On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by Mike Daleck » Wed, 16 Nov 2005 22:59:27


I'm always a little nervous setting scoring goals for the next year.
While I finished this year with a 6.7 index, my best ever, I'm not
looking at a specific target for next year.

Eventually, I think I could get down to 5, or even a 4.  (A friend of
mine who is typically in the 2-4 range says I have the game to get
there, with some improvements.)

But getting to, say, a 5 index is not my goal for next year.  It strikes
me as focusing too much on outcome, and not enough on process (and if
you think you see Bob Rotella in this, you should).

Rotella's argument--and this is repeated in a number of other mental
game books--is that, to score well, you need to focus on the present,
and on the process.  Focusing on score takes you away from what you
should be doing, which is focusing purely on the process of producing a
shot (or in this case, a category of shots).

My goal(s) for next year is to improve my short game from 80-5 yards
away from the green.  When I'm greenside, I'm fine (thanks to Bruce
Newman and his chipping lesson :).  It's when I'm further away that I
have a relatively poor up-and-down record.

How poor?  I don't know--I don't keep those kinds of stats.  It's just
that when I'm 50 yards out, say, I should be getting the ball to within
6 feet on a regular basis--and I'm not.  I'm probably no better than
15-20 percent to get up and down from there (that's a guess, but based
on how confident I feel in getting down in two from there).  And that's
lousy.

So in addition to the stuff I already do--headcover drill, normal
short-game practice, putting practice, etc.--I'm going to really try to
dial in that part of my game next year.  I leave too many birdies and
salvaged pars out on the course, and those strokes are the difference at
this point between where I am, and where I could be.

And scoring next year?  It'll be what it ends up being, and if I take
care of business on the process side, the scoring side will take care of
itself.

Mike

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Dalecki     GCA Accredited Clubmaker      http://clubdoctor.com
RSG-Wisconsin 2005 Pics:   http://dalecki.net/rsgwis2005/pics/
------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by Howard Braze » Wed, 16 Nov 2005 23:37:43



Quote:
>Rotella's argument--and this is repeated in a number of other mental
>game books--is that, to score well, you need to focus on the present,
>and on the process.  Focusing on score takes you away from what you
>should be doing, which is focusing purely on the process of producing a
>shot (or in this case, a category of shots).

I pretty much agree - unless your focus on scoring on good decision
making.    Floyd's _Elements of Scoring_ isn't about putting better or
swinging better or chipping better.

We can separate the game into 3 categories:

1.   The physical game.   This is what most everybody works on.
2.   The mental game.   Rotella's _Golf is Not a Game of Perfect".
3.   The intellectual game.   Making the right decisions on the golf
course.

Category #2 tries to forget the score.
Category #3 is about the score.

Categories #1, #2, and #3 are the only parts that I***up.

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by Howard Braze » Wed, 16 Nov 2005 23:43:23



Quote:
>My goal(s) for next year is to improve my short game from 80-5 yards
>away from the green.  When I'm greenside, I'm fine (thanks to Bruce
>Newman and his chipping lesson :).  It's when I'm further away that I
>have a relatively poor up-and-down record.

>How poor?  I don't know--I don't keep those kinds of stats.  It's just
>that when I'm 50 yards out, say, I should be getting the ball to within
>6 feet on a regular basis--and I'm not.  I'm probably no better than
>15-20 percent to get up and down from there (that's a guess, but based
>on how confident I feel in getting down in two from there).  And that's
>lousy.

How do you plan on working on this?

One thing that I like to do in the Winter, playing rounds by myself is
to drop (or hit) a ball 70 yards from the hole and playing it. Since
no score is posted - it doesn't matter if I DQ myself.

My chipping green doesn't have enough range to practice 70 yard chips.
I suppose I could gain something with 70 yard chips on the driving
range - but this isn't optimal.

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by long&lef » Wed, 16 Nov 2005 23:59:36

Quote:



>>My goal(s) for next year is to improve my short game from 80-5 yards
>>away from the green.  When I'm greenside, I'm fine (thanks to Bruce
>>Newman and his chipping lesson :).  It's when I'm further away that I
>>have a relatively poor up-and-down record.

>>How poor?  I don't know--I don't keep those kinds of stats.  It's just
>>that when I'm 50 yards out, say, I should be getting the ball to within
>>6 feet on a regular basis--and I'm not.  I'm probably no better than
>>15-20 percent to get up and down from there (that's a guess, but based
>>on how confident I feel in getting down in two from there).  And that's
>>lousy.

