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The Scratch Golfer's Creed


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#31 Forged4ever

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 06:46 PM

View PostBlues Golfer, on 21 November 2017 - 06:01 PM, said:

A legit scratch is difficult to achieve.  It takes more innate talent than most people have.  That’s why way way less than 1 percent of golfers achieve it, or ever could.

Yes, being a scratch on an easy home course is not the same as being a scratch at Oakmont.  As much as the USGA will argue otherwise, handicaps travel with varying results.
Great post and soooo true.

We called em “club scratches” and “Player Scratches.”

A Player is a Player regardless of where they plant the tee.

If you’re a Player’s Scratch, your swing is good enough, at least the Player’s Scratches that I Played with were-

Nice thread  Bro👊

Nice post BG👍

Cheers🍻
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But For The Way That The Sound Of Her Voice Can Silence My Demons....


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#32 Dan Drake

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 01:57 PM

I have missed a couple of revisions, but here are the numbers:

12/15/17 - 3.0
1/1/18 - 2.8
1/15/18 - 2.8

Also, I've had a bit of a change recently and I want to mention it here.  

My previously stated goals are stupid.  

And I mean that.  Why, in the name of Bobby Jones, am I only trying to get to a 0.9 by the end of this year?  What sense does that make.  I "tried" to get to a 2.0 this past year and only made it to a 2.8.  Why would I then set my next goal so close?  I have a new goal, that will most certainly take more commitment and action.  

I want to have the lowest index at my club by year's end.

I currently sit at #7 at my club as a -2.8.  The lowest is a +1.0 and our two-time defending club champion at -0.3.  I have 11.5 months to get to my goal.  



Time to get to work.
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#33 Obee

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 11:34 PM

View PostDan Drake, on 20 January 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:

I have missed a couple of revisions, but here are the numbers:

12/15/17 - 3.0
1/1/18 - 2.8
1/15/18 - 2.8

Also, I've had a bit of a change recently and I want to mention it here.  

My previously stated goals are stupid.  

And I mean that.  Why, in the name of Bobby Jones, am I only trying to get to a 0.9 by the end of this year?  What sense does that make.  I "tried" to get to a 2.0 this past year and only made it to a 2.8.  Why would I then set my next goal so close?  I have a new goal, that will most certainly take more commitment and action.  

I want to have the lowest index at my club by year's end.

I currently sit at #7 at my club as a -2.8.  The lowest is a +1.0 and our two-time defending club champion at -0.3.  I have 11.5 months to get to my goal.  



Time to get to work.

So impressed by this. You can get there. Embrace the art. Work backwards. Want to learn how to curve it a way thou is uncomfortable for you? Pay attention. Figure it out. Watch others. "Dig it out of the dirt." :-)
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#34 northgolf

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 11:38 PM

The only thing I could scratch with that creed is better served with preparation H.
If I do this 11,548 more times, I will be having fun.  - Zippy the Pinhead

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#35 Obee

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 07:44 PM

View Postnorthgolf, on 20 January 2018 - 11:38 PM, said:

The only thing I could scratch with that creed is better served with preparation H.

Well that's very nice....

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#36 cdodom91

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 05:32 PM

I agree with owning ones swing! It kind of reminds me of Dave Stockton’s finding your putting Signature. Writing your own signature is always easier and more repeatable than trying to trace over someone else’s.

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#37 Dan Drake

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:43 PM

Wow, what a year!  I have to apologize, I forgot about this thread amidst quite a few other priorities that came along including my wife and I opening a business for her.  We have been busy to say the least, as she is essentially running her show by herself and I have the course and house now to handle.  Thank goodness for the great staff at the golf course, especially our Asst. Pro!

