Seeing if I can get to scratch in 365 days (6.7 to 0.0): First 61 Days

Kudos to your wife.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about alot recently is trying to find the things that actually help me improve… I feel like 80% of the stuff I do is just repetition and 20% is actually driving change, but I don’t know what parts are actually functional, or even how to track it.

Results on the golf course are so variable, I’m not confident how to track short term improvement… and I’m unwilling to just do 1 think for 3 month and “see if it helps”… I’m trying to figure out how to focus in on the things that actually help me improve, but have no idea where to start.

Yep, my home course is right at 7K from the tips too. And TBH my handicap is probably lower than if I played the blues every time, because a 74 on a course rating 73.7 is better than a 74 on a 71.1 :wink:

But I still think most golfers would fair better from more forward tees.

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You’ll never hear me argue against that. I had to tell an older couple on Monday to move up because:

  1. They wouldn’t let us play through and there were two holes between them and the group ahead.
  2. They were playing blue tees and hitting drivers on the par 3s.

In the nicest way possible; move the **** up or get out of my way.


I hate when people don’t acknowledge they are holding others up… especially when they are playing the wrong tees… just play fast.


And kudos to you Craigers

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I feel you 100% on this. I struggle with trying to find what works for me in the time I have.Is it really helping by hitting balls for 35 mins at lunch time? I think yes. Based on the principle of general exercise where some is better than none. At some point though you will come to an impasse though where it’s just pointless to keep going. I wish to god I could groove the move into the ball I’m trying to achieve in the time I have. I’m trying :crazy_face::smiley::smiley:

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Yeah, I think their is potential if you can find stuff that drives small improvements through quick bursts of practice… I’m not sure what those practices would be or how to show they drive improvement though!

That’s an awesome accomplishment dropping a point when you are a single digit. The lowest I ever was 2.8. Originally, I was like a 24 and I bottomed out to a 9 inside 4-6 months because I played 7 rounds a week and started taking lessons. That’s when the hard work began and it took me 4 more years to bottom out at a 3. My greenside game (up & down 30-40 yds in) was never good enough on a consistent basis to really get it down further. In my experience, as limited as it is, that’s where the rubber meets the road. My pro: Mr. Bishop had a great way to really simplify things…he told me this once when I was still under his tutelage and I was down around a five and I mentioned out loud that I had these magical dreams of playing on a senior tour or something like that… “Look Son…you’re better than 99% of all the golfers in the world right now, you will never be good enough to compete on a consistent level with “those guys (PRO’s)”… have fun, enjoy the game, enjoy playing gin, enjoy your Scotch, enjoy playing games with the boys and winning a few bux, enjoy the needles, enjoy teaching others…To be a legitimate scratch golfer, this how I recommend you measure it: go out to any course with a rating of 73 or higher, play 6 rounds in a row on that course from the tips with “no pressure” and shoot 69 or better 5 out of 6 rounds…now your scratch!” PRETTY SIMPLE HUH? It’s a fun chase and I wish you so much luck…don’t spend too much dough though! Right now, I’m average off the tee, I’m just slightly above average from 130-200 approach, I’m excellent from 70-130, I SUCK from 70 on in, that’s where the talent is, that’s where the work is. To be scratch…from 70 on in you gotta get up and down like 90% of the time, I’m like 40-45%, but that’s good enough to keep somewhere between 8-10 on a 6200yd course. To be scratch you gotta keep the putts around 1.5-1.7 every round. GIR gotta be at least 12ish every round. Like I said, Have fun, enjoy, and I thought I read God Bless your wife…yea buy her alot of flowers my man!

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I think a lot of it boils down to what you are working on. For me the results are objective through video. I have been working on staying over the ball throughout my swing. It is easy to see if I have reverted to my old habit. Subjective results are just as important to me though and anyone that plays by feel. You KNOW if you hit the ball well before you even finish your swing. The better the shots feel help me gain confidence. You can quantify results with video in this case if you wanted to. Take a series of shots and analyze them. Set up a camera on the front of a cart for a round and record each shot you make. Or have someone do it. I told my son Id give him 20 bucks to video me for 18 holes, just preshot routine and the swings and hes like… “I am pretty sure they make mounts that can hold your phone for you, just park behind your ball.” I told him I haven’t taken a cart on purpose in 2 years- smart ass.

I try to keep it simple. On short putting practice I try to start my ball on line each time. I use one ball and go around to different holes and lengths. When I am real lucky I can convince my friend in the office to come and have friendly competition. On range practice when its quick I focus on my one thought and the quality of the shot.

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For the record, this is way better than scratch. This is more like what you need to do to think about going for it as a pro. 69 or better 5 times out of 6 is +5 to +6 territory.

You also certainly don’t need to get it up and down 90% of the time from 70 and in. Expectation management. Webb Simpson leads the PGA Tour scrambling stat with 67%. That’s from 30 and in. If you’re getting up and down more than 50% of the time from 30 and in, you’re probably quite a lot better than an average scratch.

