the par 4's and if you hit on the green it is saving you strokes compared to when you just miss, all my wedges are my scoring clubs because until the hole gets to be over at least 450 yards I'm hitting a PW or less into every par 4 after a well struck drive so those are most certainly my scoring clubs and I want to be able to cover all those distances.[/color][/size]

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Here is why wedges = scoring clubs. On a shorter par 4 you hope to score. A well struck wedge after a good tee shot sets you up to do just that. On a par 5 you hope or expect to score. A well struck tee shot and a good second shot will hopefully set you up in good position to put a wedge close and make birdie. Again, you're scoring with your wedges. On long par 4s most people aren't necessarily expecting to score. They're hoping to make par and move on, and even then you just might need a wedge to help you pull that off if you miss the green. Bottom line is this: a great wedge player that's average with his mid irons will almost always score better than an expert mid iron player that's mediocre with his wedges, and definitely better than a bomber that's below average with his wedges.

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I basically have a 400 yard rule off the tee. If the hole is 400 or less, I stay away from driver because I like a fuller shot into greens. I hit my driver about 290 and my 4 wood about 265 and I don't try and hit a certain number usually but I'm much better with mid irons and short irons than with little sawed off wedge shots. Thats my general plan but it changes with conditions obviously... (Off topic) I do LOVE hitting a pure long iron into a par 5 though... nothing beats the feeling.

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[quote name='chuff' timestamp='1296184856' post='2931162']
Here is why wedges = scoring clubs. On a shorter par 4 you hope to score. A well struck wedge after a good tee shot sets you up to do just that. On a par 5 you hope or expect to score. A well struck tee shot and a good second shot will hopefully set you up in good position to put a wedge close and make birdie. Again, you're scoring with your wedges. On long par 4s most people aren't necessarily expecting to score. They're hoping to make par and move on, and even then you just might need a wedge to help you pull that off if you miss the green. Bottom line is this: a great wedge player that's average with his mid irons will almost always score better than an expert mid iron player that's mediocre with his wedges, and definitely better than a bomber that's below average with his wedges.
[/quote]

Well said!:clapping:

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I can see the validity to some of the points the OP is making. I'm a big hitter, but still if i was playing 7200yd courses every week i might not use 4 wedges. When i play some championship tracks around here i might not use my sand wedge all day, the only possibility being on the only short par 4, or a par 5 layup, but even then i could use a gap wedge and half swing.

but i play a lot of different courses, including my home course which is 6500yds, for courses like that i like 4 wedges so i can always make full swings, and i use my wedges a lot more obviously

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i can usually bang it out there pretty good at about 290...so that leaves about 160 left for a 450 par 4 which for me is about a 8 or 9 iron depending on wind, elevation, lie etc...

i wish i was long enough to hit wedges into greens, maybe on par 5's or short par 4's, but yes predominantly i'm using my wedges for bunker shots, chips and pitches :)

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[quote name='Pepperturbo' timestamp='1296173790' post='2930598']
You sound as though you understand your game - nice :)
[/quote]

Thank you, but it is not that difficult to understand [u][b]my[/b][/u] game, since it is really primitive: Avoid catastrophies, sign for an 85, be happy. :lol:

I see a gap. There definitely is a gap.

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[quote name='isaacbm' timestamp='1296191077' post='2931461']
if you want a clear explanation of the benefit of multiple wedges, look into Dave Pelz 's books. He explains it all better than any of us can. I'm not saying I agree, I'm just saying that his explanation is very thorough....

Hope that helps.
[/quote]

I have NEVER been interested in what Pelz says or does... he's a theorist from science, that ruined Phil for awhile. :lol: but thanks.

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[quote name='TLUBulldogGolf' timestamp='1296181881' post='2931018']
[quote name='Pepperturbo' timestamp='1296174142' post='2930616']
[quote name='TLUBulldogGolf' timestamp='1296173915' post='2930604']
450 yard par 4 would probably be driver 8 iron or 9 iron, depending on the conditions.

And anything that helps you save shots I would consider scoring, whether it's getting up and down, better course management, etc. Hitting it long can turn holes of that length into scoring holes for longer hitters if they hit the fairway though, I think that's what you might be getting at.
[/quote]

You consider saving bogie as scoring??? Its over par. If anything it's a mental save; +1 on the card.
[/quote]

Show me where I said that? Anything to save shots I would consider scoring, not just making a birdie putt. You aren't going to be putting for birdie every hole, how would getting up and down not be scoring?
[/quote]

Maybe I misunderstood what "anything that helps you save shots I would consider scoring" meant. And, maybe our perception and expectations are different; glass half empty or full thing, don't know. But, even early on when I was a mid-index, each of us, regardless of index, shoots for par or better. Anything over par is not not scoring, even if I feel that way due to circumstances.

I am by no means suggesting others have to think like I do, but the goal or target is "par" for all of us, is it not? I know two guys I play with that are 20+ indexes think the same. Its different having played a lot of match team events where some holes are won with a bogie or even double. Under those conditions if I got up and down and saved bogie - winning the hole I scored with bogie. Does that make sense?

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[quote name='Pepperturbo' timestamp='1296224704' post='2931924']
[quote name='isaacbm' timestamp='1296191077' post='2931461']
if you want a clear explanation of the benefit of multiple wedges, look into Dave Pelz 's books. He explains it all better than any of us can. I'm not saying I agree, I'm just saying that his explanation is very thorough....

