Does the winter course spoil us?

brendy

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Heres one for the thinkers amongst us.
All the way through the off season, or winter if you will, I have been consistantly breaking my handicap. Now, I believe the forward tees do make the course feel short however, I am also of the mind that because our course gets wet during the winter the ball does not bounce at all, in fact virtually every drive I hit today stopped within 12 inches of its bounce/plug mark. This would also give the impression that the course is all carry meaning it is actually averaging itself out. The only advantage I can see in this weather is that a rapidly stopping ball cannot run any further into trouble/rough.

I believe I am better at target golf in this way rather than hitting a shot and expecting it to run 20 yards to its intended destination. So as I said, I have been easily breaking my (slightly high due to a bad year for golf, new child and no practice) handicap by a fair margin. For example Each sunday I play in a large group of gents from our club called the Polar Bears, usually around 70-90 of us that brave whatever weather and play for fun but prizes weekly and end of winter finals night. It has been so bad that starting from my 9 handicap in December they had cut me to 6.5 then down to 4.5 last week and now after my second consecutive round of 72 I am expecting to get cut again (in this competition you only get cut if you are in the top 3 places weekly or if you win the gross which I have done also previously, you are given a +1 for the gross players.
After that essay, what are peoples views on this kind of game, is it my game that has improved or is the course playing 6-8 shots easier? I have pasted my last two rounds average (only downloaded ss2 last week) My previous few weeks before this have also been around the 72-75 area.

Key stats for Brendy (Hcap: 9)
Gross Avge Score: 72 par 71
Fairways Hit: 61% (Hcap Std: 6)
Greens In Reg: 58% (Hcap Std: 2)
Putts Per Round: 31.00 (Hcap Std: 6)
Sand Saves: 0% (Hcap Std: 28+)
Birdie Conversion: 33% (Hcap Std: ** Pro **)
Par Scrambles: 47% (Hcap Std: 3)
Driving Distance: 265 (Hcap Std: 1)
Penalties Per Round: 0.00 (Hcap Std: ** Pro **)

Rounds Recorded: 2
 

RGuk

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War and Peace.....it's a good read.

I get your drift though....

Pro standard penalties.....what a load of rubbish.....I haven't taken a penalty drop in ages.....still can't make single figures!!!
 

John_Findlay

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I agree with you, Brendy. The course can often play easier in the winter despite playing longer (on links courses at least). You'll miss less fairways through rolling into the rough and can aim dead on the pin. It's usually just the extra wind and bumpier greens that cause the problem.
 

TonyN

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Swings and roundabouts i think. Was thinkin today, have only played winter golf (started in oct) so i think when i play in summer the fairways are gonna be tighter when the tree's leaf up. All those shots i chance through branches will stand no chance when the leaves have grown!

No carry but prefered lie's/shorter tee's, like i said swings and roundabouts.
 

nackanut

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i hope this is not the case. have just enjoyed breaking 90 three times in the last four weeks and the handicap coming down three to 23. hoping that the new season brings continued improvement but get the drift about the 5-35 yard difference on tee boxes.
 

HomerJSimpson

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Winter golf is easier in my opinion particularly for straight (not necessarily long) hitters who then have an advantage with pick and place. Nothing better on a long par 5 than hitting a good drive, cleaning it and putting on a nice tuft ready to give it a crack at the green with a 3 wood.

In general terms (I can only speak for my course) I find that some of the long par 4's (410-430 yards) are all out of reach but as I get shots they are in "banker" pile where I'm looking for net pars and 2 points.

I find the bigger problems are the par 3's (we have 2 over 210 yards) and these are difficult to hit because a) their length b) no roll c) they are very tight.

As we are quite fortunate with drainage we rarely use mats and temprary greens so the course always plays its full length even in howling gales and driving rain. Makes it a fair challenge. Indeed I won the December stableford with 36 points and the nearest challenger had 34.

As a result some of our guys handicaps go up over by maybe a single shot or two at most between October and March but most will not change too much (most seem to score in the buffer zone).

