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What Would a 10 Handicapper Shoot at TPC Sawgrass?


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#31 dr_nerve

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 02:06 PM

According to the USGA, assuming a perfect bell distribution of scores, a players average differential should be roughly 2 strokes higher than their handicap, meaning for a 10 handicapper, their average differential will be 12 (source: http://www.usga.org/...tml#!rule-14410). The slope and rating for the back tees at the Stadium course are 155 and 76.4. Solving for the gross score in the USGA handicap differential formula (Differential = (Gross Score - Rating) x 113 / Slope) yields a score of roughly 93. Under PGA Tournament conditions, the score could go up anywhere from 5-10+ strokes, meaning that 95-105 would be a fair estimate for what a 10 handicapper would shoot there on average.

Edited by dr_nerve, 12 May 2018 - 02:13 PM.


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#32 straightshot7

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 02:27 PM

View Postyouraway2, on 12 May 2018 - 01:17 PM, said:

I played it, one tee box forward from the back, I was a 12 at the time and shot 84.  The conditions were most likely worse than when they play the tournament.  It was very wet, long rough (+4 inches Bermuda) and fairly fast greens.  Mud shots everywhere especially near the aprons. I noticed and I haven't seen a lie this week in the rough where you can't find the ball.  In addition, pine straw now covers all the normally bad areas. Wait till they move to March.  Depending on the weather, it may be cold, windy and wet.

View Postrgk5, on 12 May 2018 - 04:55 AM, said:

I'm and eight and shot 82 there five years ago.  This, from the second back set of tees. Finished par, par, par.

So the blue tees? And the distance was around 6,500-6,661?

And they're playing it around 7,245 this week?

So add 30 yards+ to every hole and how do you think that would affect your score.

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#33 schley

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 02:38 PM

I think they could break 100 from the back tees.  When you play the course that is long as 1 shot longer than par you take out the long irons and fairway woods, which can lead to the lost balls/water.  Instead of taking 3 wood from 250 plus, take your 7 iron to get to 100 and play it as 1 shot longer than par.  This is the key IMO.

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#34 RH2

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 06:11 PM

I guess the only real way to find out is for them to let a foursome of WRXers play the Sunday before the  pro tourney!

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#35 lowndes

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 06:16 PM

I played it twice - as an 11 I shot 84 and as a 12 an 87.  Course was pretty firm both days but obviously I wasnít playing from the tips.


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#36 lowheel

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 06:22 PM

View Postschley, on 12 May 2018 - 02:38 PM, said:

I think they could break 100 from the back tees.  When you play the course that is long as 1 shot longer than par you take out the long irons and fairway woods, which can lead to the lost balls/water.  Instead of taking 3 wood from 250 plus, take your 7 iron to get to 100 and play it as 1 shot longer than par.  This is the key IMO.

Yeah 10+s arent known for their course management or distance control. it can go sideways pretty quick. I play with 10s who pick up their ball if theyre on their 7th shot... " cant make/post worse than that so why bother"

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#37 Ashley Schaeffer

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 06:36 PM

View Postlowheel, on 12 May 2018 - 06:22 PM, said:

View Postschley, on 12 May 2018 - 02:38 PM, said:

I think they could break 100 from the back tees.  When you play the course that is long as 1 shot longer than par you take out the long irons and fairway woods, which can lead to the lost balls/water.  Instead of taking 3 wood from 250 plus, take your 7 iron to get to 100 and play it as 1 shot longer than par.  This is the key IMO.

Yeah 10+s arent known for their course management or distance control. it can go sideways pretty quick. I play with 10s who pick up their ball if theyre on their 7th shot... " cant make/post worse than that so why bother"

That's a great point.  I regularly play with people who do this.  It makes me wonder sometimes about a chicken/egg thing regarding the GHIN system.  If the reason you can't take/post more than a double is because you've never taken/posted more than a double, are you really a 10?  Counting them all, I'd say a 10 in the GHIN would have to have a good round to break 100.  Sorry if already posted.
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#38 Yuck

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 06:43 PM

Played it with a dozen of folks with handicaps ranging from 6 to 12.  2 rounds, low score was 80, several nines under 40, several scores under 85.  High scores were high because we require folks to finish the hole.  high score on 17 was an 8.  Played it at about 6500.   One player who was/is a 12 capper did birdie 17 and 18.