Hope that helps.
[/quote]

I have NEVER been interested in what Pelz says or does... he's a theorist from science, that ruined Phil for awhile. :lol: but thanks.
[/quote]

Um, Phil is still working with him. In fact he just mentioned working with him in one of his pre-farmers interviews. Regardless of whether or not you agree with his techniques for how to get things done, it's pretty hard to argue with his raw data. To that end the first few chapters of The Short Game Bible are very interesting and useful. You'd be doing your game a huge favor in my opinion by grabbing it at the library and reading the beginning of that book.

Damn scientists from science always railroading us with their raw facts and statistics.

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[quote name='chuff' timestamp='1296227100' post='2932025']
[quote name='Pepperturbo' timestamp='1296224704' post='2931924']
[quote name='isaacbm' timestamp='1296191077' post='2931461']
if you want a clear explanation of the benefit of multiple wedges, look into Dave Pelz 's books. He explains it all better than any of us can. I'm not saying I agree, I'm just saying that his explanation is very thorough....

Hope that helps.
[/quote]

I have NEVER been interested in what Pelz says or does... he's a theorist from science, that ruined Phil for awhile. :lol: but thanks.
[/quote]

Um, Phil is still working with him. In fact he just mentioned working with him in one of his pre-farmers interviews. Regardless of whether or not you agree with his techniques for how to get things done, it's pretty hard to argue with his raw data. To that end the first few chapters of The Short Game Bible are very interesting and useful. You'd be doing your game a huge favor in my opinion by grabbing it at the library and reading the beginning of that book.

Damn scientists from science always railroading us with their raw facts and statistics.
[/quote]

I looked at a few Pelz's works long ago... stats other then my own :boredom: me. Three golf instruction books set on my desk. Each has helped my game to where it is today; Ben Hogan's "Five Lessons.."; Seve's "Natural Golf", and Faldo's "Swing for Life". Anymore more causes :wacko: Thanks "chuff" :)

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[quote name='Pepperturbo' timestamp='1296233115' post='2932322']
[quote name='chuff' timestamp='1296227100' post='2932025']
[quote name='Pepperturbo' timestamp='1296224704' post='2931924']
[quote name='isaacbm' timestamp='1296191077' post='2931461']
if you want a clear explanation of the benefit of multiple wedges, look into Dave Pelz 's books. He explains it all better than any of us can. I'm not saying I agree, I'm just saying that his explanation is very thorough....

Hope that helps.
[/quote]

I have NEVER been interested in what Pelz says or does... he's a theorist from science, that ruined Phil for awhile. :lol: but thanks.
[/quote]

Um, Phil is still working with him. In fact he just mentioned working with him in one of his pre-farmers interviews. Regardless of whether or not you agree with his techniques for how to get things done, it's pretty hard to argue with his raw data. To that end the first few chapters of The Short Game Bible are very interesting and useful. You'd be doing your game a huge favor in my opinion by grabbing it at the library and reading the beginning of that book.

Damn scientists from science always railroading us with their raw facts and statistics.
[/quote]

I looked at a few Pelz's works long ago... stats other then my own :boredom: me. Three golf instruction books set on my desk. Each has helped my game to where it is today; Ben Hogan's "Five Lessons.."; Seve's "Natural Golf", and Faldo's "Swing for Life". Anymore more causes :wacko: Thanks "chuff" :)
[/quote]

Ya, while I don't like his technique too much, I can't argue with his data. He gathers stats on high mid and low handicappers...also scratch players. It's cool to see how much closer to the hole the scratch guys are to the 20 handicaps...things like that. Will help anyone's game just to check that out...you learn a lot. He also has a test to see where your 'pitching' is...relative to this data, for example. So if you are a scratch golfer but your bunker play or putting from 8 feet is worse than what the stats show...then it's a good idea to work on that part to strengthen it. It does help.

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Personally I'd rather have more options greenside and inside 120 yards than having an extra long club. Carrying both a 2 and 3 iron seems like a waste to me, mis-hit that 2 iron even the slightest bit and it doesn't go any further than a 3 iron. I hear you always preaching about players with stock yardages and not being able to hit finesse shots, I just think that's crazy. I mean lets be honest with ourselves how many times do you expect to hit it on the green with a 2 or 3 iron? I would guess most touring professionals hit the green with a 2 or 3 iron less than 50% of the time. Where does that leave us? Of course all my wedges have stock yardages but its the half a 3/4 shots with all of them that allows you to score.

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"[b]tembolo1281[/b]" - got ya... For about ten years straight I kept "all" the stats on my game. It was enlightening for sure.

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[quote name='Pepperturbo' timestamp='1296226104' post='2931987']
Maybe I misunderstood what "anything that helps you save shots I would consider scoring" meant. And, maybe our perception and expectations are different; glass half empty or full thing, don't know. But, even early on when I was a mid-index, each of us, regardless of index, shoots for par or better. Anything over par is not not scoring, even if I feel that way due to circumstances.

I am by no means suggesting others have to think like I do, but the goal or target is "par" for all of us, is it not? I know two guys I play with that are 20+ indexes think the same. Its different having played a lot of match team events where some holes are won with a bogie or even double. Under those conditions if I got up and down and saved bogie - winning the hole I scored with bogie. Does that make sense?
[/quote]

Sure par or better is the target, even for those 20 handicaps, but a lot of what I'm talking about is what separates the scratch player from a 20 handicap, not just how many birdie putts you make. All I was saying.

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