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5 mistakes high handicappers always make, according to low handicappers


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5 mistakes high handicappers always make, according to low handicappers

 

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Breaking 80 consistently is a goal every recreational golfer has. Accomplishing that doesn’t require major technical shifts, but instead, eliminating simple mistakes. Enter GOLF’s resident low-handicaps, who are here to offer some helpful advice, golfer-to-golfer.

 

1. They don’t take enough club
Dylan Dethier (+3.3 handicap): High-handicappers rarely take enough club. Maybe I’m projecting — this can be true of low-handicappers, too. Max Homa had a particularly good line about this, so I’ll let him take it from here:

“Shane [Bacon] hit a 494-yard drive, and this was a legit 494. Now the thing is, the ball was straight downwind, straight downhill, got every — he hits it far, but got every break you could get. He does NOT now go around telling people, ‘Yeah, I hit it 490.’ That’s just a story he has!


“Where my Dad will hit one 4-iron in his life 220 yards, and then every time he’s 220 he hits 4-iron and tells people he hits 4-iron 220. It’s like, ‘Dude, you just don’t. That’s not your normal number. Yes, it could happen, but you could also play golf on a hill, you could hit it way down that hill and yes, the ball will go farther.’”

 

2. They don’t know their miss
Luke Kerr-Dineen (2.2 handicap): There’s really not a whole lot of difference between golfers who break 80 consistently and those who don’t. But there is one big one: Ask a lower handicap what their most common miss is, and they’ll usually be able to tell you pretty quickly.

 

“Good shot is a draw. Miss is a block out to the right.”

 

Ask someone who shoots mostly in the 90s, and the answer to the same question becomes more complicated.

 

“Either a block or a hook. Occasionally I’ll top the ball.”

 

And therein lies the problem. Improving your handicap is the byproduct not of how good your good shots are, but knowing where your bad ones are going. You’ll never be able to eliminate your miss. But you should have consistent way of missing the ball.

 

3. They overthink shots
Josh Sens (2.5 handicap): I rarely don’t see high handicappers overthink and over-study all shots, but especially putts. Reading them from multiple angles. Taking forever over the ball. Occasionally plum-bobbing. For most of us, those kind of forever rituals don’t help. They hurt. Play a round of speed golf and see how much better you play.

 

Continue reading: https://golf.com/instruction/high-handicappers-mistake-golf/

 

 

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I only have 1 handicap, and that is my eyesight. So i wear glasses.

 

How about just having fun playing and when you are good enough to do it seriously you take a coach?

Edited by Bob12345
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The biggest mistake I always made when I was a high handicapper was poor tempo or trying to hit the ball too hard. Once I worked out, mentally, how to maintain a nice, smooth tempo my handicap went down 10 points (from about a 14 to around a 4). 

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4 hours ago, Lacessit said:

Most high handicappers I have seen here know next to nothing about course management. The greats such as Hogan and Nicklaus were experts.

I golfed with a Japanese lady at Gymkhana in Chiang Mai some time ago. She could only hit the ball about 150 yards at best, but scored well on her handicap because she knew how to manage her game to get the best out of it.

Absolutely agree. I know when I started to take course management seriously my handicap tumbled. No more trying to hit a 230 yard second shot into a par 5 (you did it once 4 years ago - once - give up the ghost!) and taking your punshment with a bogey or even double.

If i could advise myself 10 years ago, course management would have been near the top.

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There’s some great caddies at public courses....  Par 4 second shot @ 90

yards to pin elevated green long your in the beach or in the water, right

was jungle, left sand traps and OB. 

 

Golfer at the course 1-2 times a month caddie knew my game. Not long

baller hitter and me and iron kinda hate each except for wedges... so course management was important.. Learned it from a middle aged lady

which made me eat crow when she took me to the cleaners....

 

the caddie knew my game i use 3,5,7,9 wood.. Caddie hands me the 7 wood... I said are you sure? (I can hit it 140 dead straight). There was 

billboard across the water advertising condos for sale it was probably 1km

from where we were.. She says see that sign (line of vision directly behind the flag) hit normal shot... I said ok. 

 

Hit the shot with 7 wood gets it up in the air ... stalled and dropped 1 foot

in front of pin. 

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Here’s my two cents worth as a 7 h’cap (frequently play to a 4 or 5) ... why and what high scorers do to stay at high scores.

I agree with the initial posters entirely. But here’s a few other bits I’ve learnt over 35 years of playing (I started late).

I would recommend Greg Norman’s And Geoff Marshs’ DVD’s.

i watched them until I wore them out and bought new ones.

Id think; ok today I’m going to work on these few components of my swing, beginning with real basics like distance from the ball at address, position of ball in stance etc. With no regard for score ... just practice shots, use multiple balls from the same position (if not interfering with other players!).