> How do you plan on working on this?

> One thing that I like to do in the Winter, playing rounds by myself is
> to drop (or hit) a ball 70 yards from the hole and playing it. Since
> no score is posted - it doesn't matter if I DQ myself.

> My chipping green doesn't have enough range to practice 70 yard chips.
> I suppose I could gain something with 70 yard chips on the driving
> range - but this isn't optimal.

the 30 to 70 yd shot is the least practiced IMO, probably because, as
you say, most practice areas don't have a space for them. Our practice
area has short game practice greens setup at 25, 50, 75, and 100 yds but
they are all downhill shots from a flat lie. On our golf course 80% of
those shots are uphill with and uphill lie. So, I do what you do during
a practice round, drop balls at various distances and practice the shots
with various clubs.
Dave
 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by Mike Daleck » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 00:08:59

Quote:



>>My goal(s) for next year is to improve my short game from 80-5 yards
>>away from the green.  When I'm greenside, I'm fine (thanks to Bruce
>>Newman and his chipping lesson :).  It's when I'm further away that I
>>have a relatively poor up-and-down record.

>>How poor?  I don't know--I don't keep those kinds of stats.  It's just
>>that when I'm 50 yards out, say, I should be getting the ball to within
>>6 feet on a regular basis--and I'm not.  I'm probably no better than
>>15-20 percent to get up and down from there (that's a guess, but based
>>on how confident I feel in getting down in two from there).  And that's
>>lousy.

> How do you plan on working on this?

I'll practice it a lot, and have a lesson or two.  The friend I spoke of
has an excellent short game, and has noted a couple of things I'm doing
wrong.  I'll lean on him, and on our pro.

It's simply not a strength.  I'm going to make it one.

Quote:
> One thing that I like to do in the Winter, playing rounds by myself is
> to drop (or hit) a ball 70 yards from the hole and playing it. Since
> no score is posted - it doesn't matter if I DQ myself.

> My chipping green doesn't have enough range to practice 70 yard chips.
> I suppose I could gain something with 70 yard chips on the driving
> range - but this isn't optimal.

I play a lot of what I call "practice" rounds--nonstipulated rounds in
which I violate too many rules of golf.  Like playing the entire round
w/ headcovers under my arms.  :)

I also try different shots, see what I can do, can I make this trouble
shot from here, like that.  Seeing where my limits are, and trying to
figure out what I should and shouldn't try during a stipulated round.

This is easy for me to do, as I have a club membership and it costs me
nothing to "throw away" a round for practice.  I know it's hard to pay
greens fees simply to practice and not score, and I'm lucky this way.

I will do a fair amount of on-course practice too.  I suspect that some
of my problem is simply a visual or judgmental thing.  I've noticed, for
instance, that on a shot where I can't see the cup on an uphill shot, my
look is at the bottom of the stick--which means it's at a point on the
green short of the hole.  That ends up being the reference my brain is
using for computing distance, and I end up with the ball there--instead
of by the hole.

Toward the end of our season here, I'd tried things like focusing on the
little pin-position marker in the middle of the flagstick instead of on
the ground, and focusing on the flag instead of someplace else.  That
helps, and I need to figure out exactly what I need to do in order to
improve those distance judgments.

Mike

--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Dalecki     GCA Accredited Clubmaker      http://clubdoctor.com
RSG-Wisconsin 2005 Information:  http://dalecki.net/rsgwis2005/
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by Bruce Newma » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 04:14:23


Quote:

> I'm always a little nervous setting scoring goals for the next year.
> While I finished this year with a 6.7 index, my best ever, I'm not
> looking at a specific target for next year.

> Eventually, I think I could get down to 5, or even a 4.  (A friend of
> mine who is typically in the 2-4 range says I have the game to get
> there, with some improvements.)

> But getting to, say, a 5 index is not my goal for next year.  It strikes
> me as focusing too much on outcome, and not enough on process (and if
> you think you see Bob Rotella in this, you should).

[...]

You are definitely on the right track, Mike, so stay with it. Just hit
it better, putt better, think better and make more saves. Why stop at a
5? The score will indeed take care of itself.