Anyway, here is an update on the numbers and then I'll dive into them a bit:

12/15/17 - 3.0
1/1/18 - 2.8
1/15/18 - 2.8
2/1/18 - 2.8
2/15/18 - 3.6
3/1/18 - 3.5
3/15/18 - 3.5
4/1/18 - 3.5
4/15/18 - 3.3
5/1/18 - 3.3
5/15/18 - 3.1
6/1/18 - 3.1
6/15/18 - 3.1
7/1/18 - 2.8
7/15/18 - 3.0
8/1/18 - 3.0
8/15/18 - 2.9
9/1/18 - 2.9
9/15/18 - 3.1
10/1/18 - 2.7
10/15/18 - 2.9
11/1/18 - 2.2
11/15/18 - 2.2
12/1/18 - 2.2
12/15/18 - 1.7
1/1/19 - 1.7
1/15/19 - Trend is 1.3

So here's a bit of a recap.  The end of winter was what it usually is for me, the temperature drops, the bermuda goes dormant, and the wind picks up.  All 3 of these result in my handicap going up just a bit, and they did, predictably.  

Then, I had a tournament in the spring at a very difficult course that I've only played once before.  I shot a smooth 87 and the round took 6 hours (dead serious).  But it was alright really.  The foursome I was paired with had a great time and I proved more to myself about keeping a good attitude and being engaged than I ever would have shooting a less "adventurous" round.  I have to believe that this was an extremely valuable step in getting to where I was/am going.........

The summer brought more rounds in my "normal range" of 74 - 82, always slightly negative, never more than -1 on any 9 holes before something would go wrong and wreck it all.  Constantly working on my swing, although oddly enough, my bag (Bag is Set Club shoutout!) was pretty solidified, at least for me.

Simply put, I was in a rut.  

To be continued.....................
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#38 Obee

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:52 PM

Have you shot under the course rating in competition yet, bud?
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#39 Dan Drake

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:54 PM

Continued:

But then, a few small changes happened.  

1. First & foremost - I continued to work on the things that were my biggest areas for improvement based on my strokes gained records that I keep religiously (every non-scramble shot on course since the end of 2015).  I know what I need to work on and what I can simply skip because I'm only going to face that shot maybe once every 5 rounds (which for me could be 3 months away).
2. DECADE - Plain & simple the single best strategy/mental game thing ever created.  Do yourself a favor and at least watch all of Scott Fawcett's free content.  It will change your game, if you let it.
3. Getting professionally fit (not self fit!) for Callaway clubs - This, plus the DECADE has allowed me to have the best 4 months of driving the golf ball that I've ever had, and I haven't improved my swing during this time.  
4. Practicing my 3' putts.  Seriously.

All of this added up to some exciting things for me in the last half of the year.  We started our local PGA match play event and I immediately wanted a piece of the Pro who knocked me out last year at the same course.  Instead of avenging my 1 down loss, I made a mess of everything and lost 5&4!  But then, a slight sloppy win over a guy not playing his best.  Then a straight-out-of-the-office to the 1st tee after putting on a tournament at my own course 75 that got me a 2&1 win.  Then the last guy who could keep me out of the knockouts withdrew and I was in the knockouts for the 2nd year in a row as a #2 seed and I would face off against the #1 seed from Pod D.  The new Callaway clubs came in and were played with a few times right in this time frame and they would be put to the test.  I would win a match where we went to 3 different courses (my opponents choices) before we finally tee'd off, but we ended up playing on my childhood municipal course, after my opponent drove back to one of the previous courses to retrieve his clubs he had left at their bag drop!  Anyway, a good 74 and I was on to the semifinals with a 2 up win!  

And then "IT" happened on October 29th.  The match play semifinals pitted last year's winner against the best player in the area (who has won this event before as well) and I was to face the guy (also a previous winner of this event) who knocked me out last year, again, on the same course, again, where I was 0-2 against him after my 5&4 loss to start the matches.  And he proceeds to roll in a birdie on the first to go 1 up.  Here we go again.  

