Does being a good tennis player translate to GOLF?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Sweet-Spot, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Sweet-Spot

    Sweet-Spot Rookie

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    What do you think? Generally as players we have good hand eye co-ordination, and there is evidence of tennis players playing golf at a very high level (Lendl, Draper).

    I know you play tennis, but how's your golf? :)
     
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  2. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Hall of Fame

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    I have never tried golf.

    It looks really difficult to hit and drive that tiny ball.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Prolly not better than a QB or baseball player.
    4.0 doubles player, 95 golfer.
     
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  4. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Hall of Fame

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    Not really. As a former golf player myself, Golf is extremely technical and requires a lot of practice to enjoy. Even thought people that never touched a tennis racquet can't hit a proper forehand right away, they can still hit the ball a bit and have some kind of fun. You can't do the same in golf. It's best you take lessons if you never touched a golf club before.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    My very first ever attempt at golf, at 27 years old and 3 years of tennis (top level C player) was a round of 18 at LincolnPark, SanFrancisco. Scored a 112, the worse round I've ever played. My three buds scored lower than 95's, with the best at 82.
    5 years ago was the last time I played. Right after SanFrancisco's AMEX event. Scored a 104, after not playing a round of golf for over 30 years. Would be hard to do worse that that, until I become a really old fart.
     
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  6. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

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    Some similarity in mental fortitude & game strategy... everything from neck up.

    Physical wise, it's like taking 1 serve only every 5mins then taking a walk 5 laps around the court. :)

    Need patience in golf... mine runs out by 90mins &/or 7th hole. By 9th I'd be showboating with risky shots & by 15th there'll be unorthodox use of equipment. (hey you CAN tee off with putter & get off sand with the 3W :D plus the ClubCar offroads pretty well)
     
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  7. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Only thing that translates from tennis to golf is core strength. Golf is a left side of body dominant sport. (if you play golf as a right hander)

    But there are many good golfers that play high level tennis.
     
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  8. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    If those were legit scores, that's pretty good.
     
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  9. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    Tennis players are better lovers
     
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  10. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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  11. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    And many tennis players play their golf the opposite way they play tennis - i.e. Lendl (and Wilander I think) plays golf right-handed... probably because the golf sing is much closer in orientation to the tennis backhand than the forehand.
     
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  12. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Sample size - 1 [*]


    [*] Radek Stepanek
     
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  13. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    I play tennis right handed, with a double handed backhand. I play golf left handed, being comfortable hitting a two handed backhand probably helped me take to golf.
     
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  14. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    There does seem to be a correlation between high level tennis and being half decent at golf. Tiger Tim plays off scratch I believe, Rafa is pretty hand with a golf bat, Lendl and Sampras both have attempted to compete I believe. I'm sure there are many others. I play off around 18 despite only playing a couple of times a year (wish I had more time to play). I'm sure the technical nature of both sports, requiring good coordination and proprioception helps one to learn the mechanics of the other.

    cheers
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Millions of non tennis playing golfers can golf better than 95 pretty much any day of the week.
    I've played tennis at a level that can be reached in 3 years of intensive tennis.
    I golf around 95-105.
     
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  16. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Tennis players seem to at least be much better golfers than basketball players. Have you ever seen Charles Barkley try to hit a golf ball? The only question is how this man was ever a professional athlete?
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    KennyAnderson, his partner on the announcing gigs, is a +6 golfer.
    MichaelJordan about the same.
     
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  18. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

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    In Jack Nicklaus' book Golf My Way, he described how he played tennis to get his legs into shape for golf. He felt his power came from his legs and he was one of the longest hitters for years.

    I quit playing tennis at approx age 21 to play golf and got down to a 2 handicap. I quit golf at age 36 to play tennis. I can still play golf at a good level as I find it very easy to repeat the swing from the years of practice. Tennis is more difficult because of the needed movement and the ball moves.

    I don't think the sports translate. I believe being a competitive person drives the success and determination to succeed. Golf is a sport you can take up later in life and still become an excellent player. I doubt the same can be said about ice hockey, basketball, or any other physically demanding sport. When I retire, I plan to become a better bowler, billiard player, and golfer! I might throw in table tennis too.
     
