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who has actually played with a legit scratch golfer/pro level player?


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#1 NM44

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 08:53 AM

I play a decent amount of public course golf in the south Jersey area(usually one or two rounds a week and one on the weekend). I play a lot of my weekday rounds as a walk on single. I've been paired with all types. I am a mid capper and on a good day can get the ball out there pretty deep but i have never been paired with one who blew me away. I've seen guy hit the ball my distance, seen good putters, seen plotters that shoot in the low 80s, old guys that make a ton of pars,etc. But I've still have yet to see someone shoot within 5 of par let alone 60's or even close. Just wondering if you guys have seen the same or if its just same run of bad luck for me to not catch someone super good.

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#2 Golfer4Life

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 09:03 AM

My instructor shoots regularly in the 60’s.  It is amazing to see and learn from someone who plays that well.  His method of instruction is on the course, so we play/instruction a lot.

I always enjoy playing with better players, it has always elevated my game.  I came back this year after a full left knee replacement and I had to pretty much reconstruct my sucky swing, so I needed to start from scratch.  Doing it with an excellent golf player/instructor was a blessing.
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#3 wrmiller

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:25 AM

I've played with a few mini-tour guys, and a few LPGA ladies. The LPGA ladies were much better, and much more pleasant to play with. I've not played with any pga tour pros.

I'm one of those 'Old Guys' who can make a ton of pars (and a few birdies) when I'm on my game. Happening a lot less now a days though. :(
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#4 NM44

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:52 AM

Yea i just would love to be paired with someone who steps is and hits 320 yard bombs off the tee, goes pin seeking, and sink a bunch of putts. I just figured that sooner or later id come across someone that does it. I guess because we have cold winters and not as many golf courses as some hotbed places that maybe there are less super high caliber players just out playing weekday casual rounds.
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#5 caniac6

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:59 AM

I was a 2 handicap, and played with a +2. Couldn't believe how much better than me he was.


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#6 duffer987

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:08 AM

Not to stereotype but a lot of the +caps are out at clubs or at public courses are playing money games or with their regular group.
I've played a lot of public golf as a single/twosome the past 6 years - less so this year TBF - and I've played with only two +caps in the past year. (or at least I assume only two)
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It was fun to watch the ball go with a lovely ball flight and to see the nice swings, but more important than that is they were nice guys and good to spend a few hours with.
That is so much more important then how they play.

Edited by duffer987, 15 September 2018 - 11:09 AM.


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#7 SPARKP

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:12 AM

Played golf with Shawn Stefani ( on/off tour ) for years at Eagle Pointe in Mount Belview Tx. Really a good guy and works hard on his game. Has had the same swing forever and flushes his irons.
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#8 Shipwreck

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:35 PM

Im good friends with a pair of brothers that were mini tour players. Hands down best golfers Ive ever had the luxury of seeing. Their game is so damn effortless and incredible, it really does give you a false sense of playing ability. Both just stupid long off the tee, every shot in the bag of tricks and a few I would have never even thought of like the oldest brother, he was playing around with hitting a nice little 300 yard trap draw driver......yes a driver. He would tee it low, put it a bit back in his stance and hit this towering tee shot that would get 0 yards of roll but find the fairway every single time. It was disgusting.
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#9 wrmiller

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:37 PM

View PostNM44, on 15 September 2018 - 10:52 AM, said:

Yea i just would love to be paired with someone who steps is and hits 320 yard bombs off the tee, goes pin seeking, and sink a bunch of putts. I just figured that sooner or later id come across someone that does it. I guess because we have cold winters and not as many golf courses as some hotbed places that maybe there are less super high caliber players just out playing weekday casual rounds.

Can't bomb them 320+ any more, and I'm loosing distance with my irons as well, but still control them better than the average golfer. My problem has always been my putting. My mechanics have been pretty sound over the years, but for the life of me I've never be above 'competent' at reading greens. One LPGA pro who I played with a few times made the comment that if I could just putt I'd have been a +4 (2HC at that time). Right after I missed a straight, uphill putt of about 12'. Well, it looked straight to me anyway... :D

Out here in AZ we have some pretty good sticks in and around Scottsdale, and even a few down in Tucson (who probably play the more serious matches up in Scottsdale).

