Handicap Improvements - Your story

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Slab

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I'm impressed that people can remember their scores and handicaps from so long ago! Without looking I couldn't remember scores from last year, and certainly couldn't visualise what I did in the round to make that score.
I'm impressed that people can remember their scores and handicaps from so long ago! Without looking I couldn't remember scores from last year, and certainly couldn't visualise what I did in the round to make that score.

Not surprised you can't remember scores. Look what you posted an hour ago! ;)
 

Imurg

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I'm impressed that people can remember their scores and handicaps from so long ago! Without looking I couldn't remember scores from last year, and certainly couldn't visualise what I did in the round to make that score.
You need some memory training....you posted this at 11am this morning...... :ROFLMAO:
 

BiMGuy

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I'm impressed that people can remember their scores and handicaps from so long ago! Without looking I couldn't remember scores from last year, and certainly couldn't visualise what I did in the round to make that score.
Im not surprised. You can’t even remember making the same post an hour ago 😂

I can vividly remember details of rounds of golf and conversations from 20 odd years ago. But I’m not quite sure why I just came downstairs 🤣
 

Junior

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Played in cricket club society days and dabbled at the driving range.

Joined a club when my knees packed in and got my first handicap of 17.0. Went up to 17.4 before it started to come down.

Levelled out at 4/5 for a few years but a ton of lessons and practise has got me to my lowest at the end of last season which is 2.1. Feels like I’ll need to do something special to keep it there.
 

Swango1980

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I'm impressed that people can remember their scores and handicaps from so long ago! Without looking I couldn't remember scores from last year, and certainly couldn't visualise what I did in the round to make that score.
I know a guy who I used to play golf with, but who hasn't played golf in a decade. Yet if I met him out somewhere, he'd remember every shot he played in the last round we played. He is one of those types that, after a round if he was asked how he'd played, he would take you through it hole by hole, shot by shot.
 

louise_a

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I first started when I was about 16, playing a bit at the local municipal, stopped playing in my early 20s, then hardly played apart from the rare invite to a golf day through work.

Did not play at all between the early 90s and 2012 when I retired and started playing to fill my days.

Joined a club and got a handicap of 34, at the end of the 2022 season I was at my lowest handicap of 7.8, now at 9.6.

I mainly improved through lessons
 

wjemather

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I've always been hitting balls with sticks, starting with cricket. Got my first homemade golf club when I was about 5 or 6 - it was fashioned out of a lump of wood and a fishing rod with a brass faceplate. We used to visit the pitch and putt occasionally, but proper golf started when I bought a half set out of the paper with the money I earned working at The Open in 1988. Me and a couple of mates soon started playing on Saturday's at Blackpool Park municipal - there was no advance booking back then, so my mate and his dad (who lived closest) used to queue up from before dawn to get us a tee time before midday. I joined Lancaster the following year and got my first handicap - 18.0.

I've never had any lessons; just read magazines and tried to copy what I saw on TV; I also had a couple of books - would recommend Tommy Armour's How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time, which I lent to my uncle when he started playing and never saw again. Spent many hours on the practice area during the summers and was down to 12 (probably would have been about 8 or 9 if I'd played more than just a handful of junior comps) when I started work, moved to Bristol and no longer had the time or money for golf.

Took up the game again about 20 years ago, joined a club and got my new handicap of 5.0. I never regained any enthusiasm for practice though, so don't do any aside from a bit a chipping and putting before a round. Been as low as +0.9 a couple of years ago, when we won a couple of county scratch events, but wrist and back injuries have seen that creep back to the high side of 0.
 
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Crow

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I started playing with my dad and older brother around 1978 at the local 9 hole course. We just hacked it round and kept our own scores and never entered a club comp so didn't have a handicap.
A few years later me and my dad joined a different course and decided to get handicaps, I was given 18, but we still didn't enter a competition and so my handicap never changed.

In 1987 I acquired a mortgage and not long after that I was married with children. Golf stopped for a number of years.

About 2006 I rejoined the previous club where I had my handicap and put some cards in, I can't remember what handicap I was given but somewhere around 17. I started to enter competitions and had some successes and the handicap slowly came down to a low of 8.
I've had lessons which made some improvements but no matter how hard I try the same old swing faults won't go away. Two of the main culprits are; being across the line at the top of the backswing and lack of body turn on the downswing. I read books and watch YouTube for tips but have accepted that my swing faults are with me for life.

In 2016 I saw a YouTube video where two Pros played with old clubs from the 1970s and earlier. It looked great fun so I arranged a small meet on the forum at Whittington Heath and I was hooked. Strayed into hickory too and found myself enjoying golf more and more. I wanted to play competitions with the old clubs and realised that the only way I could do this fairly would be to only use old clubs in comp rounds so from 2018 that's all I've done.

I was initially frustrated that this was pushing up my handicap, along with a health scare, but then I had an epiphany and realised "It's not all about the score", which has been my motto ever since.