Both these masters and many others of today’s greats don’t use the hands to direct the ball, this is done through the angle of address to the target through the stance and by opening or closing of the club face at address. The swing remains exactly the same every time!
These masters teach, as lots of pros do, not to use the hands to steer/direct the ball but the stance and angle of address relationship I.e. to draw close the stance but swing exactly the same every time, to fade open the stance. Having said this, Some other extremely good golfers do use the hands because they have such infinite feel they can do this with consistent results.

1. None, too few, or poor lessons - from a pro who doesn’t give a toss (get them from a pro you can relate to and who has a good rep).

2. Very poor basics - stance ball position lateral swaying no or exaggerated wrist break etc etc, never known or worked on.

-fundamentals of swing never really understood or applied - lack of practice at range without analysis or pro feedback exacerbates these.

- most common is not getting onto the left side (for right handers) early enough or not at all - seen in slicing as standard shot. Getting onto your left side is essential to play well. Back foot hitting looks like your hitting a cricket ball not a golf ball and invited looking up too early - fatal. You can’t play a decent round if your hitting off your back foot period!

2. Right hand weak - see this easily as the right palm will face upwards instead of over the grip at address. If the right hand is not active in your swing you won’t close the club face at strike this will support slicing.

3. Hands behind the ball at strike point instead of in front of the ball.
4. stance ball address - too far away from ball, ball too far forward or back in stance.

5. Strangling the club - way too tight a grip. I found adding 3 papers inside my grips, and standing closer to the ball (felt very weird but really improved my consistency of shot and distance too). This adding papers to the grips helped me fit the grip to my hand size much better this helped me relax my grip - I’m 6’ 3” with reasonably large hands. I dropped 5 strokes off my game in a few months after having clubs fitted for me.

6. looking too early: allow the full swing to bring the head around to see the ball in flight. Looking early will push you onto the back foot/side and bingo you’ll slice, or top the ball.

7. Not swinging fully, this is around trying to steer the ball I.e. using the hands to try to control the flight of the ball. Every swing should be full for the club selection you chose.

8. Poor shoulder rotation - in a drive or low iron the back of the shoulders should face the target.

9. Moving or swaying backwards during the swing - this is connected to the importance of propping/grounding your right side to stop lateral movement as you move into the backswing, and definitely on the left side before you move into the downswing!

10. Not releasing the wrists (backswing) or releasing too early (downswing). If you rotate around your centre axis, use your right side to prop/ stop movement on the backswing, stay on the left side, and swing fully then the wrists should break naturally as the shoulders rotate. 

11. Way to long standing over the ball before striking.

this is due to not knowing and not going through a sequenced practiced process up to addressing the ball and striking it. I simply copied Marsh's Norman’s address exactly. A couple of relaxing wiggles with hips n wrists maybe then address then hit it! Oh and eyes always focused on the ball until it is completely gone!

12. trying to hit the ball hard - if your basics are good you’ll get decent length on your shots. Stop trying to belt the ball create club head speed through good rotation and timely wrist break and you’ll get good distance.
13. Poor club selection i.e. driver off the tee as standard on par 4 or 5 ... sometimes an iron or 3 wood and control the ball better instead of thinking about distance all the time. If I was of some days my I’d simply resign my 1 wood to the bag for the entire round and only use a 3 wood or my 1 iron off the tee - love my onesy 😊

14. I live by Norman’s mantra “low and slow” he means draw the club back low to the ground and in the initial stages of the backswing slowly. I see lots of high handicappers swinging really fast and lift up the club vertically. Slowly allows you to feel the beginning of the swing and get the basics happening low allows you to create a wide swing arc and come back to the ball in that same wide swing arc.

15. Regarding not enough club

for the shot. Practice at the range will

help you learn your correct club length. Better to add a club length and swing with less aggression and more smoothness !

Enjoy your next practice 🙏😊

 

 

5 hours ago, Lacessit said:

Most high handicappers I have seen here know next to nothing about course management. The greats such as Hogan and Nicklaus were experts.

I golfed with a Japanese lady at Gymkhana in Chiang Mai some time ago. She could only hit the ball about 150 yards at best, but scored well on her handicap because she knew how to manage her game to get the best out of it.I’d add that amateurs with high handicaps should never play solid backed clubs always peripherally weighted clubs with a low centre of gravity.

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High handicappers need to know and accept their limits. I always recall the story of the duffer, who goes to Scotland and plays St. Andrews. He hires a caddie, proceeds to hack around the course, only embarrassing himself, but too proud to ask the caddie's advice. He perseveres and near the end of his round, he's 160 yards out and, finally, asks the caddie for advice, "so, do you think that I can reach the green, with a 5 iron?" The caddie responds, "eventually."

