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The "Epic" lowering your handicap "mega" thread

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  • Registered Users Posts: 908 ✭✭✭ Redzah


    m r c wrote: »
    There has been enough talk about high handicaps on this forum so this thread is for people to discuss ways, tips and ideas as to cut out mistakes at all levels of h/c.

    I'll start, I'm off 24.1 ATM just lost .4 the last time I played, my strategy was as follows.
    I put priority on hitting the fairway off the tee, and if I missed I wanted my miss to be as near as possible. I managed to hit 9 fairways and finished with the ball I started with.
    My current thinking about missed greens is to go for the fat part of the green regardless of pin position to again attempt to take the big numbers off the card and this puts more pressure on the putter which is where it should be. Any time I manage this plan it gives me a putt at par which is never a bad thing. I've noticed that I've had a lot more of them now than before.

    It'd be great if any views to the contrary were put forward in a positive manner I'm fed up with bickering and they could be really useful to all if helpful

    Work on the attitude, eliminate the aggression and think a bit more :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,374 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    Redzah wrote: »
    Work on the attitude, eliminate the aggression and think a bit more :)
    Not needed thanks.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    Space coyote

    None of what you said is bad advice but this is golden

    2 - this was one of my major action points from 22-17. Always look to give myself a par putt (don't get too focussed on gir). That way a 2 putt gives you a bogey & if the one putt drops you walk off with a few bonus pars

    I call this not being afraid of "putting pressure" on your putter. Too often I've being guilty of making gir and 3 putting and saying at least it's bogey, I'm going to be working hard on this kind of thinking re par putts


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    try to be on every

    par 3 in 2
    par 4 in 3
    par 5 in 4

    do this regularly and you be down to 18 in no time
    Unless your putting is horrific

    I get the par 4's and 5's but would you ever recommend not going for gir on par 3's?
    Surely unless it's a 200yd plus dog you'd always be trying to knock it on?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,518 ✭✭✭ dan_ep82


    115 today on my third game, 4 over the last day.

    Lost four balls. 2 went into water hazards,1 into a ditch and the fourth out of bounds.

    The two water hazards I over estimated my distance with a 5 wood,the ditch was was an unlucky bounce and the fourth I hit a slice high and the wind drove it further.

    Other than that it was hit and miss. I could say it was the wind or rain but to be honest I think its all on me. Over reaching,lifting my head and not enough skill yet to do what I want it to do.

    On the plus I had some nice hits with the driver,pw,9i,7i,6i and the 5 wood.

    Some more games, more time at the driving range and some lessons soon before I ingrain the bad habits which I'm sure I have. And some chipping practice at home,it was cringe worthy today,hitting it with the edge of the club because I'm thinking of getting under it and hitting it to the far side of the green:o

    I'm hoping by next year I might be decent enough to join a club,get an official handicap and work on lowering it some more.

    For now I'm back out Friday and Monday:)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    Ajcurry

    Maybe it would be better to give some more detail on history m r c?
    How long you've been playing, lessons, strenghts/weaknesses etc.

    Well I've been playing for 2 and a half years ish now. I tried golf around 07 and liked it but was playing another sport and didn't have time for the two.

    So the very first round I marked every shot for was 159 incl all penalty strokes and one whiff :-(
    I always take that as my base point when I'm getting pissed with bad play.

    I first got my h/c in May 12 of 24

    I took me a nice while to play to that but have in about 40 comps since may 12 had three 2nd's and a 5th and made buffer maybe another 7 times(I can get exact buffer if needed)

    A fair description of me ATM would be a sub 100 shooter

    I have played some nice practice rounds but never brought that game to comps yet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,065 ✭✭✭✭ PARlance


    m r c wrote: »
    Ajcurry

    Maybe it would be better to give some more detail on history m r c?
    How long you've been playing, lessons, strenghts/weaknesses etc.

    Well I've been playing for 2 and a half years ish now. I tried golf around 07 and liked it but was playing another sport and didn't have time for the two.

    So the very first round I marked every shot for was 159 incl all penalty strokes and one whiff :-(
    I always take that as my base point when I'm getting pissed with bad play.

    I first got my h/c in May 12 of 24

    I took me a nice while to play to that but have in about 40 comps since may 12 had three 2nd's and a 5th and made buffer maybe another 7 times(I can get exact buffer if needed)

    A fair description of me ATM would be a sub 100 shooter

    I have played some nice practice rounds but never brought that game to comps yet.

