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19th Hole

The eternal debate: What would PGA Tour pros shoot on average golf courses?

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It’s fitting that in the same week that the PGA Tour (somewhat curiously) revealed its new slogan, “Live Under Par”/#LiveUnderPar, GolfWRX member borker brought up one of the age-old questions in golf: Just how much better are the pros than us average duffers And further, what would the average PGA Tour pros shoot, should he find himself pegging it at the local muni?

Saying that a Tour pro’s handicap is +5 may not be as striking as, say, this nugget from borker, “John Rahm played Canyon West somewhere in Texas [and shot 59]. Looks like it is rated 72.6/136 from the back .” He included an image of Rahm’s score, but here’s a better shot c/o Compleat Golfer.

But GolfWRX member niccho has done one better with his comment, pulling a 2007 Washington Post article by Eli Saslow from the archives wherein Steve Marino (not the Tour’s most accomplished golfer) tees it up with a scribe at a Washington, D.C. muni.

From that piece…

“[Marino] shot a 68. Make that an ugly 68…The par-4 first hole was emblematic of Marino’s round. He crushed a drive 320 yards down the right side of the fairway, almost all the way to the green, only to find the ball settled in a pile of twigs. Marino wasted his next shot chopping the ball out into the grass, and then he pitched his third shot to within 12 feet of the pin. He struck what felt like a pure putt, but the ball ran over sand and stopped a few inches short of the hole. Marino stood on the green and shook his head. “Ridiculous. Just ridiculous,” he said. Then he tapped in for bogey.”

As many members point out in the thread, it’s difficult to hole a ton of putts at ye olde muni, and canning anything from distance is out of the question. Thus, even if a pro finds 18 greens in regulation, expecting him to make even half the putts is unrealistic.

Marino himself spoke to this in the WaPo article

“It’s just kind of like you hit it and guess where it goes on this course,” Marino said. “I don’t think I’d ever shoot over par on a course like this, but I’m not sure I could ever go really low. On nice courses, you know when you hit a good shot that you’re going to get rewarded for it. So if you’re playing great, you score great. Here, you just never know.”

Returning to the subject of Rahm’s 59 at Canyon West, wcbjr says this

“There is nothing difficult about Canyon West. Being from the area, I’ve played it a dozen times or so. But that is still a ridiculous score with the current course condition. Greens and Bermuda coming out of dormancy, and I believe it was very windy that day.”

That said, Rahm was certainly putting on better greens than Marino was in ‘07 at East Potomac.

What say you, GolfWRX members? Ever played with a pro at a pristine country club track under normal conditions? What do you think a PGA Tour card holder would shoot at the roughest muni in your next of the woods?

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Daniel

    Apr 17, 2018 at 8:22 am

    About 10 years ago I was working at a CC just outside Charlotte, NC. A member came out one day with Johnson Wagner. I talked to the member later and he told me Wagner shot 64 and didn’t make any long putts or chip in….These guys are good.

  2. Todd Dugan

    Apr 14, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    This is pretty simple. Pros have handicaps also, usually. +5 is pretty typical for a PGA Tour pro. So, if your course is rated 70 from the regular men’s tees, for example, on a slightly better than average day, a Tour pro would shoot 65. Some days lower, some higher. People will try to obscure this reality, mostly to make themselves feel better, but it’s simple math, really.

    • John

      Apr 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm

      You dont seem to understand how handicaps work lol, shooting handicap is meant to be an achievement… I play off 2 (no social rounds, comps only) if I shoot 2 over that’s a good score

      • Todd Dugan

        Apr 15, 2018 at 3:10 pm

        Your handicap index is the average of your 10 best scores out of your last 20. Not an “achievement”, but “better than average”, as I said.

        • ROB HARRIS

          Apr 15, 2018 at 5:29 pm

          NOT TRUE.
          YOUR HANDICAP IS 80% OF THE BEST 10 SCORES OUT OF YOUR LAST 20. AND YOU THROW OUT THE HIGH ONE AND THE LOW ONE OF THE 20.