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17 hours ago, skytrooper70 said:

High handicappers need to know and accept their limits. I always recall the story of the duffer, who goes to Scotland and plays St. Andrews. He hires a caddie, proceeds to hack around the course, only embarrassing himself, but too proud to ask the caddie's advice. He perseveres and near the end of his round, he's 160 yards out and, finally, asks the caddie for advice, "so, do you think that I can reach the green, with a 5 iron?" The caddie responds, "eventually."

I've played there twice. It's impossible to play it without a caddie initially, a lot of the time the fairways are invisible from the tee. The caddies line players up on landmarks such as church spires.

It's also very subject to wind direction. The first time I played it, I only needed a pitching wedge into the 18th hole for my second shot. 4 days later, I needed a 4 iron.

As Bernard Darwin once said, the Road Hole bunker only has room for an angry man and his niblick.

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Biggest mistake is not being professionally fit for your clubs.

 

Do you think players in the PGA walk into a store, the same as amateurs and buy a set off the rack?

 

Of course not. Every single club is customized and fit exactly to them.

 

Tour vans are on sight every tournament with master craftsmen that can adjust loft, lie, change shaft, you name it

 

It is a fact if you ask anyone, they will exaggerate their handicap. If you claim to be a 2 handicap with clubs right out of the store? Poppycock!

 

There is a reason for being professionally fit for each and every club in your bag when every single shot counts.

 

Do you have special clubs for course conditions like the pro's? How about when the course is soaking wet, or bone dry and hard as a rock? Do you use the same set you bought at the store or do you have wedges with different bounces for the conditions?

 

Different courses may require a different assortment of clubs in the bag.

 

You are just kidding yourself if you claim to be a very low handicapper with clubs from the store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, bwpage3 said:

Biggest mistake is not being professionally fit for your clubs.

 

Do you think players in the PGA walk into a store, the same as amateurs and buy a set off the rack?

 

Of course not. Every single club is customized and fit exactly to them.

 

Tour vans are on sight every tournament with master craftsmen that can adjust loft, lie, change shaft, you name it

 

It is a fact if you ask anyone, they will exaggerate their handicap. If you claim to be a 2 handicap with clubs right out of the store? Poppycock!

 

There is a reason for being professionally fit for each and every club in your bag when every single shot counts.

 

Do you have special clubs for course conditions like the pro's? How about when the course is soaking wet, or bone dry and hard as a rock? Do you use the same set you bought at the store or do you have wedges with different bounces for the conditions?

 

Different courses may require a different assortment of clubs in the bag.

 

You are just kidding yourself if you claim to be a very low handicapper with clubs from the store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my local municipality course..........St Andrews indeed.

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, bwpage3 said:

Biggest mistake is not being professionally fit for your clubs.

 

Do you think players in the PGA walk into a store, the same as amateurs and buy a set off the rack?

 

Of course not. Every single club is customized and fit exactly to them.

 

Tour vans are on sight every tournament with master craftsmen that can adjust loft, lie, change shaft, you name it

 

It is a fact if you ask anyone, they will exaggerate their handicap. If you claim to be a 2 handicap with clubs right out of the store? Poppycock!

 

There is a reason for being professionally fit for each and every club in your bag when every single shot counts.

 

Do you have special clubs for course conditions like the pro's? How about when the course is soaking wet, or bone dry and hard as a rock? Do you use the same set you bought at the store or do you have wedges with different bounces for the conditions?

 

Different courses may require a different assortment of clubs in the bag.

 

You are just kidding yourself if you claim to be a very low handicapper with clubs from the store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any professional can pick up a club and hit a good shot with it. The club head and shaft selection process they make is to optimize their performance in competition.

It's a complete waste of money to be professionally fitted with premium clubs until the player can at least get to striking the ball with some consistency. Get to a handicap under 20 first, then start optimizing the clubs.

I've had a zero and high bounce sand iron in my bag for many years. The zero bounce sand iron has a leading edge on it which is impossible to find on modern day clubs.

I have to smile to myself when I see amateur golfers with 60 degree lob wedges. Unless one is prepared to practice for 4 hours a day, as the pros do, they are a waste of time.

 

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23 hours ago, scubascuba3 said:

High handicappers giving low handicappers tips

 

23 hours ago, johnnybangkok said:

?????

 

Seen it happen. Funny as ***k

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6 hours ago, Lacessit said:

I have to smile to myself when I see amateur golfers with 60 degree lob wedges. Unless one is prepared to practice for 4 hours a day, as the pros do, they are a waste of time.

Sorry but have to completely disagree with that last sentence ...:thumbsup:

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22 minutes ago, topt said:

Sorry but have to completely disagree with that last sentence ...:thumbsup:

If you have learned to use a lob wedge competently, good for you. I'd suggest there's quite a few golfers on single figures that can't, even if they think they can.

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