    I'm the same in general re the comp v casual.
    It took me a long time to get used to comps, I'm still not there I'd say but have gotten better.

    Between over eagerness at the start of this year, to putting too much pressure on myself up until recently.
    Maybe check out a bit of Karl Morris if you want to improve on the mental game a bit, I found him useful and am still trying to ingrain his thoughts.
    He has a free app on the iPhone, if you search Karl Morris you'll get it. It's called Golf:The Mind Factor

    It's all about staying "in neutral" on the course.
    Not getting too excited by the good shots, and accepting and moving on from bad ones.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    I can definitely identify with the mental side AJ and how the good shots can get to you too.
    This past summer in our pres prize the weather turned v bad when my group was on about the 7th. I had gotten of to a very strong start I was 1 over gross through 7 and the nerves were killer.

    I went out 31 but back in 45 nett and tbh the afternoon players were all screwed that day. Yes my game fell back a bit but it was fecking horrid weather.

    I don't dwell on the back nine on reflection though, I was delighted that while playing well I sorta kept out of my own way as it were.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 252 ✭✭ Gin77


    For me getting down from 22-11.5 over about 3.5-4 years, these were the things I found most helpful:

    1 - go for lessons & persist with the tough times as it will pay off

    2 - this was one of my major action points from 22-17. Always look to give myself a par putt (don't get too focussed on gir). That way a 2 putt gives you a bogey & if the one putt drops you walk off with a few bonus pars

    3 - just because you flushed an 8 iron 150 yards once doesn't mean An 8 iron is your 150 yard club. Your 150 yard club is the one that on average travels 150 yards. Don't get caught up in the macho bullsh1t of feeling you have to hit less club, it's about scoring not hitting it further than the other guy.

    4 - generally when measuring your approach (from say more than 120 yards) take a look at the distance to the back if the green & select the club that corresponds to that distance. Most often you don't hit a perfect shot, so you should hit more greens. Niklaus reckoned he hit maybe 3 perfect shots in a round, so how many do you think you manage? Eg, green is 130 to front covered by bunkers, middle is 140, back is 150. Take your 150 club. You hit it perfect(unlikely), you're on the back of the green, you hit it a little off, you're in the middle if the green, you hit it a little worse, you probably still clear the bunkers & land in the front. Doing this definitely improved my odds of hitting greens.

    5 - work on your short game, a lot!

    6 - try forget about the course being 2 sets of 9 holes. That way if you start with 2 bad holes you can just write off the 2 bad holes, rather than start thinking "front 9 is ruined, I'll start playing on the back 9". Think about each hole as a game, or if that's too much, break it unto 6 x 3 hole sets. & don't add up your scores after 9 holes to see how your doing, if you're playing well youll probably change your game & start trying to protect your score

    7 - know when to take your medicine.if you're in the trees & have a choice of knocking sidewise easily onto the fairway or taking a 1% chance shot through a 2 foot gap in the trees towards the green, 99% of the time you'll score better on the hole by knocking sidewise

    These were all helpful for me coming downwards, and hopefully something there might help someone


    +1 I'll be using this advice myself (off 19).
    My problem is I hit a great drive 100m from the green and often end up with a bogey.
    Mostly coming up short of the green with the second shot, especially when playing to a green that has a drain or bunker.
    I use 4 wedges a 60deg low bounce (mostly for hard/wet sand) 56deg with bounce for chipping, 52deg for 90m shots, PW for 110m shots.

    I always come up short using the 56deg for a full or 3/4 shot very frustrating.
    Its really only useful for 40m and in for me, but I often take it out to hit a 70m shot and feck it up, lets call it a mental error.
    My lag putting is also poor so thats why I don't tend to go for the fat part of the green.
    I've got a lot of work to do now, Thanks


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,430 Ilik Urgee


    There might be a lesson in that. I'm always balls out for the green on a par 3. Hit driver driver to the 3rd in Killeen Killarney and still ended up short one day.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    Something I hadn't really thought through before the last few weeks was my putting.
    Recently I've being trying to finish my putt so if I miss its 1 ft past the hole on the high side.
    It's kinda daft but I'd been just trying to make putts with no real defined plan. When you think about there can be quite a bit of difference in the speed of two putts that still manage to go in which wouldn't be the best of plans long term.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,374 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    m r c wrote: »
    I was 1 over gross through 7
    So more than 10 under nett yeah?
    Off 24 handicap.
    You're lucky the handicap thread is closed tbh.