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#39 North Texas

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 09:54 PM

There are "suburban legends" of scratch golfers who played at Oakmont and shot 130.

Not buying this crap either. We're definitely talking vanity handicap here. I'm a 9 and I'm breaking 130 at Oakmont. By a lot. Geez, where do people get this s*** that these courses are f...ing hard?

Edited by North Texas, 12 May 2018 - 09:55 PM.


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#40 golfandfishing

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 10:06 PM

View PostNorth Texas, on 12 May 2018 - 09:54 PM, said:

There are "suburban legends" of scratch golfers who played at Oakmont and shot 130.

Not buying this crap either. We're definitely talking vanity handicap here. I'm a 9 and I'm breaking 130 at Oakmont. By a lot. Geez, where do people get this s*** that these courses are f...ing hard?

Iíve seen, heard and participated in a lot of things on a golf course and havenít heard of a scratch shooting 130 at Oakmont. I know probably 10 people who have played it and itís tough, but 130 just isnít a score they mentioned. All said how imminently playable the course was for well played shots and an escape always an option when in trouble. Iíve never heard of players of any type going for 130 at Oakmont.


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#41 mark174ace

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 11:03 PM

That might be true from the pro tees, but that course is a lot different from the regular tees. A lot of the holes have much more severe angles and carries from the pro tees. I broke 40 on the back nine the only time I played there. Oddly enough the last three holes really fit my eye. I made a mess of the par 3 13th hole and a couple of the par 4's on the front. I kept leaving all my putts short because I spent too much time watching the tournament on tv and the greens do not roll that fast in December haha.

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#42 rgk5

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 05:31 AM

View Poststraightshot7, on 12 May 2018 - 02:27 PM, said:

View Postyouraway2, on 12 May 2018 - 01:17 PM, said:

I played it, one tee box forward from the back, I was a 12 at the time and shot 84.  The conditions were most likely worse than when they play the tournament.  It was very wet, long rough (+4 inches Bermuda) and fairly fast greens.  Mud shots everywhere especially near the aprons. I noticed and I haven't seen a lie this week in the rough where you can't find the ball.  In addition, pine straw now covers all the normally bad areas. Wait till they move to March.  Depending on the weather, it may be cold, windy and wet.

View Postrgk5, on 12 May 2018 - 04:55 AM, said:

I'm and eight and shot 82 there five years ago.  This, from the second back set of tees. Finished par, par, par.

So the blue tees? And the distance was around 6,500-6,661?

And they're playing it around 7,245 this week?

So add 30 yards+ to every hole and how do you think that would affect your score.

Definitely up but bear in mind you would not add 30 yds. to every hole, more on some.

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#43 MountainGoat

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 05:35 AM

View Postlowheel, on 12 May 2018 - 06:22 PM, said:

View Postschley, on 12 May 2018 - 02:38 PM, said:

I think they could break 100 from the back tees.  When you play the course that is long as 1 shot longer than par you take out the long irons and fairway woods, which can lead to the lost balls/water.  Instead of taking 3 wood from 250 plus, take your 7 iron to get to 100 and play it as 1 shot longer than par.  This is the key IMO.

Yeah 10+s arent known for their course management or distance control. it can go sideways pretty quick. I play with 10s who pick up their ball if theyre on their 7th shot... " cant make/post worse than that so why bother"

I'm one of those guys; I just want to keep things moving.  I once played TPC when I was a 10, counted every stroke, and shot about 125.  My problem with that course was that I didn't have a range finder, so I never knew how far I was from anything.  Once I got off track, I was dead.  I don't like courses that are built to infuriate you.  Golf isn't a "test".  If I need to be tested, I'll go back and take another calculus exam.

