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Going from a 3 handicap to a scratch


jonnyh
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Whats up fellow golfers,

 

I'm 17, 5' 10 and pretty athletic. Distance would be the last thing i lack i hit the ball anywhere from 295-315 depending on weather, how i'm feeling, etc. Generally i'll reach all the par fives if not be around the green lying 2 and i'de say on a bad day ill birdie 1-2 par 5's and a good day 3 or all of them. I hit 10-13 GIR's per round and my short game is generally average getting it up and down probably 50% of the time. On a good day ill get 4-6 birdies and on a bad day 1-3 birdies. My putting is definitely hot and cold and my rounds go as the flat stick goes. So my question is what things do you think i should really focus on to shave those last 3 strokes and become a scratch? I feel like i'm going to hear SHORT GAME SHORT GAME SHORT GAME but i just would like to see all opinions.

 

Golfs my passion and it's what i want to do in life whether it be professionally playing(go ahead and hound me) or teaching. So all advice is great and helpful.

 

Thanks,

Jon

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[quote name='spitfisher' timestamp='1366512033' post='6885769']
I think you answered your own question, consistent play especially putting.

If you are making 2-4 birdies, then what are you bogie-Ing? Take those bogies to par and that will help big time
[/quote] My bogey's are coming from a variety of things. An errant tee shot, not getting up and down or 3 putting.

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[quote name='lilmike24' timestamp='1366512298' post='6885797']
sounds like that course management and scrambling to take those last few bogies away. Then you won't need as many birdies and have less pressure on yourself.

Do you have that go to shot keeping you outta trouble? is it mental ?
[/quote] Yeah i have a go to shot it's a high cut which in tournaments i'll always go to and surprisingly it's times like tournaments when there is pressure when i perform my best. So could it be lack of focus on every single shot? If so any tips on keeping that focus for 72 shots? Thanks

Also important- I feel i struggle more when i'm playing on my own or with my dad on weekends rather than during the high school season or the summer tournaments.

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[quote name='jonnyh' timestamp='1366512655' post='6885825']
[quote name='lilmike24' timestamp='1366512298' post='6885797']
sounds like that course management and scrambling to take those last few bogies away. Then you won't need as many birdies and have less pressure on yourself.

Do you have that go to shot keeping you outta trouble? is it mental ?
[/quote] Yeah i have a go to shot it's a high cut which in tournaments i'll always go to and surprisingly it's times like tournaments when there is pressure when i perform my best. So could it be lack of focus on every single shot? If so any tips on keeping that focus for 72 shots? Thanks
[/quote]
Hey there bud, You're better than me, But I'd say don't focus on the shots focus on the process. Reading books from bob rotella he always says don't worry of the result. You focus on the process that you need to do to hit it good, to make solid contact, and the rest will take care of itself.

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[quote name='lilmike24' timestamp='1366512835' post='6885841']
[quote name='jonnyh' timestamp='1366512655' post='6885825']
[quote name='lilmike24' timestamp='1366512298' post='6885797']
sounds like that course management and scrambling to take those last few bogies away. Then you won't need as many birdies and have less pressure on yourself.

Do you have that go to shot keeping you outta trouble? is it mental ?
[/quote] Yeah i have a go to shot it's a high cut which in tournaments i'll always go to and surprisingly it's times like tournaments when there is pressure when i perform my best. So could it be lack of focus on every single shot? If so any tips on keeping that focus for 72 shots? Thanks
[/quote]
Hey there bud, You're better than me, But I'd say don't focus on the shots focus on the process. Reading books from bob rotella he always says don't worry of the result. You focus on the process that you need to do to hit it good, to make solid contact, and the rest will take care of itself.
[/quote] I've read his art of putting book he has some great material. Thanks for the advice. I saw you're from NC. I lived their for 7 years. Heel fan?

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I think you are looking at this the wrong way. If you can get better somewhere, you do it. If adding on 20 yards(working out, overspeed training,...) is possible, you would be a fool not to do it. Only you can evaluate your past training and decide if an area can be improved significantly.

You need to look at your missed pars more closely and figure out where the strokes are being lost. Is it a bad tee shot that leads to a missed GIR which then leads to a bad short game shot and then you miss a 10 footer for par. Or are you 3 putting GIR a lot but part of that is because the first putt is a tricky 40' downhill putt across 2 tiers? You need to figure out something to specific to work on. Not 3 putting is not a specific enough goal at your level. It needs to be something like get better at 6' putts. It is real easy to blame putting and the short game since it is obvious when you lose shots there. It isn't as obvious that hitting a tee shot to the wrong side of the fairway cost you .5 shot.