    If I was your caddy Id snap all your woods in half and all your irons down to your 7iron. You wouldnt have to worry about gap wedges or lob wedges either.

    I reckon you'd still come in under par, having 23 shots left for 11 holes...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    GreeBo wrote: »
    So more than 10 under nett yeah?
    Off 24 handicap.
    You're lucky the handicap thread is closed tbh.

    If I was your caddy Id snap all your woods in half and all your irons down to your 7iron. You wouldnt have to worry about gap wedges or lob wedges either.

    I reckon you'd still come in under par, having 23 shots left for 11 holes...


    Read any of my posts though. I could care less about prizes and hate being off 24 all I want is to get lower. And still after starting well I still couldn't get it over the line......


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,813 ✭✭✭ spacecoyote


    I also think that most high handicap golfers dont think about their score relative to their handicap. Always too obsessed with pars.

    If you think about it taking a player off 24.0. 12 bogeys & 6 doubles is 36 points.

    If you go around in 16 bogeys & 2 doubles you'll shoot 40 points & handicap drops to 22.4
    Then next week shoot 18 bogeys you shoot 40 & get cut to 20.8.

    This qualifies you for an esr, get cut another stroke & you're at 19.8.

    That's 4.2 strokes in 2 rounds of golf without shooting 1 single par

    Cat 4 golfers don't need pars, so don't spoil your round chasing them. If you do get one it is a bonus.

    I've tried to sell this to an uncle of mine who plays off 28, who does well to shoot 28 points. His answer is always "Yeah, you're right,but I really want to make pars". Some people will never learn though


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,374 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    m r c wrote: »
    Read any of my posts though. I could care less about prizes and hate being off 24 all I want is to get lower. And still after starting well I still couldn't get it over the line......

    Thats not starting "well" when you are off 24.
    Thats the equivalent of me shooting 7 birdies in 7 holes, at that stage I'd be using a sombrero to keep the sun out of my eyes.

    I'm going to bow out now because I'll just say something and have to card myself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,143 ✭✭✭ slingerz


    m r c wrote: »
    There has been enough talk about high handicaps on this forum so this thread is for people to discuss ways, tips and ideas as to cut out mistakes at all levels of h/c.

    I'll start, I'm off 24.1 ATM just lost .4 the last time I played, my strategy was as follows.
    I put priority on hitting the fairway off the tee, and if I missed I wanted my miss to be as near as possible. I managed to hit 9 fairways and finished with the ball I started with.
    My current thinking about missed greens is to go for the fat part of the green regardless of pin position to again attempt to take the big numbers off the card and this puts more pressure on the putter which is where it should be. Any time I manage this plan it gives me a putt at par which is never a bad thing. I've noticed that I've had a lot more of them now than before.

    It'd be great if any views to the contrary were put forward in a positive manner I'm fed up with bickering and they could be really useful to all if helpful

    i think they best thing you cuold do is practice from 7 iron to sand wedge all those different types of shots.

    my biggest obstacle is pitching and chipping. zero confidence and zero practice on it. its my first year as a member and my chipping has improved but my pitching etc is cat altogether.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    How I'm feeling about getting lower at the minute.

    This is not everyone's taste but I think Eric Thomas is a remarkable person.

    http://youtu.be/PPqprN5nrJg


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,712 ✭✭✭ alxmorgan


    My biggest issue at the moment is keeping the ball in play off the tee.
    For example last weekend I was at the range Saturday and working on driver.
    Super session and had repeatable routine and feel and drives all going well on target

    Sunday morning hooked drives on 1, 2 and 4.
    Next 4 drives were dead straight and long.
    Next hole 2 drives OOB and first ball OOB on 2 of next 3 holes.

    Its maddening to go from super to sh*te in a few holes.
    Now I don't want to talk course management here cause I know I could have put driver away after first hole or 2 or definitely after OOB hole(s) but does anyone have any thoughts on how to develop a fairway finder shot off the tee ?

    Maybe drills ? Maybe tempo thoughts ? Anything would be of interest to me.