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  19. star 5 15

    star 5 15 Professional

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    The think tennis has helped and hurt my golf game. For one thing, because I am RH and have a two handed backhand, the shoulder rotation on my right side is a joke... It is probably half of what my left side is. Anyway though this has resulted in me having a very steep swing with my miss always being right. I can agree tennis helped golf with the core strength but that's about it. In spite of this I really enjoy golf and once I'm done with college tennis, it will be 95% golf for me. I'm a 12.3 Handicap right now and I'd like to get down to 7 or 8 this summer.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    One huge obstacle for golf is the money involved to play....
    Sure, a bag of decent clubs is nothing, like a couple three grand, but that's chump change compared to green fees.
    Around here, you can certainly get cheapo 25-35 dollar 18 hole weekday rounds, but try Friday, Sat., or Sun., and it's triple the price.
    Tennis is one of the cheapest, most affordable sports a person can play, if you don't play indoors in a private club.
     
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  21. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    That makes sense. For me, playing tennis right handed (with a 2 handed backhand) and playing golf left handed, it made golf easier. Being comfortable from the left side, through backhands, made it feel quite natural.
     
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  22. HuusHould

    HuusHould Rookie

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    "It's all in the hips" applies to both sports. I can think of 5 of my fellow tennis players who are single figure handicappers. One guy I play comp against is off +7 (for the golf uninitiated this means he adds 7 shots to his score), but he's primarily a golfer. Drawing a golf shot is similar to swinging a passing shot down the line, touch and feel (and creativity) at the net I think can correlate to to all of the above around the greens, but that's more inherent to the individual in question as opposed to positive skill transfer.
     
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  23. Stupendous1HBH

    Stupendous1HBH Semi-Pro

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    No because my 1 handed backhand wouldn't translate well. 2 handed golf swings standing as a lefty. Ayyeeeee!!!!!!

    It would completely throw me off my game lmao.
     
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  24. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Hmmmm, does being good at a sport make you also good at something that is not even close to being a sport?
     
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  25. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    The Da Vinci Aphorism: "Being good at anything makes it likely you'll be good at other things"
     
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  26. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    kinetic chain applies to both... using the core to move the arms/club
    eyes on contact after contact
    allowing the release
    etc...
     
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  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Of course it's legit.
    I played 2 year's of basketball for my junior high. I played 3 year's of basketball for my high school.
    As a sophmore, I played JV football in the fall. So I played varsity football as a junior and senior.
    Tried to walk on in City College of SF for both sports, but was too small and I'd just broken my collarbone a few weeks previous for the football tryout.
    Started surfing at 16, made 4A in Santa Cruz, which is the highest level attainable by a non world touring pro, by age 21.
    Had the Abraham Lincoln (San Francisco) high school record for standing long jump, posted above the gym, for over 22 year's.
    Now a very bad 4.0 level tennis player, and just over 100 golfer, at age 68, after 3 tib/fib breaks, surgery, and multiple pins, plates, and wires.
     
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  28. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Hall of Fame

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    I've played more golf than tennis in my life. Best Handicap was 8 when I was in my early 40's, now about a 12. Break 80 once or twice a year on average, most scores in the mid-80's. I'm a 3.5 tennis player and likely will never rise higher due to shoulder issues that affect my serve.

    I find tennis really screws up my golf swing and vice versa. It's a tempo thing. Tennis is far quicker in tempo which translates to quick choppy golf swings. Similarly the slower tempo of the golf swing leads to an overlong backswing in tennis that throws my timing off.

    I can say that tennis has built forearm strength that has given me about 10 more yards on my drive. But that's the biggest gain.

    But in the end, I think if you are an average golfer you can be an average tennis player. If you are an excellent golfer you can be an excellent tennis player. What will determine the outcome is fitness. You don't need exceptional fitness in golf but you do in tennis.
     
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  29. Stupendous1HBH

    Stupendous1HBH Semi-Pro

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    So basically Sureshs needs to be taking up more golf.
     
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  30. HouTex

    HouTex Rookie

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    I agree with the tempo issue. Golf is counterintuitive. The slower and smoother the swing (assuming proper form) the more clubhead speed is generated at the point of impact and the ball goes further. The tennis swing is a different animal.

    Hand-eye coordination is required for both.
     
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  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If you can get good at one sport, chances are you can get good in another sport.
    Chances of being GREAT is not the same thing, as GREAT denotes superior athletic sizing as well as just pure mechanics.
    If you are a 4.0 tennis player, topped out, you're gonna top out as a golfer around a 4th year golfer, or mid 80's averages.
     