Bruce

--
Bruce Newman  *  Fredericton, NB, Canada
Open & Limited Edition Golf Art  *  http://brucenewman.com

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by jf-gol » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 05:24:09

I have no on-course option during the winter in public Connecticut and
heated outside range bays are still uncomfortable and concretey.
So I was thinking of joining one of the indoor Golf Learning places to
work on rythm and turn, get a few lessons, but mainly just keep from
forgetting everything.
Anyone have any experience with these facilities?
 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by David Geesama » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 05:19:50


Quote:


>>My goal(s) for next year is to improve my short game from 80-5 yards
>>away from the green.  When I'm greenside, I'm fine (thanks to Bruce
>>Newman and his chipping lesson :).  It's when I'm further away that I
>>have a relatively poor up-and-down record.

>>How poor?  I don't know--I don't keep those kinds of stats.  It's just
>>that when I'm 50 yards out, say, I should be getting the ball to within
>>6 feet on a regular basis--and I'm not.  I'm probably no better than
>>15-20 percent to get up and down from there (that's a guess, but based
>>on how confident I feel in getting down in two from there).  And that's
>>lousy.

> How do you plan on working on this?

    Find a pitch-and-putt course.  The two in my area are 35-80y holes all
around.
As long as you don't groove a switch which can't work on the full course,
it's a huge help.

    Dave

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by Dave Le » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 09:20:57


Quote:
> I'm always a little nervous setting scoring goals for the next year.
> While I finished this year with a 6.7 index, my best ever, I'm not
> looking at a specific target for next year.

> Eventually, I think I could get down to 5, or even a 4.  (A friend of
> mine who is typically in the 2-4 range says I have the game to get
> there, with some improvements.)

> But getting to, say, a 5 index is not my goal for next year.  It strikes
> me as focusing too much on outcome, and not enough on process (and if
> you think you see Bob Rotella in this, you should).

snip

I have evolved to a somewhat different 'golf goal' for myself. First of all
golf is (mostly) a 12 month/year sport in NC so 'next year' is kind of a
continuous thing. But the principle is the same.

My original goal had been to get my index down as low as I could - simple as
that. So I got it down to the 5 range and I came to one realization. That
realization is that I had validly achieved a 5.1 (lowest that I ever got) in
a fair manner, however it was done playing almost exclusively 'white tees'
(6200-6300 yard courses at par 72, a bit shorter at par 70). Despite the
higher ratings and higher slopes there is no way that I would have achieved
that index from 'blue tees' (typically 6600-6800 yards at par 72). My driver
isn't that long (250 yards with roll is a big, but not unheard of, drive for
me) and my long irons/hybrids/fairway woods simply aren't good enough. I
never did decide if I cared or not. But it kind of occurred to me "am I a
true/bonafide 5'ish index golfer" given that I was unlikely to maintain that
index on courses that most 5 index golfers would play.

So maybe my goals have changed from 'going lower' to actually 'feeling like
a 5'. I never did decide what exactly to do about this as (for some reason)
my game totally fell apart a few months ago. Am working on it, if my last
two practice sessions are a real indicator am making improvement, but I know
better than to form opinions based on a couple of practice sessions.

So assuming that I find my game again (index going up rapidly at the
moment - 6.6 and climbing) I guess my goal is to actually feel like a 5
instead of looking to lower my index more. Doing this is going to require
another 20-40 yards off the tee (better lag - simple as that) or much better
'long club play'. This unfortunately would also dictate something of a
change in golf friends as the guys that I play with tend to be 'white tee
guys'. ***- its a game. Maybe I'll just stick with my friends.

dave

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by cathod.. » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 14:18:15

Am curious, how much of an improvement have you guys done in say, one
year? Have you shaved 10-20 strokes off your score?

Just wondering what could be a good target, for the number of strokes
that can be taken off in a year...

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by bill- » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 14:26:09

Quote:

> Am curious, how much of an improvement have you guys done in say, one
> year? Have you shaved 10-20 strokes off your score?

> Just wondering what could be a good target, for the number of strokes
> that can be taken off in a year...

Read Rotella: "the Golf of Your Dreams." I shaved off 10 last year only
to give back 2-4 this year. It's all about commitment.

--
bill-o

A "gimme" can best be defined as an agreement between
two golfers neither of whom can putt very well.