Last time I played with anyone like you describe was at Tucson National. Got paired up with a couple of younger guys, late 20s, early 30s who both shot at least 4 under. I wasn't keeping track of their score, but they were pretty good. Long too. :)

Edited by wrmiller, 15 September 2018 - 12:40 PM.

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#10 elwhippy

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:45 PM

Played with European Tour Pros, Walker Cup players and international level juniors. A sheer joy to see the ball hit properly.


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#11 2bGood

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:57 PM

Pretty simple reason why you have not played with them is they are not 'casual' golfers for the most part. They belong to clubs, play in local tours play money games  or are out with other low cappers. Basically they don't show up to your local muni and head out with random people.

There are exceptions to this. I was a + cap for a minute and when I travelled I would walk on and play as a single, but as often as I did that I would also let the pro know I was looking for game and they would let me know about a money game I could go play.

The funny thing is allot of these money games have a buy in that is less than the green fee at the course and include the green fee (the assistant pro's are running it) - so there is not much downside in playing as long as you don't go too deep into side games.

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#12 md1m

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:15 PM

If you count pro-ams I've played with guys that are probably about +8 :)   I think that's about what a pga pro handicap would be?
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#13 farmer

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:40 PM

I played a ton of golf with a legit +3, I was a 2, got 3 a side and sometimes took a dollar off him.  Played with a former mini-tour player, and there was not a fair way to hdcp me, so it was just for fun.  The +3 won a spot in a low level mini-tour pro-am, on a course he with which he was very familiar.  The kid who was his pro shot 65, having played one practice round.  My friend shot 70 on his ball, -2, was very happy with his day .... and got beat by 5 shots.

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#14 HackerD

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 02:19 PM

Play with a couple guys in my club who are legit scratch and they are amazing to watch up close.  But got paired once with a single (and his dad) who played mini-tours.  Didnt see much of him all day he shared a cart with his dad who wasnt playing, played the back tees and pounded drives way past ours from the white tees.  Typically he was hitting wedge approach shots and putting inside 12 feet all day. We seemed to be playing from completely different areas of the course.
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#15 MtlJeff

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 03:43 PM

Legit scratch and Pro level are 2 very different things. I am a legit scratch, have a few under par rounds this year on a 75/140 course and 7-8 other 72's.

I have played with many of the top amateurs in Quebec, one of the top juniors in Canada, one of the top seniors in Canada.

Have not played with a PGA pro, which is a whole other level

A top AM, like a +3 or whatever, they often look like scratches to the casual golfer. But in truth they just miss far less shots

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#16 davep043

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 03:53 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 15 September 2018 - 03:43 PM, said:

Legit scratch and Pro level are 2 very different things. I am a legit scratch, have a few under par rounds this year on a 75/140 course and 7-8 other 72's.

Amen!  I play a bit with a couple of guys in my age group who are legit scratch players.  However, a couple of weeks back I was paired for a tournament with two young guys who are significantly better.  One is 23, just graduated from Virginia Tech, and is playing off +4.  The other is just 17, playing off +3, and is coming off a top 10 finish at the Virginia Open.  The younger gent had a rough day, shot 74 or 75.  On the other hand, the older guy shot a smooth and easy 66.  (72.0/135) Both great young men, both fine players, fun to watch real golf being played.  And neither one is anywhere near tour pro level, at least right now.

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#17 BrandonDunes

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 04:03 PM

I had a chance to play with my cousin in law who played on the USC men's golf team and is now trying to make his way up to the Web.com Tour. Not only did we get to play a beautiful course, Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, but seeing his level of precision with his bag was impressive.