          • ROB HARRIS

            Apr 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm

            IS IS MUCH, MUCH EASIER TO SCORE ON A COURSE THAT IS IN PERFECT CONDITION WITH PERFECT GREENS THAT HAVE HARDLY ANY GRAIN AND FAIRWAYS CUT AS LOW AS MOST MUNI GREENS SO YOU CAN GET THE CLUBFACE ON THE BALL.
            AND EVERYTHING SET UP WITH PIN PLACEMENTS AND PERFECT DISTANCES TO FLAGS, BUNKERS, ETC.
            PRO GOLFERS ARE SPOILED BEYOND BELIEF..
            I AM A PLUS 2 AMATEUR AND WON MANY TOURNAMENTS.
            IT’S VERY HARD TO SCORE ON A GOAT RANCH

  3. acew/7iron

    Apr 14, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Would they get to use the books that show all the slope on every green?

    That alone should save anybody 5 strokes on the day even on a course you have never seen.

  4. A. Commoner

    Apr 13, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Such nonsense. Why not just debate “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”

  5. Man

    Apr 13, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    They would struggle to get out of rock hard bunkers with no sand in them.
    They would also struggle to concentrate when they know there’s no money reward at the end, so they just won’t get into playing that well because they won’t care.
    This is a non-debate. You’ll never be able to see them do their best at your local mangled muni.
    But the first hole example in the article comes close to what they would experience at most of our local munis.
    The only person who might have had a laugh doing it and playing properly and scoring well on such poor conditions would have been Lee Trevino as he grew up on hard pan and bad lies

    • SteveK

      Apr 14, 2018 at 12:50 am

      “…money reward…” you say?!!
      So if there is no money involved they would casually score in the 80’s?!!
      But if there is a money wager and competing with another pro they would score in the 60’s ??!!!

      • Man

        Apr 14, 2018 at 6:07 pm

        You better put up a decent sum. Otherwise yup, they’re not going to care about a casual meaningless round at the janky local muni.

    • The Law Professor

      Apr 16, 2018 at 10:57 am

      It is true that Lee once claimed things were easier for him when he first came out on tour, because he was so used to playing under horrible conditions. Read that years ago–of course, one never knows with Trevino, who’s not above spinning a good tale when the cameras or on or with a reporter and a notebook at the ready.

  6. ogo

    Apr 13, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    The only way a tour pro would find a local golf course challenging is to only carry a 7-iron, SW and putter…. to play par golf. 😀

  7. PG

    Apr 13, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    https://www.reddit.com/r/golf/comments/6ymle2/when_a_tour_pro_returns_home_for_midweek/

    Saw this a while back, I would suggest this would be fairly typical score for a touring pro on a “normal” course.

  8. Aaron

    Apr 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    In 2001 during The International at Castle Pines Golf club a friend of mine who was playing reached out and asked if I could help them get on at another local course in Castle Rock. I was able to arrange a round for them at Red Hawk Ridge. I’m not going to throw out names as I don’t have their permission to do so but as we stood on the first tee I was very curious as to what I was about to take part in. All 3 guys birdied the 1st and 2nd holes and none of their approach shots were outside of 10 feet. It was more of the same with a barrage of birdies an eagle and a few pars that were attributed to lipped out putts. As they were playing they were having a blast giddy with excitement and talking about wishing the courses on tour were easy like this. As we neared the end of the front 9 a small crowd of people including the Head Pro were out there following the action. At the 9th tee the guys decided to cut it short at 9 holes. The results were pretty incredible. The best player in the group who at the time was top 30 in the world and got inside the top 10 a couple years later shot a 27 on the front 9, the other 2 guys who were outside the top 50 in the world shot 30 and 31. I was a club pro at the time and shot a 34. The crazy part of this is that all 3 players failed to make the cut that week. It was an eye opening experience for sure.