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by Douglas Sieber » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 15:06:41

Quote:

>My original goal had been to get my index down as low as I could - simple as
>that. So I got it down to the 5 range and I came to one realization. That
>realization is that I had validly achieved a 5.1 (lowest that I ever got) in
>a fair manner, however it was done playing almost exclusively 'white tees'
>(6200-6300 yard courses at par 72, a bit shorter at par 70). Despite the
>higher ratings and higher slopes there is no way that I would have achieved
>that index from 'blue tees' (typically 6600-6800 yards at par 72). My driver
>isn't that long (250 yards with roll is a big, but not unheard of, drive for
>me) and my long irons/hybrids/fairway woods simply aren't good enough. I
>never did decide if I cared or not. But it kind of occurred to me "am I a
>true/bonafide 5'ish index golfer" given that I was unlikely to maintain that
>index on courses that most 5 index golfers would play.

I'm not sure I agree with your reasoning that because you had a 5 that you
felt you could only maintain from shorter tees that it isn't "real".  I'm
pretty much the opposite, I've been as low as a 4.3 (6.something this
season I think) but I'm playing the tips almost everywhere, and many of
my posted scores are on my home course which is over 7000 yards, 74.1/134.
The front (for men) tees are 5800 yards, 66.0/118 or something like that,
and I have little doubt my handicap would go up if I played those tees.
The advantage of reaching some of the par 5s with a PW instead of a 2i
and having a couple of driveable par 4s probably wouldn't be enough to
make up for having to shoot about 9 shots better to maintain the same
index.

On the other hand, if I played those tees a dozen times in a row with
the goal of getting the same differentials, maybe I'd back off on the
shorter par 5s and hit an iron off the tee and figure hitting a 7i or 8i
into the green is still pretty good, and decide the 9th, a blind 313
yard hole from the short tees, which would be driveable for me when the
wind isn't up, most likely isn't a high percentage play given the penalty
for missing the green left or right is large enough I'd have a tough
par from there.

By the same token, if you came to my course you'd probably a tough time
of it at first, probably four of the par 4s would be unreachable for
you unless you nutted two shots in a row, and all the par 3s would
require a wood off the tee.  But to get to a 5.1 without hitting the ball
particularly far, you must be pretty consistent and straight, or have a
damn good short game.  So even if you weren't hitting very many greens,
you'd probably be close to them, and you'd only need to make enough pars
to offset the higher score you could get to still maintain the same
differential with a 74.1 rating.  So you'd probably figure out a way to
do just as well after some time.

A lot of it is what you are used to.  You've played your home course from
the white tees how many times?  You've learned from experience places you
do and don't want to go, and if you play the course from tees of a
significantly different distance (either shorter or longer) you're going
to find some new trouble you never really knew existed, plus have some
new opportunities you didn't have before, and it would take a bit of time
to learn them all to maximize your potential.

--

Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute.  Set him on fire, and
he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by Rob Davi » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 15:27:18

10 or 20 sounds like an awfully lot, but it depends on where you start
... it's a much easier knocking off 4 or 5 strokes in a year if you
start at 26 than it is starting at a 6. Some kind of percentage may be a
better indication of "improvement", but even that gets harder as you get
nearer scratch.

 From worse-than-bogey-golfer, I'd say up to 6 or 7 strokes better in a
year is reasonable and possible (assuming you're willing to put in the
extra time and effort). This year I've gone from 12.6 to a current 10.1
(although at the moment I'm in a bit of a slump and my scores have
ballooned a little) ... but I thought that knocking off 2 or 3 strokes
as I approach single digits was pretty good progress.

Rob

Quote:

> Am curious, how much of an improvement have you guys done in say, one
> year? Have you shaved 10-20 strokes off your score?

> Just wondering what could be a good target, for the number of strokes
> that can be taken off in a year...

 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by Carbo » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 20:44:53

Quote:

> I'm not sure I agree with your reasoning that because you had a 5 that
> you felt you could only maintain from shorter tees that it isn't "real".
>  I'm pretty much the opposite, I've been as low as a 4.3 (6.something
> this season I think) but I'm playing the tips almost everywhere, and
> many of my posted scores are on my home course which is over 7000 yards,
> 74.1/134. The front (for men) tees are 5800 yards, 66.0/118 or something
> like that, and I have little doubt my handicap would go up if I played
> those tees. The advantage of reaching some of the par 5s with a PW
> instead of a 2i and having a couple of driveable par 4s probably
> wouldn't be enough to make up for having to shoot about 9 shots better
> to maintain the same index.