[quote name='jonnyh' timestamp='1366511256' post='6885689']
Whats up fellow golfers,

[size=4]I'm 17, 5' 10 and pretty athletic. Distance would be the last thing i lack i hit the ball anywhere from 295-315 depending on weather, how i'm feeling, etc. Generally i'll reach all the par fives if not be around the green lying 2 and i'de say on a bad day ill birdie 1-2 par 5's and a good day 3 or all of them. I hit 10-13 GIR's per round and my short game is generally average getting it up and down probably 50% of the time. On a good day ill get 4-6 birdies and on a bad day 1-3 birdies. My putting is definitely hot and cold and my rounds go as the flat stick goes. So my question is what things do you think i should really focus on to shave those last 3 strokes and become a scratch? I feel like i'm going to hear SHORT GAME SHORT GAME SHORT GAME but i just would like to see all opinions. [/size]

Golfs my passion and it's what i want to do in life whether it be professionally playing(go ahead and hound me) or teaching. So all advice is great and helpful.

Thanks,
Jon
[/quote]

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[quote name='JustTheTips' timestamp='1366597398' post='6890683']
I think you are looking at this the wrong way. If you can get better somewhere, you do it. If adding on 20 yards(working out, overspeed training,...) is possible, you would be a fool not to do it. Only you can evaluate your past training and decide if an area can be improved significantly.

You need to look at your missed pars more closely and figure out where the strokes are being lost. Is it a bad tee shot that leads to a missed GIR which then leads to a bad short game shot and then you miss a 10 footer for par. Or are you 3 putting GIR a lot but part of that is because the first putt is a tricky 40' downhill putt across 2 tiers? You need to figure out something to specific to work on. Not 3 putting is not a specific enough goal at your level. It needs to be something like get better at 6' putts. It is real easy to blame putting and the short game since it is obvious when you lose shots there. It isn't as obvious that hitting a tee shot to the wrong side of the fairway cost you .5 shot.


[quote name='jonnyh' timestamp='1366511256' post='6885689']
Whats up fellow golfers,

[size=4]I'm 17, 5' 10 and pretty athletic. Distance would be the last thing i lack i hit the ball anywhere from 295-315 depending on weather, how i'm feeling, etc. Generally i'll reach all the par fives if not be around the green lying 2 and i'de say on a bad day ill birdie 1-2 par 5's and a good day 3 or all of them. I hit 10-13 GIR's per round and my short game is generally average getting it up and down probably 50% of the time. On a good day ill get 4-6 birdies and on a bad day 1-3 birdies. My putting is definitely hot and cold and my rounds go as the flat stick goes. So my question is what things do you think i should really focus on to shave those last 3 strokes and become a scratch? I feel like i'm going to hear SHORT GAME SHORT GAME SHORT GAME but i just would like to see all opinions. [/size]

Golfs my passion and it's what i want to do in life whether it be professionally playing(go ahead and hound me) or teaching. So all advice is great and helpful.

Thanks,
Jon
[/quote]
[/quote] Great points, thanks. I noticed today that a lot of where the strokes are being dropped is not that the green is missed but where that shot that missed the green finished like short siding myself

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-Do what ever you have to do to eliminate 3 putts from your rounds, this will be a combination of working on your lag putting, putting from 3-6 feet and managing your approach shots better.
-Figure out where you are losing shots around the green. Are you leaving yourself 5-10 feet after the chip/pitch or are you missing the 4-5 footers?
-Course management in general, with your length you really need to be careful with where you decide to pull out the driver. Bomb and gouge only works if you can keep it on the course and you have a good wedge game, which by your own admission sounds like your weak link?

Overall, 10-13 greens are not enough to get to scratch unless you have a good short game (doesn't need to be crazy good). For example I'm hitting 62% GIR which is about 11 greens. But I have an excellent short game and decent putter so my putts per round averaged about 29.5 last year. That added up to a +1.6 handicap for me.

Taylormade SIM (9) - Tensei Pro Orange 60

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Taylormade TP EF 60 ATV - DG Tour S400

Scotty Cameron Studio Style NP2

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[quote name='JJK947' timestamp='1366607139' post='6891509']
-Do what ever you have to do to eliminate 3 putts from your rounds, this will be a combination of working on your lag putting, putting from 3-6 feet and managing your approach shots better.
-Figure out where you are losing shots around the green. Are you leaving yourself 5-10 feet after the chip/pitch or are you missing the 4-5 footers?
-Course management in general, with your length you really need to be careful with where you decide to pull out the driver. Bomb and gouge only works if you can keep it on the course and you have a good wedge game, which by your own admission sounds like your weak link?