  9. Rev G

    Apr 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    I think you hit the nail on the head. It all comes down to putting and if the greens are true enough for them to make putts. If they play a public course with good greens I would say 65 is going to be their average score and better if they’re on that day. If the greens are iffy then 68 – you gotta figure they’re going to reach all the par 5’s in two and maybe one or two par fours – But they’re also going to get screwed on a few holes simply because of the conditions.

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19th Hole

GolfWRX Classifieds Spotlight (06/05/20) – Scotty Cameron, TaylorMade Tour, GC Quad

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member jadedennill – Scotty Cameron CX-01

What a great price for a limited edition putter. This Scotty Cameron CX-01 is only 1 of 500 and offers a very unique look in a higher MOI blade design.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Scotty CSX-01

Member nc2lane – Foresight GC Quad

This ad feels like the classic episode of “The Simpsons,” where the family travels to a quiet east coast beach town and Lisa reinvents herself for the summer. To reinvent her look she takes her mom shopping for clothes and while off-camera you here “Mom come quick BRING MONEY!”

Well, you better bring the money, because state-of-the-art launch monitors don’t come cheap, but you certainly get what you pay for with the GC Quad from Foresight.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: GC Quad Launch Monitor

Member TheGriftKings – Unicorn 2015 8.5 M2 Driver

This is still one of the best and most sought after TaylorMade tour issue drivers of all time. This head is in amazing shape—basically new and at 8.5 degrees of loft, it’s even rarer.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: TaylorMade M2 Driver

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds 

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19th Hole

Check out Tiger Woods’ incredible handicap index history from his entire career

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Ever wondered what Tiger Woods’ handicap index has been throughout his career? Well, one statistician, Lou Stagner of Decade Golf, did some serious number crunching and the results are fascinating. 

From 1996 right through to today, Stagner used course rating and slope for each course in his research and calculated a differential for each round to find out what Tiger’s index would have been each year of his pro career.

You can see the impressive results in the graph below.

@loustagner

The results show that Woods was at his very best handicap wise in 2008 when he bossed a +9.4 index, his average index was +6.7 throughout his career, his current index is 6.5, and as Stagner noted, he was +7 or better for 35% of his handicap revisions.

It’s also worth noting that the results are not adjusted to tournament conditions. Not bad, eh?

 

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19th Hole

Henrik Stenson: Fan-less Ryder Cup is better than nothing

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@pgatour

On Thursday, ‘Henrik Stenson Almost An Hour’ podcast presented by Callaway Golf aired for the first time, with the Swede sharing his thoughts on his playing schedule going forward, the tour’s return as well as a potential spectator-less Ryder Cup.

On the new bi-weekly podcast, Stenson described the potential of a Ryder Cup with no fans as being “very blunt”, but did stress that even a spectator-less Ryder Cup is better than no Ryder Cup at all.

“For the atmosphere and for the feeling, for us as players that would be, very blunt, it would be something that you can’t really imagine at this point.

Then looking at the bigger picture, if that’s the only way that the Ryder Cup can go ahead, and if it’s not an option to play it next year with crowds, with fans, then I would prefer to play a Ryder Cup than to not play a Ryder Cup.”

Stenson revealed he wouldn’t be returning to the U.S. until mid-July, and he’s expecting the first couple of week’s back to be “messy” as the players and officials adjust to the new conditions.

“I’ll sit out a few weeks and see how everything gets going. I think it might be a little bit more messy the first couple of weeks as well before everyone finds their bearings with testing and everything.

So I’ll watch it from the couch the first couple of weeks and most likely then with the current restrictions I will travel over in mid-July to Lake Nona. I’ll have a couple of weeks of practice and then I’ll tee it up at the WGC FedEx tournament in Memphis.”

Once the 44-year-old does get Stateside again, you can expect to see him often as he plans to play “every week up until Christmas.”

“And once I get over and start playing, I can pretty much play every week up until Christmas. Because (there’s) going to be lots of golf tournaments, and it’s not going to be a shortage. So I’m just kind of tweaking my return a little bit and will probably play a bit more in the fall.”

‘Henrik Stenson Almost An Hour’ podcast presented by Callaway Golf will air every other Thursday here.

 

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