In essence winter golf does not spoil me (wish I could get my handicap up - might play to it then!!). It challenges us and makes us embrace this futile sport even more warmly as it means we can still get out and play the game we love
 

billyg

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What the lord giveth with one hand - he taketh away with the other(or something like that)

Winter plus - more stop on the green

winter minus- more stop on the fairway, mud and clag on ball and gear, aquaplaning ball on green

summer plus- more run on the fairway, better lies, truer roll on the greens

summer minus- less forgiveness when firing at the pin, tigher lies on marginal ground

when the weather turns and everything dries out i'm going to have to re-think my distances, be more conservative with my tee shots (or straighten 'em out) and try and add some flop type shot to the arsenal of weapons for stop over greenside bunkers.

oh... and I must remember to turn away sharpish after a bunker splash. It's been so long since ive seen any dry sand I almost forgot about that.

On balance would expect to score better in summer as i'll weigh about 2 stone less from all the layers I have to wear at this time of year alone
 

Basher

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You don't get the carry in winter, obviously the course is much wetter and softer, hence the dead stops.
Divots are taken far easily due to the nature of the sift turf.

When summer arrives and the courses dry out you'll notice the far longer carries. The deft chips and pitches will have a certain amount of run with them.
You'll also find the club bounces instead of taking those deep divots.

I have to say that winter tees generally play closer to the pin. Winter greens are closer also. Maybe it is an easier game in the winter. It still doesn't detract from the enjoyment I get from the game, even if it is much colder and wetter.
 

McCojac

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I'm fortunate at the moment my present home club(Tidworth) has excellent drainage and the difference between winter and summer run out is negligible therefore theirs no difference on length. Maybe the greens are a wee bit more receptive however the biggest difference during the winter is that most of the time I can afford to miss the fairway as the rough thats knee high in the summer is dead and pretty short and your unlucky if you can't attack the pin whereas in the summer your relieved just to find your ball and it's a bonus if you can get it back out into play.
 

GB72

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Certainly a bit nervous about the greens at my new club come the summer. Am only just getting used to the pace of them now and appartently they become alot quicker over the summer months. Looks like I will be spending alot of time on the putting green as the weather improves.
 

viscount17

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winter rough is generally low, though tufts are denser

winter - trying for a divot in heavy ground can leave your club sticking out!

winter - sightlines are easier due to lack of growth

winter greens are much more variable, some are like sponges

winter - flooded cups, picking your ball out of icy cold water is not the reward you want for the perfect putt.
 

billyg

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winter - flooded cups, picking your ball out of icy cold water is not the reward you want for the perfect putt.

If you use a blade then with a bit of practice it's possible to flip the ball out with the putters 'nose'. Pretty sure I saw a pro do this once as a sort of trick but it's just as good for saving your hand the plunge pool experience :rolleyes:
 

Parmo

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Our fairways and rough as generally the same thing at the moment so summer golf will be far better for me, also the extra roll and carry will be nice and should give me an extra 20 yards on my driving. I must say this my first winter has taken some getting used to, spesh when its close to freezing and having to take an extra club to shots to get your distance.

Someone told me once that if you can play good in winter, summer will be a doddle, I am just keeping my fingers crossed.
 

MVP

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One thing that i don't like about winter golf is the state everything gets in!

Mud on my trousers, Loads of mud on my clubs my bag gets Muddy, everything gets wet(head covers currently on radiator!)
Having to clean the ball loads, glasses Steaming up! etc......

Also the rough gets twice as bad when it is wet, although i agree it has tended to be a little shorter!
I much prefer summer, Mainly because you can stay cleaner while playing! Relax a bit more in more comfortable clothes!
and my drives go 20yrds+further
 

jim8flog

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Winter golf for me means about 10 to 20 yards off my iron distances which negates any shortening of the course but we only have a 3 holes where there is a significant difference in length.

My biggest problem with winter golf is the slowness of the greens and last winter all the disease causing a lot of bare spots.

There was a time when all my handicap cuts came in winter, mainly due to the softness of the greens and it was just fire at the flag all day long.
 

jim8flog

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It has been so bad that starting from my 9 handicap in December they had cut me to 6.5 then down to 4.5 last week and now after my second consecutive round of 72 I am expecting to get cut again (in this competition you only get cut if you are in the top 3 places weekly or if you win the gross which I have done also previously, you are given a +1 for the gross players.
After that essay, what are peoples views on this kind of game, is it my game that has improved or is the course playing 6-8 shots easier? I have pasted my last two rounds average (only downloaded ss2 last week) My previous few weeks before this have also been around the 72-75 area.

I presume that is your swindle handicap and not your CONGU handicap.
 
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