> On the other hand, if I played those tees a dozen times in a row with
> the goal of getting the same differentials, maybe I'd back off on the
> shorter par 5s and hit an iron off the tee and figure hitting a 7i or 8i
> into the green is still pretty good, and decide the 9th, a blind 313
> yard hole from the short tees, which would be driveable for me when the
> wind isn't up, most likely isn't a high percentage play given the
> penalty for missing the green left or right is large enough I'd have a
> tough par from there.

> By the same token, if you came to my course you'd probably a tough time
> of it at first, probably four of the par 4s would be unreachable for you
> unless you nutted two shots in a row, and all the par 3s would require a
> wood off the tee.  But to get to a 5.1 without hitting the ball
> particularly far, you must be pretty consistent and straight, or have a
> damn good short game.  So even if you weren't hitting very many greens,
> you'd probably be close to them, and you'd only need to make enough pars
> to offset the higher score you could get to still maintain the same
> differential with a 74.1 rating.  So you'd probably figure out a way to
> do just as well after some time.

> A lot of it is what you are used to.  You've played your home course
> from the white tees how many times?  You've learned from experience
> places you do and don't want to go, and if you play the course from tees
> of a significantly different distance (either shorter or longer) you're
> going to find some new trouble you never really knew existed, plus have
> some new opportunities you didn't have before, and it would take a bit
> of time to learn them all to maximize your potential.

Nice argument. I hadn't looked at it that way before but I think you're
right.
 
 
 

On next year's scoring goals--and why I don't have any

Post by Dave Le » Thu, 17 Nov 2005 22:52:44


Quote:

snip

> I'm not sure I agree with your reasoning that because you had a 5 that you
> felt you could only maintain from shorter tees that it isn't "real".  I'm
> pretty much the opposite, I've been as low as a 4.3 (6.something this
> season I think) but I'm playing the tips almost everywhere, and many of
> my posted scores are on my home course which is over 7000 yards, 74.1/134.
> The front (for men) tees are 5800 yards, 66.0/118 or something like that,
> and I have little doubt my handicap would go up if I played those tees.
> The advantage of reaching some of the par 5s with a PW instead of a 2i
> and having a couple of driveable par 4s probably wouldn't be enough to
> make up for having to shoot about 9 shots better to maintain the same
> index.

> On the other hand, if I played those tees a dozen times in a row with
> the goal of getting the same differentials, maybe I'd back off on the
> shorter par 5s and hit an iron off the tee and figure hitting a 7i or 8i
> into the green is still pretty good, and decide the 9th, a blind 313
> yard hole from the short tees, which would be driveable for me when the
> wind isn't up, most likely isn't a high percentage play given the penalty
> for missing the green left or right is large enough I'd have a tough
> par from there.

> By the same token, if you came to my course you'd probably a tough time
> of it at first, probably four of the par 4s would be unreachable for
> you unless you nutted two shots in a row, and all the par 3s would
> require a wood off the tee.  But to get to a 5.1 without hitting the ball
> particularly far, you must be pretty consistent and straight, or have a
> damn good short game.  So even if you weren't hitting very many greens,
> you'd probably be close to them, and you'd only need to make enough pars
> to offset the higher score you could get to still maintain the same
> differential with a 74.1 rating.  So you'd probably figure out a way to
> do just as well after some time.

> A lot of it is what you are used to.  You've played your home course from
> the white tees how many times?  You've learned from experience places you
> do and don't want to go, and if you play the course from tees of a
> significantly different distance (either shorter or longer) you're going
> to find some new trouble you never really knew existed, plus have some
> new opportunities you didn't have before, and it would take a bit of time
> to learn them all to maximize your potential.

> --

> Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute.  Set him on fire, and
> he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

I guess that every golfer probably has kind of a "sweet spot" relative to
distance. I was playing with a guy not long ago whose index was the same as
mine - but certainly not his game. He was a good 40 yards longer than me. We
were playing a course new to both of us (6800 yards) and he smoked  my butt,
although with the state of my game that doesn't take much these days. I
asked him about his scores on shorter courses (vs. par) and interestingly he
said that they don't go down much.

If I regularly played longer courses I suspect that the big change would be
a bunch more work on my longer irons/hybrids/fairway woods. My 'home course'
is really 6 courses of varying difficulty and length. On a couple of them it
is going to take a helluva short game (with my length) to get to/stay at the
5 level. But not impossible, I guess.

dave