But it didn't happen that way.  I made a 15'er for par on #2.  Then a miss/make in my favor from 5'.  Then a 25'er for birdie rolled in.  Then I stoned a 7i out of the trees to 3' for eagle on a par 5 (lol, shot of the day to say the least!).  A three putt on #11 didn't slow me down and after a couple of sold up and downs, I faced a dreaded shot for me:  a blind 40 yard pitch shot over a bunker to a sliver of green off a soggy fairway lie.  And I knew I was leading the match, but had no idea if I was 2up or what.  ......But I had put in the time to go see a good friend and great teacher up the road and we worked on this exact shot for a solid 1.5 hours about two weeks before the match.  Why had I done that?  Well, because I knew where we were playing, how many drivers I was going to hit, what holes I would hit them on, what yardage that would leave me, and that I would need to birdie these holes to win them, most likely.  The result?  It caught a piece of the hole and finished 3" away.  

To my surprise, my opponent after missing his birdie putt took his hat off and offered his hand in congratulations.  I had won 5&4 on the same hole I had lost 5&4 on 3+ months earlier.  I also knew I had a special round going, so I asked if I could keep playing along while the other match went on.  A birdie on #17 from 12' and a missed 6'er for birdie on #18 (hurrying to get out of the way of the other match that was all square at this point) left me with the opportunity to add them up:

68.
Wow.  

Not only had I shot my personal best, I had also broken even par AND 70 on a "regular yardage" course for the first time in my life all during the same round.  For those of you who this will surprise (PGA pro never broken par?!?!?!), my golf story doesn't include college, barely includes high school, and also has a 20 year restaurant career smack in the middle of it.  I'm 40 and my best golf is very much in front of me for the next 20+ years.  I'm more of a WRX'er than a PGA'er in that regard.  Very much an "every-man" golfer.   And I had just smashed my PB by 4 shots and broken 70 in a tournament.  I was elated.  I also had beaten 3 fine players that day by at least 6 shots each.  It can be done, it can be done.

The story doesn't end with a triumphant trophy presentation.  I would lose 4&3 in the finals after a VERY mediocre day, but would birdie 2 of the last 3 to post reeaaaally similar stroke play numbers to a wonderful player and gentlemen who has now won the event 2 years in a row.  But, I've shot 69 twice since then (as well as an 83 lol!) and I feel something on the course that I never have before.  I can go 18 holes without a short circuit.  I can make more than one birdie and I can make fewer than 4 bogies.  In essence I was finally able to put away the residual self image that I had of myself as a guy whose "really good" round was a 74.  I looked back at the three putt and missed 6'er and realized that my "really good" round is more like a 66.  Eyes wide open now.  

To be continued again, lol..............

Edited by Dan Drake, 11 January 2019 - 02:07 PM.

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#40 Obee

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:59 PM

Oh Dan, it makes me sooo, sooo happy to read that, bud. Wow.

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#41 Dan Drake

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 02:01 PM

So, for the year over year stats recap....

2017 SG's/Round:
Tee Shots -3.50
Approach - 3.45
Short Game -0.83
Recovery -0.2
Putts -1.66
Total -9.63

2018 SG's/Round:
Tee Shots -2.19
Approach -4.12
Short Game -0.13
Recovery 0.01
Putt -1.31
Total -7.73

Slightly worse on approach shots, but improved across the board otherwise, with the total at 1.9 shots per round with the largest improvement off the tee, accounting for 1.31 of those strokes.  If you brushed over them the first time around, please go look back at points #2 & #3.  

2018's Vision Goals:
1.5 index - not accomplished (1.7)
Advance to knockout rounds of local PGA match play - accomplished, 2nd place
Play in 1 PGA Section event - not accomplished
25 rounds played - accomplished, 26 rounds played

So, when you spell it out like that, I know exactly where I'm starting:

2019's Vision Goals:  
+ index by the 1/1/20 revision (tough, but doable).  
30+ rounds (entirely doable, heck, I already have two in the books!).  
Play in 1 section event (more than doable, probably March @ the aforementioned course that seems to show up a lot in this story!).
Win the local match play (very tough, but doable).