Overall, 10-13 greens are not enough to get to scratch unless you have a good short game (doesn't need to be crazy good). For example I'm hitting 62% GIR which is about 11 greens. But I have an excellent short game and decent putter so my putts per round averaged about 29.5 last year. That added up to a +1.6 handicap for me.
[/quote] I actually am very accurate with the driver as well as long. I probably miss a couple fairways a day on average. I think i just really need to get my 100 yard and in shots from being within 20 feet to something more like 10 feet

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There's something missing on your numbers, or you're missing an obvious answer. Hitting 10-13 greens and most fairways, with between 1 and 6 birdies per round, and an over 50% up and down percentage should be lower than a 3 handicap - probably more like the +3 range. I'm also a three handicap, but I would say that I average 10-11 greens, fewer than 5 fairways, just north of 1 birdie per round, and below 50% on up and down. But the holes in my game are obvious - poor driving, poor lag putting, and mediocre chipping. So like I said, since your numbers are far better than mine and we have the same handicap, where are the holes in your game? Streaky putting does not turn those numbers into a 3 handicap. My guess is your numbers are probably worse than what you think, so track them and start from there. And if they are accurate, then the answer should literally jump off the page at you - do you hit 10-13 greens, most fairways, make betweeen 1 and 6 birdies per round, and over 50% up and down BUT make 4 doubles per round when you launch balls into hazards? Well then there's your answer. Learn how to stop making doubles. Probably would have to do with keeping the ball in play and hitting better recovery shots. But your ballstriking and chipping stats alone (assuming they're accurate, which I doubt) put you at PGA tour level, so there must be some other glaring error in either (a) your stat tracking or (b) your game.

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The stats don't add up.

You hit it miles off the tee and don't hit foul balls, so no penalty strokes from the tee.

You hit 12 greens a round on average, and the 95 - (2 x GIR) deal comes out to an average score of 71 for that.

You make between 3-6 birdies a round, which is a ton! Obviously you hit a lot of short irons close to make that many birdies, so wedge play isn't an issue.

You make a lot of putts if you make that many birdies, so that's not the problem.

You're up and down percentage is just ok, but since you're only missing 6 greens that's only 3 bogeys around which are offset by your 3-6 birdies.

Someone with these stats would be shooting between 69 and 72 every single day. Are you playing a par 72 that has a course rating of 66? Because that's the only way you'd be a 3 with these stats.

So I have no idea what to tell you based on the information provided.

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Okay haha i was a 3 handi last season. I have made a lot of improvements and am better than i was last season and so far this season i haven't tracked anything through 11 rounds and i was just giving information from memory which obviously is slightly off. My bad. I did however say "probably" and "i'de say" so don't shoot me yet. Next few rounds ill keep exact stats and let you guys know where i'm at.

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[quote name='jonnyh' timestamp='1366643799' post='6892999']
Okay haha i was a 3 handi last season. I have made a lot of improvements and am better than i was last season and so far this season i haven't tracked anything through 11 rounds and i was just giving information from memory which obviously is slightly off. My bad. I did however say "probably" and "i'de say" so don't shoot me yet. Next few rounds ill keep exact stats and let you guys know where i'm at.
[/quote]

Uhhhh, if that's the case, are you sure you aren't already scratch? I realize it might take a while for your handicap to catch up, but if you've made significant improvements already, then it sounds like you're well on your way already. Just keep doing that.

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[quote name='jonnyh' timestamp='1366643799' post='6892999']
Okay haha i was a 3 handi last season. I have made a lot of improvements and am better than i was last season and so far this season i haven't tracked anything through 11 rounds and i was just giving information from memory which obviously is slightly off. My bad. I did however say "probably" and "i'de say" so don't shoot me yet. Next few rounds ill keep exact stats and let you guys know where i'm at.
[/quote]

Well, when you have accurate stats put em up and people will be able to help you. It's impossible to give you much in the way of advice right now.

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You're making 1-6 birdies and 4-9 bogies to counter it? Sounds like someone is a risk taker. Cut back on firing at every pin and you won't be in as many spots to make bogey. Just watch the pro game. How many pins do those guys really fire at, especially when they're positioning on Thursday - Saturday? There's a reason the back nine on major Sundays are fun to watch. Guys in contention start firing away hoping to get lucky.

Develop a good system for green light, yellow light, red light. Green light, fire away, pin in a good spot, perfect hole for your flight, etc. Yellow light, tee shot has to be just right to go for it, let the conditions dictate it. Red light, just hit the fat part of the green and escape with a par. You might drop a long birdie putt if you're lucky.

Oh and start tracking your rounds. Why in the world are you not doing this right now?

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What`s your course rating because Some of my stats are similar if not worse than you and I swing from a plus 2 to plus 3.
I usually only hit 7- 9 fairways per round but my misses are on the edge...
Hardly ever 3 putt (maybe once every 3 rounds).
I make an average of 2 bogies per round. And maybe 3-4 birdies.

Sounds like the biggest difference between us is putting and scrambling.

I also convert more greens than most people. I don't know why. Some rounds I'll hit 8 greens but still have 5 birdies.

these stats are at my home course with easy pins and greens I'm comfortable with mind you...

Also, my course rating is 75. That can make a big difference. If I had the same stats at a course rated 70, I'd be a 2 handicap...

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