I'd agree that it would not be that fun to play with someone at a high level all the time. For example, he made it onto a par 5 in two and hit a beautiful high 5 wood onto the green. We all said great shot but he was upset because he put himself on the wrong side of the hole. Tough to have a causal laid back round because to him it was practice.
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#18 BNGL

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 04:28 PM

View PostNM44, on 15 September 2018 - 08:53 AM, said:

I play a decent amount of public course golf in the south Jersey area(usually one or two rounds a week and one on the weekend). I play a lot of my weekday rounds as a walk on single. I've been paired with all types. I am a mid capper and on a good day can get the ball out there pretty deep but i have never been paired with one who blew me away. I've seen guy hit the ball my distance, seen good putters, seen plotters that shoot in the low 80s, old guys that make a ton of pars,etc. But I've still have yet to see someone shoot within 5 of par let alone 60's or even close. Just wondering if you guys have seen the same or if its just same run of bad luck for me to not catch someone super good.

As others have said, not a lot of PGA Tour players are casual players that will just show up, especially in south Jersey...no offense. I see guys pretty regularly, and a semi regular regular groups includes a multiple major champion and multiple PGA Tour champion, yeah they're good but it is just an amazing level of consistency. That being said, there is a difference between a 2 handicap and a plus whatever, that gap is just as big between a guy ranked 145-160 and number 1.

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#19 rxk9fan

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 04:32 PM

Use to play a fair amount with Boyd Downey who played on the Hooters tour.  While he was not always consistent, when he was on it was ridiculous.  We use to play a little "birdie game " from the tips at Loma Linda (now Eagle Creek) in Joplin.  We were all 5HC or better so usually no one got hurt too bad giving each other $5 bucks from the tips but Boyd usually came out on top.  One day he threw up a 66 which I think is still the course record from the tips.  With 8 of us in the game he did pretty well that day.  I remember on number 6 (a little 360 yard slight dog leg left across a long pond which guards the whole front edge of the green) he hit driver to about 12 feet.  It was stupid good because it had to carry 330 to 340.  He eagled that hole for $10 bucks a person LOL.
His putting was good, his iron play was good, but his distance off the tee was what set him apart from most low HC guys. There is a real difference between someone who sneaks a few 300 plus vs a guy who hits it that far on average.

Edited by rxk9fan, 15 September 2018 - 04:36 PM.

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#20 golow

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 04:53 PM

My typical foursome is any three of the following ...

-My daily partner is scratch (48 years old) ... -2 to +2 when driver cooperates ... 78 otherwise
-50 year old 8 handicap trending down
-Former top 20 world junior ranking turning pro this week ... watched him break course record with 63 .... played with him for countless 64-65's
- Current top 30 world junior ranking just broke the above kids course record with 62 in the dark (last 4 holes we shined flashlights to find and hit balls) .... 5 foot 5" carries ball 300 with ease
- Junior who is 2 cap and consistent (never stops talking)
- Scratch player who has won CSGA(CT) Pub links .... if he ever qualified for US Open I'd bet my kids college tuition money he'd make cut .... he just posts even par in bad conditions.
-My son who didn't beat me the year but will next year ... not long but annoyingly straight.


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#21 Nard_S

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 05:06 PM

I play municipals for the most part and getting paired up with a sub 5 player is rather rare and as for scratch can count on one hand  the amount I've come across in the last 20 years. No doubt location matters but it's also birds of a feather thing too.

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#22 EKELLY

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 05:37 PM

 farmer, on 15 September 2018 - 01:40 PM, said:

I played a ton of golf with a legit +3, I was a 2, got 3 a side and sometimes took a dollar off him.  Played with a former mini-tour player, and there was not a fair way to hdcp me, so it was just for fun.  The +3 won a spot in a low level mini-tour pro-am, on a course he with which he was very familiar.  The kid who was his pro shot 65, having played one practice round.  My friend shot 70 on his ball, -2, was very happy with his day .... and got beat by 5 shots.
I shot 70 a few weeks ago and got beat by 9. Tournament tees, course was ranked 6th in the state. You just never know who you'll meet on the first tee!....

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#23 Poser

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 05:37 PM

I play with myself almost daily

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#24 EKELLY

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 05:39 PM

 golow, on 15 September 2018 - 04:53 PM, said:

My typical foursome is any three of the following ...