So, to make a long story, well, long: Stick to it.  This has taken me 26 years, literally, since I shot an even double-par, 144 on that childhood muni track of mine the first time I counted them all at age 14.  Back surgeries.  Shanks.  Pitch yips.  Multiple missed 2' putts in team matches for my club that would lose the season title by 1 stroke.  Marriage, career changes, children (all amazing things!).  And more.

Stick to it.
Your best CAN be yet to come.
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#42 J295

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:34 PM

Very cool. Thank you for sharing!

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#43 wmblake2000

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:30 PM

View PostDan Drake, on 11 January 2019 - 02:01 PM, said:

So, for the year over year stats recap....

2017 SG's/Round:
Tee Shots -3.50
Approach - 3.45
Short Game -0.83
Recovery -0.2
Putts -1.66
Total -9.63

2018 SG's/Round:
Tee Shots -2.19
Approach -4.12
Short Game -0.13
Recovery 0.01
Putt -1.31
Total -7.73

Slightly worse on approach shots, but improved across the board otherwise, with the total at 1.9 shots per round with the largest improvement off the tee, accounting for 1.31 of those strokes.  If you brushed over them the first time around, please go look back at points #2 & #3.  

2018's Vision Goals:
1.5 index - not accomplished (1.7)
Advance to knockout rounds of local PGA match play - accomplished, 2nd place
Play in 1 PGA Section event - not accomplished
25 rounds played - accomplished, 26 rounds played

So, when you spell it out like that, I know exactly where I'm starting:

2019's Vision Goals:  
+ index by the 1/1/20 revision (tough, but doable).  
30+ rounds (entirely doable, heck, I already have two in the books!).  
Play in 1 section event (more than doable, probably March @ the aforementioned course that seems to show up a lot in this story!).
Win the local match play (very tough, but doable).

So, to make a long story, well, long: Stick to it.  This has taken me 26 years, literally, since I shot an even double-par, 144 on that childhood muni track of mine the first time I counted them all at age 14.  Back surgeries.  Shanks.  Pitch yips.  Multiple missed 2' putts in team matches for my club that would lose the season title by 1 stroke.  Marriage, career changes, children (all amazing things!).  And more.

Stick to it.
Your best CAN be yet to come.

What are you comparing your strokes gained stats to? Scratch golfers? Where is that data?  

And congratulations! Nice to see diligence and intelligent work pay off.

Edited by wmblake2000, 11 January 2019 - 07:32 PM.

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#44 Dan Drake

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 08:44 AM

View Postwmblake2000, on 11 January 2019 - 07:30 PM, said:



What are you comparing your strokes gained stats to? Scratch golfers? Where is that data?  

And congratulations! Nice to see diligence and intelligent work pay off.

Thank you all very much for the congratulations!

Mr. Blake, I'm using the PGA Tour data from Mr. Mark Broadie's book.  I've slowly built a spreadsheet that covers a ton of stuff, but even for that I have to give credit to another WRX'er (I think it may have been Dornstar) who posted the basic version of the spreadsheet that I started with back towards the end of '15.  That person did all the crazy formulas, I've simply added some easy additions stuff for ease of visual assessment.  

People often ask me "Why are you using the pro's data?  Aren't they too good to compare to?"  The answer here is exactly the opposite for me.  First, it's simply a baseline, it doesn't matter who I compare my stats to, I just simply try to improve them.  I could just as easily compare my strokes gained to a bunch bogey golfers and try to get to +10 strokes gained off the tee each round, it makes no difference.  But, that brings me to my second point, that you so astutely asked about:  Where is that data?  With the PGA Tour, we have a massive amount of data.  Third, and you could debate this a little bit, I guess, the PGA Tour data comes directly from those who are maximizing their ability to shoot great scores, which is the exact goal I'm shooting for.  So, while my courses are a little shorter than theirs, I can still see where they are miles better than me (approach shots) and where I'm pretty darn close to them (recovery & short game).  This REALLY allows me to hone in on the best return on investment practice that I can spend my limited time on.
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#45 ebrasmus21

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 08:50 AM

Nice progress Dan and cool thread!