I still try my best in competitions but no longer get too worried about my handicap index, currently 13.5
 

Mel Smooth

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One thing I definitely need to do this year is play more. Just checked on EG, and my 20th counting score is from September 2022 !!
 

jim8flog

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I first started to play in 1977

Lessons from the off.

Joined a local 9 hole par 3 course given a handicap of 22 although I was a lot better than that, around that time my best was a 6 over on full length 9 hole course.

Joined my current club in 1986 and they just gave me the 22 handicap, continued with lessons for years. Within a year down to 14-16 where I stayed until 1990. It was in 1990 that I saw my biggest improvement 16 down to 8 during the summer.

Low of 5 (SSS 3under par) but a very realistic 5.5 to 6.5 for about 15 years

One of the things for me is that I had been putting on a full length municipal putting 'park' from about the age of 6.
 

garyinderry

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Started on a pitch and putt course attached to my dad's work (dupont) when I was really young. Hacked about there every now and again with him. Had a wee half set of blades, sw and driver. The course was just mowed and was filled with sapling trees. It's all over grown now and makes me sad when I drive past.
Eventually played a short 9 hole course that was really tough as it had tress and bushes surrounding the course than just ate balls.
Only played now and again as I grew a little older. Couple times a year if that.
In secondary school me and my friends would play the very odd game around this 9 hole course. Again nothing serious. Just grab and hit.
When I was on work placement at uni I joined the work society and won it.
The following season I joined a club (2009) and was given an 18 handicap.
Have had a handful of lessons in the time since. Mostly prefer to pick up tips from YouTube and try to make them fit my swing.
Handicaps at pretty much an all time low at the minute. 3.8
Mate asked me at the range have I any targets for this year. Ideally I'd like to chip away at that but keeping it there will also be a challenge.
Time will tell.
 

DeanoMK

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I genuinely couldn't tell you when my first ever 18 was, my family and I moved to Milton Keynes in 1995 and lived really close to the 17th at Abbey Hill GC - so I definitely had the opportunity to play but I always played football, from junior to adult. If I had to guess I was probably 23 or 24 years old and probably had a 'society' handicap around that.

Once I started playing properly it was always at an 18/19 handicap - the biggest single cut I can remember was on a weekend away with friends when I shot a very hungover nine over par, the first time I'd ever shot in the 70s and my lowest ever gross.

My first official handicap was 14, and I've basically been stuck at that index since, I was briefly down at 12.4 two years ago.
 

sjw

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I started proper September 2021, didn't put in cards for the best part of two years and my initial handicap was 16.4. It's now up to 18.4 by virtue of the fact that there is no -2 adjustment any more as I have 8(?) cards in. Typically I score worse than that unfortunately, more like a 20, and I come away from a round either feeling like I have loads of potential, or feeling like I am no closer to improvement!!
 

Bdill93

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I started proper September 2021, didn't put in cards for the best part of two years and my initial handicap was 16.4. It's now up to 18.4 by virtue of the fact that there is no -2 adjustment any more as I have 8(?) cards in. Typically I score worse than that unfortunately, more like a 20, and I come away from a round either feeling like I have loads of potential, or feeling like I am no closer to improvement!!

You'll be down to 15 this summer. Keep grinding and it'll come!
 
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Voyager EMH

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I played pitch and putt on Thornes Park Wakefield 18 hole course.
Started at Barnsley municipal in 1970 with a notional 54 handicap off reds for the under 12s.
Told to mark a card every round and get down to 36 to play in junior comps. Didn't quite make it that year.
Got to 36 early 1971 and broke 100 in May (par 68 and not yet 11 years old)
27 by end of 1971, but then moved to Swansea and joined Pennard. Found this much more of a challenge than Barnsley municipal and made no progress to handicap.
Moved to Leicester in Autumn 1972 and had just about grown out of the cut down hickories that my dad had fashioned for me.
Played a few courses in Leicestershire in 1973 and dad got me some Dunlop Blue Flash Junior size clubs.
Joined a club for start of 1974. I could just about play to 27 from mens tees by then with the bigger clubs and having grown. 13 going on 14 for that year.

End of 1974 handicap was 21 and I was experimenting with my dad's full size clubs occasionally.
1975 saw me using the full-sized clubs towards the end of the year and I got down to 18.
1976 I got down to 10.
1977 I was off 5 by July using my dad's 1969 Slazenger Ambassador woods and irons.

Did not play much from 1979 to 1988. Played football. Teammates voted me player of the year Ratby FC 1988/89.
Then started playing golf again that summer and gave up football during the 89/90 season.
Won the club championship in 1991.

Been as low as 2.8 under the previous system.
WHS first allocation was 4.1. Been as low as 2.3 and as high as 5.3. Currently 4.3.

Never had a lesson, just read books and watched other good amateur players.
 

Bratty

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only had 1 lesson in my life but the improvements have been through playing and practicing more and have some idea of how to chip/pitch as that had always been my weakness.
Some people would argue you still don't have an idea how to chip...! 😘
 
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