If you play a course where the course rating is about the same as par, hit 12 greens on average, 30 putts on average and avoid any blow outs, you’re basically there.

Have some respect, you are speaking to the best wedge player in the history of the game. His expectations are not the same as the rest of us.

I guess anytime I speak in turn to you guys, I really need to be specific. Most of the courses we play/played are Par 70…so no pressure on your game…legit bang out a -1 five out of six rounds. That’s #1. #2: As a really, really good amatuer—At best, if you are on fire you gotta hit 12 GIR. If you avg 1.7 putts a round…that puts you at -1 or -2…if you only get up and down 50% of the time on the other 6, that puts you at +3 for those…That’s every round, every single round…that puts you at a +1…Not quite scratch are we… I’m trying to put scratch in perspective…

Like amatuer guys that think they are popping out 300 yd drives…ahhh…nope! This year I have done nothing except concentrate on distance and improving length off the tee when I’m playing in a tournament especially with partners (heat on the game)…Out of 36 drives in 3 events I poooped one out there 298. The kid I out drove on that one said he was 315. LOL…I’m like NOPE! Legit out of 30 drives I hit 35% FW, 0 OB, avg length 238yds. Good enough because last year I was 213… NO heat rounds I can play to a +3…It’s when you put heat on your game…that’s how you measure it. If you are 3, 4 or 5…and that’s great golf right? Get to scratch take those last couple strokes off…hit that -1 score, NOT SO EASY! I respect anyone that is a 6 and gets to 4 or 5, it ain’t EZ

And to you Goldberg…here’s a basic math problem for you to solve. If I had 3 wedges in and I dropped 3 wedges one to 25 ft, and one to 20 ft and one to 8 ft…The average is what professor? about 17.5… My first shot in the tourney Sunday Wedge to 12ft and missed the putt. 2nd hole Wedge to 14ft missed the putt, 5th hole Wedge to 18 ft missed the putt, 7th hole 9i to 24 ft missed the putt…shot 38 front with one bird (hit the 535 par 5 in 2)…what’s my average to the hole professor? 17ft! Oh yea on 6 and 8 pins were up front and although I put the shots within 18ft they spun off the green so they were not GIR…One other thing, just so we can improve your math skills…25 ft radius of a circle is about 8.5 yards, that makes the diameter from center about 17 yds I’ve seen choked off FWs that are 17 yds wide…If you can’t consistently drop your wedge within 17 yds wide circle as a single digit handicap…you really need to re-evaluate what you gotta practice!

You might want to understand how you get to scratch and course ratings before you continue down the rabbit hole. I understand that you are the greatest wedge player to ever play but I was at a +.9 last summer and my average score was above 74.

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There is no rabbit hole for me… if you averaged 74 on a par 70 course and if the rating was let’s say 72…I don’t think you were a .9 and I’m not saying your not a good player, much respect. But going to the USGA handicap calculator plugging in the numbers just as you said on a Par 70 course you’re playing to a 3 give or take the slope! Much respect…but scratch is hard! So yea, I’m talking it depends…Did you enter any events? Did your hdcp move in those? We keep 2 handicaps…one for tourneys and one just playing, I’m a helluva lot better just playing than playing in an event by 3 strokes. When you are a single digit, that’s alot. And for the record your a scratch correct. How many times do you have scoring clubs in your hands and don’t tell me your distance to holes isn’t within and average closer than my 15-17 ft. It’s either that or your putting stats are off the charts. You gotta be making birdies to keep it that low, and I would doubt very much your just canning 20-25ft birdies putts. Its freakin math.

You were specific. You explicitly said “rated 73 or higher”. That’s fairly specific I’d say…

If you average 1.7 putts per GIR and hit 12 greens, that’s 4 birdies, not 1 or 2. If you get up and down 50% on the other 6, that’s 3 bogeys. That’s -1 overall and comfortably scratch. You don’t need to average 0. You need to average 0 on the 8 best rounds out of 20.

Scratch players are pretty good at golf, but they’re not that good. The guys you watch on TV are probably 8-9 shots a round better than scratch. Those guys are really good. Scratch is dog food relatively speaking.

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Hey someone to freaking agree with me! I’m posting it how I did to show how difficult it is to be scratch and for the record +1 is not scratch! And I didn’t say that my pro said that to me 38 years ago when I was talking to him about becoming good enough to play on a professional level…read my post

Course rating 72, slope rating 130, 20 scores, in order:

69, 70, 70, 71, 72, 72, 73, 74, 74, 75, 75, 76, 76, 77, 78, 78, 79, 79, 80, 81 - average score 74.95.

-2.6, -1.7, -1.7, -0.9, 0.0, 0.0, 0.9, 1.7, 1.7, 2.6, 2.6, 3.5, 3.5, 4.3, 5.2, 5.2, 6.1, 6.1, 7.0, 7.8 - HI is +0.5

Oh the things I would do to have some of that dog food

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Fair point, but everything is relative. If Jon Rahm played like scratch for six weeks he’d probably wind up in a mental institution.