    My feeling is that hooks are toe hits and centered contact is focus tonight at range


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,374 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    alxmorgan wrote: »
    Now I don't want to talk course management here cause I know I could have put driver away after first hole or 2 or definitely after OOB hole(s) but does anyone have any thoughts on how to develop a fairway finder shot off the tee ?

    I guess the answer depends on what club you are willing to use to find the fairway. I dont think you can talk about fairway finders without considering course management...its the same thing really. You are going to have days when you need to hit a 5i to find the fairway.

    If you are intent on hitting the driver no matter what, then try gripping down an inch or two, a shorter club is easier to use and you will find the middle of the clubface more often.

    However, a shot thats not in the middle of the club isnt going to hook or slice horribly oob on its own, so there is probably something else in there that needs to be looked at.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,712 ✭✭✭ alxmorgan


    GreeBo wrote: »
    I guess the answer depends on what club you are willing to use to find the fairway. I dont think you can talk about fairway finders without considering course management...its the same thing really. You are going to have days when you need to hit a 5i to find the fairway.

    If you are intent on hitting the driver no matter what, then try gripping down an inch or two, a shorter club is easier to use and you will find the middle of the clubface more often.

    However, a shot thats not in the middle of the club isnt going to hook or slice horribly oob on its own, so there is probably something else in there that needs to be looked at.

    You are correct of course that a true fairway finder for me is probably a 5 iron. I would not be much more confident with my 3 wood or hybrid than my driver. So I am not ruling that out but I'm not prepared to leave it in the bag as I can hit it well at times but I need to take it to the course and I can't do that without actually using it :D

    I am considering shortening the driver from 45.75 to 44 so the grip down is a fair point.

    Interesting point re toe != hook.
    How much % wise would you say a toe hit contributes to a hook and how much would be other factors such as path ?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 622 ✭✭✭ Corkblowin


    I see a lot of talk about drivers and wonder why we're all so obsessed. I've gone from hitting 14 drivers a round down to 9/10. A 3 wood is easier to hit straight, the poor shots are not as wide, and the difference in length often isn't worth talking about. Especially with the new ones where lofts can be tweaked.

    I'd suggest in the next casual game that the driver is left in the boot and see the difference it makes to FIR and consequently scoring.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,712 ✭✭✭ alxmorgan


    Corkblowin wrote: »
    I see a lot of talk about drivers and wonder why we're all so obsessed. I've gone from hitting 14 drivers a round down to 9/10. A 3 wood is easier to hit straight, the poor shots are not as wide, and the difference in length often isn't worth talking about. Especially with the new ones where lofts can be tweaked.

    I'd suggest in the next casual game that the driver is left in the boot and see the difference it makes to FIR and consequently scoring.

    Did this for a while and it helped but then lost confidence with it.
    Went back to driver for the confidence boost of the bigger head :D

    Am playing around with a 12 degree driver at the minute to try and find a happy medium


  • Registered Users Posts: 48,742 ✭✭✭✭ Wichita Lineman


    It's like every other club, if you trust your driver go with it and if you dont, then dont use it. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,374 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    Corkblowin wrote: »
    I see a lot of talk about drivers and wonder why we're all so obsessed. I've gone from hitting 14 drivers a round down to 9/10. A 3 wood is easier to hit straight, the poor shots are not as wide, and the difference in length often isn't worth talking about. Especially with the new ones where lofts can be tweaked.

    I'd suggest in the next casual game that the driver is left in the boot and see the difference it makes to FIR and consequently scoring.
    100% agree.
    I went from 12 to 5 or 6 depending on wind. Scores are deffo no worse and seem to be lower.
    The stark reality is that the further the ball goes, the more trouble it can find, even for the same quality of strike.
    Couple that with the fact that its one of the hardest clubs in the bag to hit....
    It's like every other club, if you trust your driver go with it and if you dont, then dont use it. :D

    If you have proof that it does more good than bad on each hole, then use it, otherwise done!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,732 ✭✭✭ ssbob


    Corkblowin wrote: »
    I see a lot of talk about drivers and wonder why we're all so obsessed. I've gone from hitting 14 drivers a round down to 9/10. A 3 wood is easier to hit straight, the poor shots are not as wide, and the difference in length often isn't worth talking about. Especially with the new ones where lofts can be tweaked.