-My daily partner is scratch (48 years old) ... -2 to +2 when driver cooperates ... 78 otherwise
-50 year old 8 handicap trending down
-Former top 20 world junior ranking turning pro this week ... watched him break course record with 63 .... played with him for countless 64-65's
- Current top 30 world junior ranking just broke the above kids course record with 62 in the dark (last 4 holes we shined flashlights to find and hit balls) .... 5 foot 5" carries ball 300 with ease
- Junior who is 2 cap and consistent (never stops talking)
- Scratch player who has won CSGA(CT) Pub links .... if he ever qualified for US Open I'd bet my kids college tuition money he'd make cut .... he just posts even par in bad conditions.
-My son who didn't beat me the year but will next year ... not long but annoyingly straight.
Come to Florida, there's 3-4 of them at every private club.......lol

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#25 dcfas

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 05:45 PM

I’ve played many rounds over the years with great golfers, but no one significantly under scratch. The best golfers in my experience don’t always look that impressive. They get up and in from anywhere, though. They just get the ball in the cup very efficiently.


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#26 R Hagan

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 05:57 PM

I’ve played with the assistant at FIL’s club. I hover between a 3 and 4 and he’s a +2.

I could hit it out right there with him, no problem. I would even say my putting was almost equal to his but not quite. The major difference I noticed was his confidence in his own game. Mainly off the tee and the short game. If there was a tiny opening where he thought he could take a shortcut, he was taking it. And if he missed a green he hit his next shot without a touch of hesitation at all.

Just what I noticed with this guy
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#27 MattyO1984

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 06:13 PM

Been lucky enough to play with quite a good amount of good players, guys off +2 and +3 some of whom were Pro's and hung around the mini tours for a while.

I'm a 3 and if I play well and they play poorly, I can maybe hang with them for 9 holes but they just seem to be relentless. Never played with a Tour Pro but got to walk inside the ropes at The Open this year during a practice round and the guys there are just on another level completely. It's difficult to comprehend how anyone can be that good.
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#28 dicko999

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 06:37 PM

One of my friends has a buddy from out of state who played on the web.com during the Nationwide sponsorship days.  I’ve played with him twice when he has been in town and it is just insane to watch him play.  Tee to green is second to none, but the short game is what held him back from the next level.  Still excellent, just not up to tour standard.

He shot 67 the last time we played like it was just another day at the office.
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#29 DivinDave

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 07:03 PM

Long ago I was playing as a single, and it was slow with a couple of 3 and 4 somes ahead of me.  Another single was behind me.

On about hole 4, me and the guy behind me paired up.   I dont remember his name, but he hit the ball like nobody's business.

Come to find out, he had just left the Nike Tour (for you youngsters, it's now called the web.com)  said he wasnt good enough to make a living playing golf.  He shot like 5 or 6 under.

The dude blew my mind and I was in awe of how well he struck the ball, how far he hit it, and how good he was.  Ive never played with anyone since then that was even remotely that good, and that was close to 30 years ago.

I have always wondered that if that guy wasnt good enough to make it, then really, how good are those guys on Tour?  I still blows my mind to remember that round and that guy.

Edited by DivinDave, 17 September 2018 - 07:48 PM.

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#30 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 07:37 PM

 NM44, on 15 September 2018 - 08:53 AM, said:

I play a decent amount of public course golf in the south Jersey area(usually one or two rounds a week and one on the weekend). I play a lot of my weekday rounds as a walk on single. I've been paired with all types. I am a mid capper and on a good day can get the ball out there pretty deep but i have never been paired with one who blew me away. I've seen guy hit the ball my distance, seen good putters, seen plotters that shoot in the low 80s, old guys that make a ton of pars,etc. But I've still have yet to see someone shoot within 5 of par let alone 60's or even close. Just wondering if you guys have seen the same or if its just same run of bad luck for me to not catch someone super good.

I was paired up at Pennsauken for an early afternoon round with a guy that shot 2 under for the round.  That was the most random good-player pairing for me in the area.  

Less randomly, I often try to get the first tee time of the day when playing away from my home course (especially if down the shore on vacation).  If it's a public course with a solid membership base, you can run into some players getting the round in before the course fills up.


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