Edited by MountainGoat, 13 May 2018 - 05:38 AM.


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#44 kozubs

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 06:33 AM

I'm currently a 7.  I played harbour town 3 weeks before the tour was there from the dye tees ay 73.3 and 144.  Easier than sawgrass but the wind was blowing 30 mph and this was after a 6 months layoff from a canadian winter. I shot 84 80.  The second day I ended double bogey bogey so could have been much better.  I know we're talking different courses but I say a true 10 easily bests 100 on a normal day.  However, in a pga tourney with the crowed and camera there's not a chance in hell I break 100 at harbour town let alone Sawgrass.

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#45 golfandfishing

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 06:40 AM

View PostMountainGoat, on 13 May 2018 - 05:35 AM, said:

View Postlowheel, on 12 May 2018 - 06:22 PM, said:

View Postschley, on 12 May 2018 - 02:38 PM, said:

I think they could break 100 from the back tees.  When you play the course that is long as 1 shot longer than par you take out the long irons and fairway woods, which can lead to the lost balls/water.  Instead of taking 3 wood from 250 plus, take your 7 iron to get to 100 and play it as 1 shot longer than par.  This is the key IMO.

Yeah 10+s arent known for their course management or distance control. it can go sideways pretty quick. I play with 10s who pick up their ball if theyre on their 7th shot... " cant make/post worse than that so why bother"

I'm one of those guys; I just want to keep things moving.  I once played TPC when I was a 10, counted every stroke, and shot about 125.  My problem with that course was that I didn't have a range finder, so I never knew how far I was from anything.  Once I got off track, I was dead.  I don't like courses that are built to infuriate you.  Golf isn't a "test".  If I need to be tested, I'll go back and take another calculus exam.

Sprinkler heads donít have yardage marked at TPC Sawgrass?


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#46 BlakeBstone

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 06:44 AM

Iím a +1.8, played it 3 days after the players in 2011 from the championship tees and the pins were still in the Sunday locations. I shot 77 and I can honestly say it was one of the best rounds of my life. Iíve shot 61 twice (not there obviously) but felt like I hit it just as good as my lowest rounds. I made one stupid double on 6 because I chose the wrong line and it bounced into the pine straw behind a tree. Highlight was almost my near ace on 17. Those greens are absolute lightning. I got married there and my ex uncle is Mark Mccumber, made a few phone calls and got to play it. One of those rounds youíll never forget.
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#47 BlakeBstone

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:16 AM

To add to that I played with my brother in law who is a solid 8, hits it like a scratch golfer but has short game struggles, my best man who is a 10 and my father in law who is a 10. Only one of them broke 100, my brother in law shot 94
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#48 MountainGoat

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:23 AM

View Postgolfandfishing, on 13 May 2018 - 06:40 AM, said:

View PostMountainGoat, on 13 May 2018 - 05:35 AM, said:

View Postlowheel, on 12 May 2018 - 06:22 PM, said:

View Postschley, on 12 May 2018 - 02:38 PM, said:

I think they could break 100 from the back tees.  When you play the course that is long as 1 shot longer than par you take out the long irons and fairway woods, which can lead to the lost balls/water.  Instead of taking 3 wood from 250 plus, take your 7 iron to get to 100 and play it as 1 shot longer than par.  This is the key IMO.

Yeah 10+s arent known for their course management or distance control. it can go sideways pretty quick. I play with 10s who pick up their ball if theyre on their 7th shot... " cant make/post worse than that so why bother"

I'm one of those guys; I just want to keep things moving.  I once played TPC when I was a 10, counted every stroke, and shot about 125.  My problem with that course was that I didn't have a range finder, so I never knew how far I was from anything.  Once I got off track, I was dead.  I don't like courses that are built to infuriate you.  Golf isn't a "test".  If I need to be tested, I'll go back and take another calculus exam.

Sprinkler heads don't have yardage marked at TPC Sawgrass?

