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Could a Scratch Golfer break 85 at Augusta?

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#1261 bscinstnct



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Posted 13 April 2018 - 02:37 PM

Horses for courses.

Not sure if applicable.

Just always wanted to say "Horses for courses".

Happyyyyyy Friddaaayyyyyy! To my best (and only) friends on golfwrx ; )

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#1262 Roadking2003


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Posted 13 April 2018 - 04:03 PM

View PostEdEd, on 13 April 2018 - 02:17 PM, said:

Yea it is a totally different scenario. So a guy who is at least a scratch, playing from the members tee (which is 1100yd shorter), hitting wedges into every green according to his post, didn't 3 putt at all (pretty incredible), having the caddie showing him the lines and places to miss, might have had the caddie moving his balls a couple of times to better lies/angles to the pin and he only shot 75. If anything, this is telling me that a scratch playing there for the first time with no caddy and with final round condition is highly unlikely to shot below 85. Not impossible, but very improbable.

And then consider the greens.  It's highly unlikely that a scratch player would get around without a few three putts on tournament speed greens.


#1263 isaacbm


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Posted 13 April 2018 - 06:00 PM

I wish I could play all of these scratch golfers who have absolutely zero chance of breaking 85 for money !  I would quit my day job !
Any legitimate tournament scratch who doesn’t have the confidence that he can break 85 is somebody I want to gamble with !!

Edited by isaacbm, 13 April 2018 - 06:01 PM.


#1264 MtlJeff


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Posted 13 April 2018 - 06:14 PM

I just want to hang out with everyone in this thread, mostly because I feel like we're all family now. I've dated girls for less time than we've been discussing this!
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#1265 Mcgeeno


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Posted 13 April 2018 - 06:18 PM

View PostRoadking2003, on 13 April 2018 - 04:03 PM, said:

And then consider the greens.  It's highly unlikely that a scratch player would get around without a few three putts on tournament speed greens.

They could have lots of 3 putts. 6 or 8 or maybe even 10.

And still break 85.

We are not talking about a mythical or scary number like 72 or 75 here. I don't see that happening at all. The score target is +13 on a really tough 78 rated course with little or no trouble off most tees.

I assume a good tournament tested scratch is gonna slap in one birdie on a par 3 or par 4 over the course of the day. There are at least a handful of holes where you have a chance. I bet he will be able to somehow figure out a way to hit one iron close over 18 holes LOL. Add in a couple par 5's where you have a chance at birdie and the number is more than doable.

I mean even 10 three putts. Two doubles and a triple playing conservatively. Add in a half dozen pars and a birdie or two and the number is 84.

Not every scratch is gonna have a chance. But drop a handful there under the same scenario and someone gets it done no doubt.


#1266 dan360



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Posted 13 April 2018 - 09:35 PM

As of 29JUL2018

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#1267 nsxguy


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Posted 13 April 2018 - 10:09 PM

View Postdan360, on 13 April 2018 - 09:35 PM, said:


Short and sweet. :good:

And quite obvious to anybody that understands what "could" means,,,,,,,, :yes:
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#1268 JL1



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Posted 14 April 2018 - 09:22 AM

View PostObee, on 09 April 2018 - 09:36 PM, said:

View PostJL1, on 09 April 2018 - 08:32 PM, said:

Obee, I do not know who your friend is but he sounds more like the exception and less like the rule. Plus, Salem CC from the Championship tees is 6916 yards with a course rating of 73.5 and a slope of 134. Augusta is a much more difficult golf course than that.

I have been reading this thread since it started and to me the question isn't black or white. It isn't, to me anyway, whether one scratch golfer can score 85 at Augusta. Of course if you got all scratch golfers on that course some of them would score better than that. The question to me is whether it would be rare, and I think it would.

I have a buddy who when he was a small school college AA and +1.5 and who got thru more US Open local qualifiers than I can remember. Beat loads of young college players who were + handicaps. He played Augusta and did not score 85.

Jon Smoltz is a +1.7 according to his GHIN profile. I saw him play 18 holes vs Tom Glavin one nite on The golf channel. He shot 81 on a track that isn't on the same level as Augusta. Tony Romo is a + 1 point something. We all saw what that opposite field event did to him. He never came close to winning anything in Dallas, let alone the whole state of Texas. Forget winning anything, or even competing, nationally.

Your "average" scratch player is a piker whose game does not travel compared to better players in any large Golf Association. Your friend is either much better than an average scratch or he shot the rounds of his life plus made some putts he doesn't normally make.

For the best in the world, Augusta can be scored on. But that course punishes weakness in anyone's game. Your average scratch has plenty of holes in their game. Not that they are outright bad at anything, just that there are some aspects of their game that are not strong. That's why their handicap doesn't travel, because where ever they go their weaknesses get exposed. Augusta will expose the weaknesses.

Not disagreeing with much you have said here. It's the guys claiming "No chance," "1 in a thousand," etc. that I really don't get.

And amateurs (like Smoltz, et al.) can, of course, put up big numbers. That's a given. But citing a high score or two makes as much sense as ONLY citing a player's good scores.

We all have a range relative to the course we're playing and its rating and slope. Pros and ams alike.

The very best pros in the world have a full range that is comparatively huge at Augusta: 63 to 78(?). Their range is higher at Augusta than it is at many courses because it is both very long, AND has a high slope (water, trees, fast, undulating greens, etc.).

Amateurs would similarly have a huge range there. It would be even larger, in fact.

In my mind, a true scratch (defined as someone who AVERAGES scratch golf over a year -- some months a a +1, others as a 1, others as a 0, etc) with decent tournament experience (former college golfer, competitive mid-am, etc), would have a low-end range of 77ish (which would be about as rare as a pro shooting the low end of THEIR RANGE, a 63) to 95.

Top tour pros are ~8 to 12 strokes better than a scratch golfer. 8 better on an easy course, 12+ on the most difficult.

Think about it. On a relatively easy 6700 yard course with a rating of 72 and a slope of 130, a scratch golfer is going to shoot 72 quite often, and average about 75, with a low of about 67

A Tour pro is going to shoot 63-64 quite regularly and average 65-66.  Low end of range is 57 or 58.

The tougher the course gets in length/course rating, the higher the LOW scores become. If you also increase the slope rating, the larger the variability becomes, especially for the scratch player versus the pro.

If we are talking about a 10-handicapper, all bets are off, low range is probably 90ish, but high range is pushing 120 if playing it down and in because a very high slope kills the mid and high capper. That's why a 14.0 index on a course with a 160 slope becomes a 20(!) course handicap!

Btw, contrary to what many here think, it's my firm belief that the guys with the better short games as amateurs that will generally score in a tighter range at Augusta. Most scratch ams are going to miss at least 10 greens out there regardless of how long they hit it. And if you miss greens there, your short game better be pretty darn good to keep it under 90! :-)

Meaning: Taken as a group, my guess is that the scratch players with the better short games but that are shorter hitters outperform the long hitters with marginal short games. :-)

I mentioned that one score for Smoltz because it was the one score I knew about where he played on TV in front of a national audience. Lights, cameras, bogeys sort of thing.


#1269 lchang


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Posted 14 June 2018 - 11:10 AM

No practice, no caddie today at Shinnecock.  Any chance a scratch breaks 85 today?!  I'd have to put (a lot of) my money on No!!

Just played with a friend who's a 0.0-index (out of Olympic, whose handicaps generally travel well).  So if we use that particular scratch player...definitely No!!


#1270 TheCityGame


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Posted 11 July 2018 - 05:41 AM

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