Playing “Smart”

njt1986

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It’s good to read the way you guys think/approach your rounds. I probably just need to adjust my mentality and try to get more enjoyment from a low score, rather than individual shots.

Though, as i'm a casual golfer (I play maybe once or twice a month at best due to work/home commitments) I tend to just try to have a laugh with my mates when I play. I might spend my rounds taking my time on shots and trying to play safe more. When I play safe/smart my scores lower dramatically, and i'm generally not too far off my friends who a low double-digit handicap players. Interesting how some play more balls-out in practice rounds then play safer in comps etc. - I find it so hard to switch my mindset into that safety mode, it takes a hell of a lot of effort to rain myself in and put my 3W away and pull out a 5i and lay up haha
 

brendy

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It all depends, Ive gone round RCD with a driving iron and shot a decent score. Ive played my local place with same and had both blinders and awful rounds. sometimes it comes down to playing the shot required. Occassionally wind and conditions don't lend themselves to the shot you want to hit and this is where law of averages comes in, or Harry Callahan as we call it in our fourball (A mini Dirty harry on your shoulder uttering "A mans got to know his limitations!").Play it with no regrets, I've come round to this mindset this past while and the handicap has come back down to 6.8 from a peak of 11.5 at one point a few years ago with zero practice time. If I think I can play a shot the majority times out of ten and not make a complete balls of the job Ill play it, if it fails, I don't lose heart any more. I tried safe shots and still made a horlicks of them, people talking about their "go to shot" still makes me laugh.
 

User20204

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Today, on a hole I've had major issues with for years I wound myself in and took 3 wood off the tee instead of usual driver. Hit it exactly where I wanted it, over the trees with a good carry...should be perfect I thought, even seen it bounce. Gets up, couldn't see it on the fairway, nor the semi..ffs...then one of my PP's says here it is. 20 yards in to the thick stuff :eek:

Forgot to legislate for frozen fairways and a 50 yard first bounce :ROFLMAO: only hole I didn't score a point on :mad:
 

Curls

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OP the thing to consider is that most folk off lower handicaps have the game to score from difficult positions pretty often.

If someone off a higher handicap finds themselves 200 out in a suspect lie they might think “ok if i go for the green I can make it, if I don’t and lay up I still might take 3 to get down”. A lower h/c player will think “yeah that lie sucks I can’t trust it’s coming out clean, punch it sideways to 100 yards, stick the next one dead, take par or at worst bogey and move on”.

Different mindset. It eliminates huge numbers but relies on the ability to get that bogey back somewhere else. It’s not the same thought process. You are absolutely correct that playing within yourself and “conservatively” is how to keep big score appearing but if you want to be better, score better, you’ll need to learn to hit better shots so that you have a game with the consistency to allow you to play conservatively when the situation demands it. And you can do that cos the rest of the time you’re giving yourself plenty birdie opportunities, some of which you’ll convert. You won’t get down to a low handicap until you’re rattling in your share of birdies, no matter how many trebles you’re avoiding.
 

patricks148

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OP the thing to consider is that most folk off lower handicaps have the game to score from difficult positions pretty often.

If someone off a higher handicap finds themselves 200 out in a suspect lie they might think “ok if i go for the green I can make it, if I don’t and lay up I still might take 3 to get down”. A lower h/c player will think “yeah that lie sucks I can’t trust it’s coming out clean, punch it sideways to 100 yards, stick the next one dead, take par or at worst bogey and move on”.

Different mindset. It eliminates huge numbers but relies on the ability to get that bogey back somewhere else. It’s not the same thought process. You are absolutely correct that playing within yourself and “conservatively” is how to keep big score appearing but if you want to be better, score better, you’ll need to learn to hit better shots so that you have a game with the consistency to allow you to play conservatively when the situation demands it. And you can do that cos the rest of the time you’re giving yourself plenty birdie opportunities, some of which you’ll convert. You won’t get down to a low handicap until you’re rattling in your share of birdies, no matter how many trebles you’re avoiding.
spot on
 

garyinderry

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Higher handicaps also tend to find themselves 200 or more yards out a lot more than the lower guys.

One of the best things I did when playing off 18 was bin the 3wood. Too many times I would try to rescue a poor tee shot and end up running up a massive score on the hole. I just took the temptation out of my hands.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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A Tommy Armour tip that I try and follow...

Play the shot you’ve got the greatest chance of playing well, and play the shot that makes the next shot easy.
 

pendodave

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Higher handicaps also tend to find themselves 200 or more yards out a lot more than the lower guys.

One of the best things I did when playing off 18 was bin the 3wood. Too many times I would try to rescue a poor tee shot and end up running up a massive score on the hole. I just took the temptation out of my hands.
It's amazing how many high handicap golfers swear that their 3wood and their 60deg wedge are the best clubs in their bags... they're pretty good putters too...
The disconnect between perception and reality is directly proportional to h/c.
 
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