Distance to the green isn't the problem.  When you get off track and need to recover, you need to know the distance to someplace safe.  That's the thing I could never figure out.

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#49 rafer11

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:27 AM

View Postmosesgolf, on 11 May 2018 - 10:18 PM, said:

I'd watch a made for TV event produced by TGC.  "What would a scratch, 10, bogey player shoot?"   Over under would be fun for this.

Some TV show exec/producer needs to pick up with this comment and run with it. It also brings the game to the people.

You take a scratch golfer, and 5-10 capper, a 10-15 capper, and a 20 capper. People can apply to the show, and each tournament the people selected are different.

Then they play a Monday round after every tournament. They film it early Monday morning, and get something on the air on the Tuesday.

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#50 MountainGoat

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:36 AM

View Postrafer11, on 13 May 2018 - 08:27 AM, said:

View Postmosesgolf, on 11 May 2018 - 10:18 PM, said:

I'd watch a made for TV event produced by TGC.  "What would a scratch, 10, bogey player shoot?"   Over under would be fun for this.

Some TV show exec/producer needs to pick up with this comment and run with it. It also brings the game to the people.

You take a scratch golfer, and 5-10 capper, a 10-15 capper, and a 20 capper. People can apply to the show, and each tournament the people selected are different.

Then they play a Monday round after every tournament. They film it early Monday morning, and get something on the air on the Tuesday.

This is a great idea!


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#51 schley

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:40 AM

View Postrafer11, on 13 May 2018 - 08:27 AM, said:

View Postmosesgolf, on 11 May 2018 - 10:18 PM, said:

I'd watch a made for TV event produced by TGC.  "What would a scratch, 10, bogey player shoot?"   Over under would be fun for this.

Some TV show exec/producer needs to pick up with this comment and run with it. It also brings the game to the people.

You take a scratch golfer, and 5-10 capper, a 10-15 capper, and a 20 capper. People can apply to the show, and each tournament the people selected are different.

Then they play a Monday round after every tournament. They film it early Monday morning, and get something on the air on the Tuesday.

They had a show the US Open Challenge for a couple years sponsored by Golf Digest which was could a 8-10 handicap break 100.  It started in 2008 and Tony Romo and Justin Timberlake played with this random lucky guy at Torrey Pines. Great show as I made it to the 2nd round of cuts from their all call advertisement.

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#52 ef131313

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:40 AM

Played the whites as a 23 and shot 104. Hit 17 in regulation but 18 tee shot was in the water

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#53 Christosterone

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:43 AM

My father in law in an 8 handicap...
We played Sawgrass a few years back the Tuesday after The Players...
The stands were being taken down...
Played the Valley course on Monday...

Needless to say, he was ready and excited...

If memory serves, he was 10 over thru 4 and told the caddy to quit scoring...

The goofy thing about sawgrass for high and mid handicappers is the importance of landing in the right spot...which most amateurs can’t figure out...
Sawgrass is ALL about where to land and where to miss...for guys like my father in law, who doesn’t impart a lot of spin, the course is very hard...
So he would hit a normal shot for him into the wrong spot of the green and it would kick forward or sideways and roll to 50 feet away...
From where he would 4 or 5 putt...

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#54 straightshot7

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 11:31 AM

View Postrgk5, on 13 May 2018 - 05:31 AM, said:

View Poststraightshot7, on 12 May 2018 - 02:27 PM, said:

View Postyouraway2, on 12 May 2018 - 01:17 PM, said:

I played it, one tee box forward from the back, I was a 12 at the time and shot 84.  The conditions were most likely worse than when they play the tournament.  It was very wet, long rough (+4 inches Bermuda) and fairly fast greens.  Mud shots everywhere especially near the aprons. I noticed and I haven't seen a lie this week in the rough where you can't find the ball.  In addition, pine straw now covers all the normally bad areas. Wait till they move to March.  Depending on the weather, it may be cold, windy and wet.

View Postrgk5, on 12 May 2018 - 04:55 AM, said:

I'm and eight and shot 82 there five years ago.  This, from the second back set of tees. Finished par, par, par.