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#46 augustgolf

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 09:21 AM

Quietly watching & now actively congratulating you, not only on your progress, but also on the entire area of dedication to your family, your job, your wife's life goals...all while "planning your work & working your plan"!

With your sommelier background, what wine would you suggest I drink to toast your success?

And, looking forward to the day we can share a round & wine after.

Great job, Dan!
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#47 wmblake2000

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 04:07 PM

View PostDan Drake, on 12 January 2019 - 08:44 AM, said:

View Postwmblake2000, on 11 January 2019 - 07:30 PM, said:



What are you comparing your strokes gained stats to? Scratch golfers? Where is that data?  

And congratulations! Nice to see diligence and intelligent work pay off.

Thank you all very much for the congratulations!

Mr. Blake, I'm using the PGA Tour data from Mr. Mark Broadie's book.  I've slowly built a spreadsheet that covers a ton of stuff, but even for that I have to give credit to another WRX'er (I think it may have been Dornstar) who posted the basic version of the spreadsheet that I started with back towards the end of '15.  That person did all the crazy formulas, I've simply added some easy additions stuff for ease of visual assessment.  

People often ask me "Why are you using the pro's data?  Aren't they too good to compare to?"  The answer here is exactly the opposite for me.  First, it's simply a baseline, it doesn't matter who I compare my stats to, I just simply try to improve them.  I could just as easily compare my strokes gained to a bunch bogey golfers and try to get to +10 strokes gained off the tee each round, it makes no difference.  But, that brings me to my second point, that you so astutely asked about:  Where is that data?  With the PGA Tour, we have a massive amount of data.  Third, and you could debate this a little bit, I guess, the PGA Tour data comes directly from those who are maximizing their ability to shoot great scores, which is the exact goal I'm shooting for.  So, while my courses are a little shorter than theirs, I can still see where they are miles better than me (approach shots) and where I'm pretty darn close to them (recovery & short game).  This REALLY allows me to hone in on the best return on investment practice that I can spend my limited time on.

Thx! Makes total sense. Think I’m gonna do this too.
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#48 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:59 PM

Congratulations Dan, and glad to see the updates.

And thanks for the additional information in SG. That has always been a question that I have wondered about. How using PGA stats is applicable for an amateur. Thanks for the explanation.

Edited by deadsolid...shank, 13 January 2019 - 11:08 PM.

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#49 Ray Jackson

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 12:28 AM

View PostSean2, on 01 November 2017 - 02:58 PM, said:

IMHO it's one thing to tweak a swing, it's another to be constantly overhauling it. We look at YouTube videos, read the golf tips section of golf magazines, watch GC lesson programming...all in search of the "magic" that will transform our swings into consistent fairway finding, flag hunting weapons.

Working with what you have seems to me to be a much easier proposition than constantly overhauling the swing. I have had my best season by far by tweaking versus overhauling (as well as playing the same equipment).

Everyone's penmanship is different, yet if it's legible it does the job, no matter how it looks. Everyone's swing is different too. If it is getting the job done more often than not, then it's doing its job.

That is just my take on the topic.

For the last 6 months I have been working what I am treating as one thing - getting my hands higher at the top of the backswing (my left arm higher across my chest aligned with shoulder plane) with an attempt to get to a flat left wrist at the top of the backswing. That's it.
To get there I have been hitting balls on the range with a glove that prevents the wrong wrist angle at the top and then it also forces the right flat wrist at impact. When I first started using it my left wrist was sore after as the wrong historical positions were working against the plates in the glove on the back of my left hand/wrist.
I have seen ball flight increase, the weak push is gone and now its a stronger higher flight.
I have realty not worked on changing anything else for this period in my swing.
This was probably the first time I have focused on one thing for an extended period of time rather than whatever was the next 'shiny penny' re the swing that week/month.

Have also spent a lot of time on the practice green which really helped the scoring.

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