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  32. robok9

    robok9 Semi-Pro

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    For me personally I had a really good experience with translating my tennis to golf. When I got tennis elbow I took up golf about 13 months ago. Started out slow shooting in the low 100s and quickly made progress. I think the biggest factor to my golf improvement wasn't actually the general hand eye coordination of tennis, but rather learning how to learn a sport. Learning how to analyze my own tennis technique helped a lot with breaking down and improving my golf swing. Last week I shot my lowest round yet at 79 (par 72), and my driving distance can get up into the 300s with my farthest being 316 measured with gps. I would say that I've made as much progress in a little over a year in golf compared to 5 years in tennis. Honestly, I love both sports pretty equally at this point which is saying a lot because I really love tennis.

    Here's a full speed clip and a more recent slow mo of my swing from like 2 weeks ago.
    https://goo.gl/photos/rfV4Tj74tQEXsNWu5
    https://goo.gl/photos/dfYY9m9tJisyJB8m6
     
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  33. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Legend

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    I shot a par... once. 18 hole par 71 I believe. Usually low to mid eighties in my peak era. Depends a lot on the course... of course.
     
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  34. Bluefan75

    Bluefan75 Semi-Pro

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    You should focus more on what you shot vs the course rating for your tees. Just because a course calls a hole a par 4 doesn't mean it really is. The calculation for handicap doesn't base off par. If you shot a 73 on a "par 71, but the course rating for your tees is 73, you've shot a scratch player's round.
     
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  35. stapletonj

    stapletonj Professional

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    golf is a skill game with a somewhat athletic component.
    tennis is an athletic sport with a skill component.
     
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  36. Kalin

    Kalin Hall of Fame

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    How is tennis not close to being a sport? Ah, you probably play social doubles only ;)
     
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  37. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Hall of Fame

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    Just looking at your golf swing I bet you are a 4.5 - 5.0 tennis player. No 3.5 hacker learns to swing a golf club like that and hit 300 yd drives in 13 months.
     
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  38. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Hall of Fame

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    Tennis is just golf with running. Both are sports where you swing an implement at a ball to make it go where you want it.
     
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  39. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    I have played tennis for a long time. First time I tried golf, my handicap was 8...






    (for the first hole which was a par 3)
     
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  40. MathGeek

    MathGeek Professional

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    Never broke 100 in golf (18 holes), but I suck at tennis too. Difference is, I like tennis. A golf course is a willful and deliberate misuse of a perfectly good rifle range. My other gripe about golf is it is just way too expensive to play enough to improve.

    Does mini-golf count? In my last 5 rounds, I'm averaging better than -7 (18 holes), and I took 2nd place in the last two tourneys I entered. But being good with a putter says nothing about being good with the woods and irons.
     
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  41. nvr2old

    nvr2old Rookie

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    I play both. Learned tennis at 10 years old if I remember correctly. Played for 15 years and took up gold at about age 23 about the same time either I stopped playing tennis. Have played golf since. Was a fairly good baseball player and had try out with Angels. As a result my golf swing has never been great as it was influenced too much by baseball. Having said that my true golf handicap is somewhere around 20. In returning to tennis it's only taken a couple of months to "relearn" or shake the rust off my tennis swing and play very well. Golf is a very technically demanding endeavor with many moving parts that need to work exactly right to impact the ball precisely. 2-3 mm off of center or face angulation can drastically alter a golf balls flight. Tennis on the other hand places more emphasis on athleticism and less on precision. You can (and most often, even the pros) miss the sweet spot by a lot and still hit the ball in and do very well. IMO golf is a lot harder to play and takes a lot of practice to both learn and to maintain your level of play. Tennis on the other hand is honestly easier to learn (my wife is a case in point) and much more fun to both learn and to play. Both can be played well into old age though with great enjoyment. Ken
     
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  42. weelie

    weelie Rookie

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    My 2HBH has traditionally been my best shot. When I tried golf a decade ago, I naturally played left-handed, as to me the swing was just a low way of playing the 2HBH. Not that I was particularly good at golf, nor found any real interest in pursuing it. Maybe when I get too old for tennis... or move somewhere where there's year round decent weather!
     
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  43. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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  44. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    This is probably true for most people.

