Played with sub scratch golfer yesterday

harpo_72

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Yesterday we had a breezy 14mph wind from the north east and I was playing with a county amateur golfer.
It was very interesting, ball flight was very high with the driver - down wind was in excess of 340yards etc
A comment he made that had me thinking , was the course penalised 5-15 handicap golfers simply because of the bunker placement from the tee and there was no dangers for longer hitters. Which is something that I have mentioned on this forum but this statement was made without any prompting.
He also said that the wind also made it really hard to make birdies as well, which my low partner said as well, although when I was low I made them either way ( 25 years ago) .. do you think that is due to the game changing?
 

sunshine

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A comment he made that had me thinking , was the course penalised 5-15 handicap golfers simply because of the bunker placement from the tee and there was no dangers for longer hitters.

My course is the same. The fairway bunkers are generally around 240-250 off the tee. The good golfers carry them no problem and the high handicappers can't reach them.
 

chico

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Surely the whole point is to avoid hazards. If your handicap is between 5-15 I would think they're more than capable of plotting their way round without truly being penalised. Better course management is probably the answer for most of them.
 

harpo_72

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Surely the whole point is to avoid hazards. If your handicap is between 5-15 I would think they're more than capable of plotting their way round without truly being penalised. Better course management is probably the answer for most of them.
Well you can hit away but it’s always a bottle neck with another opportunity to wrack up a score, or you can lay up and have a 180+ yarder into a small upturned saucer green ( not many tiered ones to help you out)
 

chico

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Well you can hit away but it’s always a bottle neck with another opportunity to wrack up a score, or you can lay up and have a 180+ yarder into a small upturned saucer green ( not many tiered ones to help you out)
Thats my point, 180 yards is two wedges to the green. That's what handicap golfers get shots for.
 

harpo_72

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Thats my point, 180 yards is two wedges to the green. That's what handicap golfers get shots for.
But I don’t want them, I want the 150yards in as I can make them all day. I have upped my driving distance and I have improved my dispersion from 170yards in.
But you can imagine the boredom of not being able to get in the mix because you have 3or 4 holes that literally shut you down and none that challenge these long boys.
 

chico

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But I don’t want them, I want the 150yards in as I can make them all day. I have upped my driving distance and I have improved my dispersion from 170yards in.
But you can imagine the boredom of not being able to get in the mix because you have 3or 4 holes that literally shut you down and none that challenge these long boys.
I can understand your frustration but ultimately that's the challenge of golf better players will find the course easier than higher h/c golfers. That's why we get shots the clever part is to use the shots and not let frustration wreck the card.
 

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Surely the whole point is to avoid hazards. If your handicap is between 5-15 I would think they're more than capable of plotting their way round without truly being penalised. Better course management is probably the answer for most of them.
Please don’t take this as having a go a you personally but this statement and your one about a couple of wedges to a green really get my back up as a low teen handicapper! Like we can just choose to avoid hazards and I can hit a regular random bad shot with a wedge as I can with any club in the bag. Also just taking one more shot to a green would use more than my handicap more often than not in my personal experience.

rant over :)
 

RichA

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If you want to make your scorecard look better than your ability, you could always play off the forward tees.
I'm a high-teens handicapper - not as good as you. I kind of figured that golf is supposed to be challenging and I'm supposed to be trying to improve, rather than looking for ways that golf can make itself easier for me.
 

Tashyboy

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I was talking to a pal a couple of weeks ago and he was on about the bunkers at our place. He mentioned and I had never realised. Every fairway bunker on our course is on the RHS. Now most players I know hit with a fade, if you hit with distance you are in trouble. But the better players that hit with a draw they are a waste of time. But surely it penalises left hand players more. Why would you design a course with bunkers down one side ?
 

chico

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Please don’t take this as having a go a you personally but this statement and your one about a couple of wedges to a green really get my back up as a low teen handicapper! Like we can just choose to avoid hazards and I can hit a regular random bad shot with a wedge as I can with any club in the bag. Also just taking one more shot to a green would use more than my handicap more often than not in my personal experience.

rant over :)
I'm a mid h/c myself, my point is about managing your round. If the bunkers are within driving range, don't use a driver. My point about two wedges what would you do in that scenario? If you think your capable of going for the green from 180 surely your capable of hitting two wedges.
 

harpo_72

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If you want to make your scorecard look better than your ability, you could always play off the forward tees.
I'm a high-teens handicapper - not as good as you. I kind of figured that golf is supposed to be challenging and I'm supposed to be trying to improve, rather than looking for ways that golf can make itself easier for me.
The point is make the course a challenge for all , make them stand on the tee and think okay there is trouble at 280 like I think there is trouble at 230/240 .. the problem is we get huge distance and spraying the game is more than just trying to smash it .. it’s about adjusting the flight and shot shaping.
I know the new drivers let you thrash at it, back in the day you could manipulate the swing to get a flight shape with ease. Today you have to be pretty extreme- it hides a multitude of rubbish.
Call me controversial but a low single from 20years + ago is better than a + handicapper of today. If I have to explain to a lad that into the wind he has to drop the flight shed the spin to get the ball going forward .. is this guy going to be able to hit a 3,4,5 iron properly , probably not as all they do is hit wedges
 