So the blue tees? And the distance was around 6,500-6,661?

And they're playing it around 7,245 this week?

So add 30 yards+ to every hole and how do you think that would affect your score.

Definitely up but bear in mind you would not add 30 yds. to every hole, more on some.

Of course, I mean on average.

My point is, it's a totally different golf course when you add 600 yards to it.

If the player has to hit a longer club off the tee, accuracy will suffer.

And on approach shots 10 handicaps typically struggle with their long irons/hybrids compared to mid irons.

Also consider tournament pin locations and green speeds.

Edited by straightshot7, 13 May 2018 - 11:39 AM.


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#55 raynorfan1

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:21 PM

View PostNorth Texas, on 12 May 2018 - 09:54 PM, said:

There are "suburban legends" of scratch golfers who played at Oakmont and shot 130.

Not buying this crap either. We're definitely talking vanity handicap here. I'm a 9 and I'm breaking 130 at Oakmont. By a lot. Geez, where do people get this s*** that these courses are f...ing hard?

Iím a 10, and 130 would be on the table for me at Oakmont, depending on how severely they set up the course.

Iíve played most of the recent US Open hosts from the Championship tees, and I think my best score has been 102...and thatís in standard ďmemberĒ setup vs tournament trim.

Edited by raynorfan1, 13 May 2018 - 12:21 PM.


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#56 farmer

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:25 PM

A 10's avg score would be, what, 85?  At home.  7320 is a lot of golf course.  Playing from the tourney tees, tourney pins and green speed, I can see a round getting away.  10's are better than average, but they are not heroic off the tee and wizards around the green.

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#57 golfer3xxx

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:14 PM

This may be on obv comment, but I just want to add my opinion that when talking about:  Can an A, B, or C handicap break X, Y, or Z score... it is overwhelmingly a question of distance.  Perhaps more so for lower handicaps.

In other words, if a course is comfortably within "par distance" for any given player, I think they are pretty much going to shoot to their ability level.  Like, if there happened to be a scratch player who averaged 300 yards off the tee, quite frankly I think on any Tour course they would essentially shoot 2 over par.

But anyway, I think that all conditions thought to be "difficult" for a Tour setup and actually difficult, and I think some are less difficult.  The example of the latter is I believe perfectly smooth greens and happened to be running at 12 are easier to putt on.


Having said all this my humble opinion is that the USGA Handicap Index system doesn't fully account for all aspects of a course.  Sure, at ALL course the course rating is higher for the further-back tees, but not enough so.  It's an extreme and maybe not common example, but a shorter hitter (for whatever reason, that's not the point) who averages par... I mean, how does/can this player's golfing "ability" be quantifiably compared to a longer hitter, period?

A "scratch" who averages 230 off the tee, and a 6 who averages 290... who's actually better, especially playing a long course?

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#58 BlakeBstone

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:34 PM

View Postfarmer, on 13 May 2018 - 12:25 PM, said:

A 10's avg score would be, what, 85?  At home.  7320 is a lot of golf course.  Playing from the tourney tees, tourney pins and green speed, I can see a round getting away.  10's are better than average, but they are not heroic off the tee and wizards around the green.
It plays a lot shorter then that the fairways were super quick when I played just days after. Iím moderately long but was quite surprised at the roll out of the fairways.

On one I piped a 3 wood and had 124 left. On 2 I smashed driver around the corner and hit a long iron just off the left side. My normal 300 was going 325-330

Edited by BlakeBstone, 13 May 2018 - 01:36 PM.

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#59 farmer

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 02:32 PM

Blake, you're a +2 and avg 300 off the tee.  That is NOT a 10 hdcp result.

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#60 RobotDoctor

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 04:18 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 11 May 2018 - 09:49 PM, said:

I think most of the responses were fair. 95-105 seems like a realistic guess for a 10 index. Its an extremely penal course.

We all agreed that a scratch would break 85 at Augusta. So 95-105 for a 10 at sawgrass seems right

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