    Much like tennis, you can't always tell how well someone is going to score in golf just by watching them hit in the range. (And think about how many guys that look great playing groundstroke practice rallies are terrible at PLAYING tennis). Plenty of guys spend hours on the range blasting drives and irons. Their only goal is to hit every club as far as they can. Some of these guys get good at blasting balls. But when they get on the course, they have no real idea what to do. They will just try to blast every shot. Most (I'd say pretty much all) of these guys will also never keep a true score. If they blast a drive that fades into the water, they just retee, no penalty. Hit it in the super tall grass or by a tree? Just pick it up and put it in a spot that allows them to swing full and blast the ball again. Skull/chunk a chip? Miss and easy putt? Those shots don't count (mulligan). And even doing all this, they still only card something like an 85-90 most of the time (true score being 10+ shots more than that).

    Now take the "old man" golfer that just hits straight drives 200 - 250, but almost always where he wants it. If he hits a bad drive, it usually isn't too bad and he plays it where it lies. Next shot is a conservative iron aiming at the "fat part" of the green. He'll often hit the green or miss to the "smart side". Then he'll hit a putt (or chip if he missed the green) so he get's close to the hole and makes sure he misses on the low side, so his next putt will be up hill. Maximizing his chances to make the next one. He'll get mostly par and bogey. This is the guy that will score 40 on each nine pretty much everytime. Almost never worse than 42.

    Improving from this point is hard. You have to try to add "a bit" to your drives. So you can hit the greens on those longer par 4's. That's where a lot of bogey's come from. You are still going to bogey par 3's soemetimes. Just the nature of the beast. The guys who can actually get close to par in 18 holes almost always are able to take advantage of at least 2 of the 4 par 5's on a course and get birdie. The other thing these guys will be great at is pretty much never 3 putting. And that means you have to be rock solid on lag putting/chipping and then not miss that next putt that is anywhere from 1-4 feet.

    And of course, much will depend on the course. The course I'm playing all summer is a beast to score on. It is full of water and sand. The rough is like iron to hit out of. So thick. It just grabs hold of your club. And you can't just blast the ball 3 fairways over. If miss the rough, you are off the course/unplayable. Greens are lightning fast with lots of break. Best score I've shot on 9 is a 38. And that is a TRUE 38. No mulligans. Counting all penalty strokes (I had none). I actually doubled bogeyed a hole on that round by missing a 3 footer. Then on the next 9 I shot a 44 to pretty much ruin the round. Just so hard to keep it together.

    https://www.golfstonebridgeutah.com/golf/info-scorecards

    I've scored in the 70's on other courses. Still have yet to shoot a par round on any course though.

    The thing with golf is that every shot counts. In tennis, you can lose a game at love and hit balls into the fence. You can lose a set at love and just tank and still come back to win the match. In golf, all strokes count. If you get into trouble, you have to keep disciplined and get out of trouble. If you miss a 2 foot putt, that's a stroke just like a 300 yard drive. If you miss a put-away volley or overhead in tennis, it might not mean a thing (you still win the game and the miss is forgotten).

    Also, you can play a good hole and still get bogey. Just thinking about my last hole last night. Par 5. I hit a 250 drive down the middle. Hit a 200 yard 4 iron. Hit a 9 iron into the green to within 15-20 feet. I hit the exact putt I wanted, but misjudged the break. Ended up about 5 feet from the cup (low side). Hit the next putt to within an inch. Bogey. No real big mistakes. Played the hole pretty much exactly like I wanted to. Just misjudged my first putt by "a bit". And that was enough to ruin my hole. THAT'S golf!!! And that is what makes improving hard. I mean, what do I practice so I don't bogey that hole next time? How do I "make sure" I read the putt? No amount of time bashing balls on the range would have helped me. And when it comes to putting, being perfect is pretty hard. But if you aren't, you'll "leak" several strokes a round.

    I've actually gotten pretty good at keeping my driver and irons on line. Yesterday every drive was either in the fairway or close enough that it didn't hurt me. All of my irons were either on the green or just off. But "just off" on 2 or 3 occasions meant I hit the bunker. And even being "just off" the green means you have to chip it close enough that you 1 putt. And that isn't easy. For anybody. Odds are you'll 2 putt 2 out of 3 of those. That's just the way it is. So hard to chip it and then knock in the putt everytime. Just isn't going to happen. And even if you hit the green, 3 putts happen. So, I end up shooting around 42 per 9 holes most of the time (quite often I'll get a double bogey per 9) on the course I linked to above. I score more like 40 per 9 on easier courses. Even on easier courses, it's hard to shoot below 80 (8 over).
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017 at 12:54 PM
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