Crappyshack - The 25's and Up

Following on from the “How good are you at golf” thread, and another I started about how people deal with High Handicappers at their local, I thought it’d be a good idea to gather all of those who are high on both enthusiasm and handicap to share their progress and thoughts.

Welcome, one all, to the Crappyshack. Think “Chasing Scratch”, but where the aim is the elusive rounds under 100.

What are you working on? Had any success stories that you wouldn’t want to shout about anywhere else on the forum because, frankly, the idea of admitting your pride of hitting a par 5 in regulation is too embarrassing to admit?

So we’re not excluding those of you who are of a higher skill level, does anyone have any tips for those of us at the other end golf skill continuum, or tales of when you were abilities were less chiseled than they are now?

I’ll kick it off - I’m 32 and just joined my first club. I’ve always dabbled in golf having been pretty sporty in general, but in the last year or so started trying harder to improve. I’ve had a number of lessons, so I’m getting better and know what to work on when I’m down the range, and I’m currently working on shallowing the back swing, and trying to get my hands in front of the ball at impact. Also bought a new putter as I was using a relic from the 80s that had been handed down to me.

I’ve only broken 100 once due to the odd hole or 5 during a round when I just blow up. Having said that, I’ve parred SI 1 at my club the last 3 times I’ve played, so I’ve got it in me somewhere. Last round was 108, where it was just so windy that no one else was out there. I did however manage to keep the same ball all the way round, which was a first, so if I can do something similar in better conditions then hopefully I’ll be in for a decent round.

In terms of handicap, I haven’t yet got an official one. In the next couple of months I’m going to get down the club and get my 3 rounds signed and get involved in some of the competitions. May aim is for a h’cap less than 35 at first, because I’m just not consistent enough at the moment.

Anyone else where the only thing that is greater than their lack of ability for golf, is their enthusiasm to play it?

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This is my jam. Didn’t pick up clubs until 18 and played sporadically because I was a poor student with little access. Really learned the game in mid-20s with some very patient roommates who were good golfers but totally chill, then quit totally for about 6-7 years due to life.

Last year was the first time I ever kept handicap, in prep for a buddy trip, and I’m totally hooked on the game now. The timing was great with all of the new ways to consume golf, the GCA rebirth, etc., I think about my game and the game completely differently than when I started, and my lack of talent and bad scores don’t affect my mood or love of the game at all like they used to, especially if I’m at a fun course, with good friends, hit some memorable shots, or all of the above. I read a lot and listen to podcasts now too, of all kinds, and just generally approach everything differently, as a pursuit and a hobby, but nothing that must happen a certain way. It’s my zen time.

Currently a 24, played a lot of golf last year and broke 100 twice, with a few real blowup rounds over 115. I’m currently scoring “consistently” between low to mid-100s counting every damn shot and penalty stroke. My game is highly variable. I get 2-4 pars per round, a birdie every 3-4 rounds, but just completely lose my swing and crank OB and triple or worse multiple holes a round. I am just now beginning the scratch the surface of even approaching the short game with any sort of methodology or technique. I can see and enjoy my improvement even as my scores don’t improve (yet). My main goal is to get consistent enough to feel confident enough and actually appreciate bucket list places that I want to visit and play.

Also, great thread topic and even better thread title.

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I’m a 15 but shot 101 the other day. Can I play?

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I defer to the OP, but I think this is a nest for all shankers and duffers out there, and certainly the input of better golfers who have been in our shoes is welcome, as long as within the #safespace spirit of the thread.

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I just want to say I am impressed you shot a 108 and didn’t lose a single ball.

As for the thread itself, I am not too far removed from my days in the 90s and 100s.
My biggest tip is just repetition and getting to the range as much as possible.

I can take 2 weeks off but then when I start back up and go to the range for 6-7 days straight, That’ll shave about 3-5 strokes off my score from the first time of play to playing on day 7.

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I cannot emphasize this enough. When you are first learning or getting serious about the game, PRACTICE the basics EVERY DAY. Hold a club in your hands. Use a large mirror to check your positions in the swing. Work on posture, stance, and grip constantly. You have to get the basics right before you can get distance/control of the ball.

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All with an affinity and appreciation for bad golf are welcome, as long as our safe space is respected as DDH says. We’re a very delicate and sensitive breed

On another day it’d have been 3 or 4 lost balls, so that ball has been retired to the mantle piece.

I’d like to put it a bit down to not trying any hero shots, so when I did miscue I was hitting somewhere where I didn’t have to be perfect. Also with any kind of short game and a few less putts it’d have been troubling the hundred marker

The biggest thing I’ve noticed with a buddy of mine that breaks 100 about once a year is his game from 50 yards to the green is terrible. A 10 capper from 50 yards out usually gets the ball down in 3 maybe 4. It can take him 7-8 shots and thats where most of his lost strokes are. He doesnt hit it particularly long so he doesn’t lose a ton of balls (still a few like the rest of us) but when he has his good days is when he can actually chip the ball towards the hole and not have to chip 2-3 times on one hole.

