Why do I play golf? The fame, the money, the free gear, the adoring fans? Well, I got/receive none of those. (hint to any corporations reading this that need a public voice) I play for the drop of endorphins after a well contacted shot soars through the sky and comes to rest right where I aimed. And those are getting more regular but I am still not where I want to be. If I had to quantify the my golf goal, I would say I want to break 90 every time I play and hold a 15 handicap. So, why can’t I? I am mortal and easily distracted by shiny objects.
That One Bad Hole
I am content if my scorecard balances double bogeys with pars. It is fair to say that when I play a round of golf there will be that one hole that shoots my day in the foot. On a recent trip to Crescent Pointe Golf Club, I racked up a double par 8 on the 1st hole. All pain and misery came from poor chipping (four times) after a recovery from my tee shot into a fairway bunker.
The rest of the day went well enough (except for a triple bogey on and I found my groove and scored a 96. So doing clubhouse math, reduce that 8 to a bogey 5 and a 6 on the 9th par 3 to 4 and I “shot” a 91 with some double bogeys remaining on the back 9.
It’s All Between the Ears
How do I let one hole slip away from an otherwise solid performance? When I hit a bad shot, I can trace it back to lack of concentration during my downswing. If I focus during this magic time, my shot percentage goes way up. I hit fairways. I hit green in regulation. No sand trap can contain me. My trick shots work.
Constant vigilance.Mad Eye Moody
Good vs. Bad Shots
I think I am smashing several quotes from golf books together but I would say it like this:
It is not that quality of my good good shots but the quantity of my bad shots that define my scorecard.Me (unless someone else did first)
If I was using a mental scorecard, I would like to see a scorecard with 80% to 90% of my shots being what I pictured them to be.
Calculating My Destination
No plan for improvement is worth a of box of TopFlite orange balls unless there is a quantitative goal. I want to score below 90 consistently and lower my handicap to a 15. The two are related but where does my score need to be meet that 15 handicap goal? Let’s do the math:
Handicap calculation formula:
(Score – Course Rating) x 113 / Slope Ratingamericangolf.com
Let’s work backwards with high school algebra and solve for Score which is my X factor on three courses to see what I must shoot to earn a 15 handicap:
- [(Score – 72.2) X 133]/139 = 15 Handicap
- Score = 88
- Present Average Score = 97.3
- [(Score – 69.10) x 133]/116 = 15 Handicap
- Goal Score = 82
- Present Average Score = 91.2
- [(Score – 66.70) x 133]/116 = 15 handicap
- Goal Score = 82
- Present Average Score = 94
With these calculations, I need to drop on average 9 strokes per round to reach a 15 handicap. Can it be done? Yes and easy if I stay in play and keep my head in the game. We will check back in six months and see how much headway I make.