harpo_72

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I was talking to a pal a couple of weeks ago and he was on about the bunkers at our place. He mentioned and I had never realised. Every fairway bunker on our course is on the RHS. Now most players I know hit with a fade, if you hit with distance you are in trouble. But the better players that hit with a draw they are a waste of time. But surely it penalises left hand players more. Why would you design a course with bunkers down one side ?
There is a misnomer that bad players fade it, left handed can live with a fade all day long around most course .. it’s just a percentage game . But the reality is just have a consistent shot shape ( Nicklaus refers to it as your bread and butter shot) set up your target for it and play it .. bunkers down one side don’t bother me if I have room down the other .. now I am thinking I could play a fade on this one hole or I might take less club off the tee and set it at the bunkers and draw it in hoping it doesn’t run out into the gorse
 

sweaty sock

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Couple things

1. The course rating is heavily impacted by hazards at 250 yards from the tee, as its where most scratch golfers carry. This is what goes a long way to determaning slope.

2. Plus golfers make up less than 1% of players in the UK. So its not really a huge distraction.
 

RichA

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The point is make the course a challenge for all , make them stand on the tee and think okay there is trouble at 280 like I think there is trouble at 230/240 .. the problem is we get huge distance and spraying the game is more than just trying to smash it .. it’s about adjusting the flight and shot shaping.
I know the new drivers let you thrash at it, back in the day you could manipulate the swing to get a flight shape with ease. Today you have to be pretty extreme- it hides a multitude of rubbish.
Call me controversial but a low single from 20years + ago is better than a + handicapper of today. If I have to explain to a lad that into the wind he has to drop the flight shed the spin to get the ball going forward .. is this guy going to be able to hit a 3,4,5 iron properly , probably not as all they do is hit wedges
I get it and most courses were laid out when good club golfers probably weren't even trying to carry a 240 yard bunker. Even now, I don't believe that an average golfer is realistically thinking they're going to.
Par 4s aren't supposed to be a drive, a chip and 2 putts for a mid-handicap golfer. I should be managing my expectations and expecting the chip to be my 3rd shot.
Having said that, I'm as guilty as anyone else at going for it, hoping for the best and blaming the course design when I walk off with a 7.
 

evemccc

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We all view holes and courses differently - there are those who like penal courses where good shots are rewarded and poor ones penalised, and there are those who like strategic courses who like you to make a decision in your club choice and shot shape

To me good holes offer a bail-out off the tee, rather than the more difficult ‘ideal’ line. With the previso that the next shot is more difficult. Risk/Reward. I’ve not played it but the Old Course is supposed to be like this. Right off the tee is where the danger is, but, if you’ve avoided it, you’re rewarded with the best angle to the pin or the best place to put from

If your course ‘penalises’ 5-15 H/cappers, then IMO that is probably because that’s where most members are, or aspire to be. It’s a ‘strategic’ hole for the majority of its members, and ‘rewards’ excellent shots from the few scratch golfers who carry the hazards
 

harpo_72

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We all view holes and courses differently - there are those who like penal courses where good shots are rewarded and poor ones penalised, and there are those who like strategic courses who like you to make a decision in your club choice and shot shape

To me good holes offer a bail-out off the tee, rather than the more difficult ‘ideal’ line. With the previso that the next shot is more difficult. Risk/Reward. I’ve not played it but the Old Course is supposed to be like this. Right off the tee is where the danger is, but, if you’ve avoided it, you’re rewarded with the best angle to the pin or the best place to put from

If your course ‘penalises’ 5-15 H/cappers, then IMO that is probably because that’s where most members are, or aspire to be. It’s a ‘strategic’ hole for the majority of its members, and ‘rewards’ excellent shots from the few scratch golfers who carry the hazards
Well the interesting part was the wind levelled it, we all lost distance but the distance to these bunkers was enough to catch him out with his high flight. I think he could have still carried them if he knew how to play a lower trajectory drilled shot. But then as I have stated if these guys just use length they have a mono dimensional game and the course requires to teach them more .. I understand it’s difficult to cater for all, I know at Ellesborough the old boys were in trouble when the carry off the tee had to be 100yards .. but they had senior competitions that could use different tees.
What we are finding is a lot of low handicap players are joining my club, simply because it allows them to get lower by not penalising them. I also see frustration from good golfers who play really well but cannot score against a guy who is using a wedge or less for all his 2nd shots .. they will have under par rounds but these guys are averaging 5 or 6 shots under unless the wind does it’s business
 
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I quite like what appears to be more USA style, the better(sometimes including longer) hitters play from tees further back to bring hazards into play.

For a guy like you played with, other than scoring well, the course is not asking him enough questions. Ie. can he hit 'the' shot rather than the bunkers arent in play even on a bad shot for that guy, whereas it is asking you the question.

I tend to enjoy the courses that ask me loads of questions, as I dont really care about the scores.

Or personally I would like to see changes with regards to the ball and ensure it flys say 15% less than currently and play the courses nearer to how they were designed for the length/shapes etc of the hole.
 
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