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Similar to @DuckDuckHook, I picked up the game fairly late at 18 as well. I had a 3/5/7/9/driver hand me down set, and in my first ever scramble I had to be told to back up to tee off in between the tee markers. I immediately got hooked and started working on golf courses through college, and was playing 5 times a week. At my peak I was a 15 and breaking 90 fairly regularly, on some real goat tracks in central Iowa.

I became a member of the actual working world, moved to Minnesota, got married, have two kids, blah, blah, blah. The last eight years I’ve managed about 10 rounds a year, and playing much harder tracks. So, whenever I tee it up, breaking triple digits is always the goal. I’m a world class horrendous driver of the golf ball, but I’ve mastered the stinger out of the woods. Last year, I shot a 42-42 one round (with
8 one putts, not very sustainable), and I could’ve convinced you that I won the Masters. I also shot a 108 on the same course, in the same month. So yeah, the spectrum is broad for me.

Totally agree.

For someone just picking up the game, whether theyre a 3 year old or a 30 year old, the basics are the same.

I’m teaching my son to play, and the only thing i mention every single time we’re out, is stance and grip.

After a little while, he will have an interest in hitting it better, and if i notice him doing the same thing over and over thats wrong, i’ll correct it.

I think thats the same for a beginner 30 year old. Make sure youre having fun. And theres no reason you can’t set up to the ball like a tour pro. Once you get to some point where youre experiencing consistency (doesnt have to be good consistency) GET A LESSON and take notes. Record your swing. Feelings dont match reality.

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Couldnt disagree more.

Great, you made the 4 footer for 9. Now what?

Years of stats show that 30-35% of improvement comes from 100 yards and in.

The most important club in your bag is driver, and its not close.

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Second this.

No Laying Up even had someone on the podcast that said this.

I can’t remember the exact stat but if you’re a 100 trying to get to 90, 6.5 of those strokes come from outside 150. (or something like that)

The driver is the most important.

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For whatever it’s worth, if I keep it in play off the tee, I’ll break 90, barring catastrophic short game woes or bad luck.

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Hard agree, the stats do not lie on this. And from an enjoyment standpoint, I just have a better day on the course if I am generally playing from the fairway and not looking for my ball every hole.

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Bah. Kids these days. I started golfing seriously at 51. Get off my lawn!

I told a bit of my story on the “How good are you at golf?” thread (answer: not at all). Go read if you wish. I confess that once I realized golf was about coping with mistakes, the game opened up to me. I’m not at all any good, but I just can’t resist the call of the game.

My best 18 holes is 112, and I aspire to crack 100 this year. I have no illusions about this: I’m in my 50s, I’m not terribly athletic, and I have a day job. Perhaps before I die I might break 80. That’s probably a long, long way off, if ever, and at this age I’m racing against time. My golf goal this year is to break 100. From 112, I think that’s a stretch, but not completely delusional.

I practice putting on my BirdieBall mat on a daily basis. A few times a week I lag putt in my long upstairs hallway. I take lessons once every two weeks, indoor facility with video recording and a coach who’s pretty good at his job. I use an Orange Whip (well, knock off) every day to practice my full swing. I get to the range once or twice a week. Chipping happens in the backyard when the snow’s not on the ground. I read a lot, online and in books, about the game and, heaven have mercy, I’m now starting to read up on GCA. I’ve got it bad, and I’m hooked, and I don’t have any intention of fighting it.

I have had so few actual par holes that I remember each of them. Double bogey is my standard at the moment: I shoot lots of holes 2 over. I have occasional blow-up holes. I top the ball, or skull it, or shank it, or hit it fat. Rarely, too rarely, the club connects so solidly that for a single moment I am a living echo of Old Tom himself, my shot arcing perfectly through the air to exactly the target I envisioned. In my mind the crowd roars.

I love this game.

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I was in the 100s when I picked up a club again at ~25. I had a big advantage though playing from age 5-18 about 4-6 times a year.

I’m probably around a 12 handicap now. Shot 80 twice (once without a driver on a 6700 yard course). Still struggle with the driver and putting is pretty terrible.

At some point the swing just clicks. Tough to explain but the tops, shanks, and chunks are primarily gone even without much practice.

This perfectly encapsulates why I love this game. I call it the “nicotine shot”. No matter what happens on a given day, there is that one shot that sticks with you and is the siren’s song, beckoning you to return for another 18.

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Years of stats (or thinking) also show that a majority of your strokes are with the putter. You hit 14 drives during a round. I’m not a math major, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to stroke the putter more than 14 times during a round. I understand it’s tough to get a round going when you’re in the trees, that’s my life. But the short game is what can keep you alive and help you break 100.

You hit that 4 footer for 9. You know what you didn’t do? 4-putt for a 12. And how did you magically get it to 4 feet from the hole if you’re making nines?

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I’m trying to lay back to a distance where I can hit a full wedge, as if I get 50 yards and in I have an issue with distance (I either get scared of over-hitting and pull out/fat it, or I follow through correctly but thin it and send it over the back).

I’ve just bought a chipping net and fashioned a homemade mat out of some cheap astroturf and a foam mat so I’ll devote some time to that in the back garden.