    I'd suggest in the next casual game that the driver is left in the boot and see the difference it makes to FIR and consequently scoring.

    I kept the driver in the bag earlier in the year and started using 3 wood more, I definitely improved my accuracy but found instead of hitting 8/9 irons I was hitting 5/6 irons and fair enough maybe I should just have hit two full PW's I find this hard to do.

    The course that made me hit driver again was Mount Juliet as I was miles back and struggling for some of the carry's off the tee.

    Will prob revert back to 3wood/hybrid once winter tee's come into play.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,374 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    ssbob wrote: »
    I kept the driver in the bag earlier in the year and started using 3 wood more, I definitely improved my accuracy but found instead of hitting 8/9 irons I was hitting 5/6 irons and fair enough maybe I should just have hit two full PW's I find this hard to do.

    The course that made me hit driver again was Mount Juliet as I was miles back and struggling for some of the carry's off the tee.

    Will prob revert back to 3wood/hybrid once winter tee's come into play.

    Assuming you have lots of shots, if hitting a 3w off the tee means you are now struggling with a long iron to the green, then dont hit the 3W, hit a 5iron and then a 7i and then your wedge.
    If you cant comfortably make it in 2 there is no point in adding risk to the drive by hitting a 3w.

    Obviously there is a balance to all of this, but you wont find your own balance unless you try the options.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,732 ✭✭✭ ssbob


    GreeBo wrote: »
    Assuming you have lots of shots, if hitting a 3w off the tee means you are now struggling with a long iron to the green, then dont hit the 3W, hit a 5iron and then a 7i and then your wedge.

    I totally get your point, the thing for me is I am just as likely to have a penalty shot off the 5/6 iron as I am with the driver, I could prob hit 7 iron but in a lot of places I may not even make the fairway with that!

    My next round of golf will involve playing very conservative, I will report back!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,712 ✭✭✭ alxmorgan


    ssbob wrote: »
    I totally get your point, the thing for me is I am just as likely to have a penalty shot off the 5/6 iron as I am with the driver, I could prob hit 7 iron but in a lot of places I may not even make the fairway with that!

    My next round of golf will involve playing very conservative, I will report back!

    I look forward to that. Some day over the winter I am going to take a bag out with 5 iron as my biggest club and see how I go.
    We have one long par 3 over water but off winter tees it shouldn't be an issue

    Another thing I might try is taking only 3/4 clubs and seeing how I go. Will test my shotmaking ability

    Ah to be young and single and be able to play enough to try stuff out like this over multiple weekend rounds :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 622 ✭✭✭ Corkblowin


    ssbob wrote: »
    The course that made me hit driver again was Mount Juliet as I was miles back and struggling for some of the carry's off the tee.

    I can totally understand with Mount Juliet - can be a beast off some tees - esp when its wet. But thats where assessing your options comes in. Mount Juliet has plenty of holes where the fairways are wide and even if you miss its not too bad. It can be worth the calculated risk on those holes. Others (such as the 4th), possibly not.

    On Sunday I hit driver on 2 holes near the end where I normally wouldn't (line off the tee is too risky). 4 pars to finish would have been 35 points so I decided to go for broke & try to birdie them. Ended up with 32 points. Took the gamble and paid the price - its how I saw it at the time.

    Probably could do with some of Greebo's discipline (or stubborness!:D)

    GreeBo wrote: »
    I do grip it and rip it...its much easier to rip it when you are confident that you are hitting the right club and arent trying to steer it down the fairway

    This is the most important thing - I can't count the number of times I've 'fallen asleep' on a lay-up. Its an 'easy' shot so the mind can wander & bang - you're in trouble. What ever you decide to do, be committed!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,732 ✭✭✭ ssbob


    Corkblowin wrote: »
    I can totally understand with Mount Juliet - can be a beast off some tees - esp when its wet. But thats where assessing your options comes in. Mount Juliet has plenty of holes where the fairways are wide and even if you miss its not too bad. It can be worth the calculated risk on those holes. Others (such as the 4th), possibly not.


    Well the fourth is a great hole but a beast of a drive(I played it twice in early April), I actually laid up both times I think even after getting drives away! What a hole?

    Where are you a member Corkblowin? Trying to imagine the finishing stretch you talk about?


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