Handicap Improvements - Your story

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Ryder Cup Winner
Jun 20, 2010
Croydon, Surrey
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I was 11.4 mid November and after a few lessons and range sessions I’m back to 10.3, despite not playing a great deal over Christmas and January.

I’m hoping to be back into the high 9’s by may.

Shooter McPowick

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Apr 2, 2016
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Learned to play golf on the school field with an old Bronty 6i a friend of mine gave to me in 1988 aged 11. Bought a Bronty PW from Makro as it soon became apparent you only needed a PW for the school field.

First set of clubs were hand me downs from my uncle, a total mixed bag - still not good enough to set foot on a golf course. Aged 14 I joined Hagley golf club as a junior, first handicap was 21 got down to 14 by the time I left school.

Didn’t golf for nearly 20 years but picked it back up again in 2016, first handicap coincidentally 14 again, today I’m 7.1

Hours and hours on the school field chipping to holes dug with bare hands meant my short game has always been my strongest point. I can count on one hand how many lessons I’ve had over the years and only one was worthwhile. This was on being able to strike and compress irons properly.

May sound silly but in the famous words of Gary Player, “the more I play the luckier I get”. I have time now to play twice a week and since then my handicap has trended downwards. I reckon if I could just find the time to have a short game session and a range session once a week on top of the 2 rounds I could get down below five quite easily. My biggest downfall is putting, but I never practice it because I find it boring.


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Aug 24, 2020
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Think my first handicap index was 22 or thereabouts, just the season WHS came in. I knew it was always going to drop a bit as I was capable but just needed to have a few good days, it has certainly dropped overall since but it has fluctuated and last year it actually climbed up the way again after a horrible year on the golf course itself where I stank it up and regressed massively up until a small purple patch around July where I managed to get it back to where I was.

Lowest it's been in the 4 years I've held it was 15. Currently at 16.6 however I am hoping and anticipating a significant drop this year, as I'm absolutely striping the ball these days through finally finding a coach that is working wonders with me and getting me in a better place.

Around my home club this year my scores have been mid to high 70's which is great but with the caveat of mats, and when I've went elsewhere around mid to low 80's depending on weather conditions. When the season kicks off proper and we warm up a bit will be the real test of all the work I've put in.

I'm really anticipating a good year this year where I make significant progress in reducing that hcp, I'm not sure I can take another year of regressing or sitting around the same level since I've put in so much effort and energy into practicing.
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Sep 11, 2011
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First hit a golf ball in July ‘68, age 9, Wilton GC. Knocked it around a school field for a couple of years then started playing properly around 1970 at Mold GC - it was a 9 holes back then. Got my first handicap, 18, around ‘72 and was off 14 a week later.

My last handicap was 6, when I played my last competitive round a couple of years ago. Picked up a few prizes on the day but the arthritis was just too painful. Not played since but the itch is still there.

What did I do to improve down the years? In the early years it was hours and hours playing, sometimes up to 54 holes in a day. Then it was Golf Monthly/World articles + instructional books. Had my first lesson in the 80’s, and had quite a few since.