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


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#31 2bGood

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 07:48 PM

 EKELLY, on 15 September 2018 - 05:39 PM, said:

 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

I don't think it is just Florida, pretty much every true private club with decent a population to draw from has several true scratch players.

Edited by 2bGood, 16 September 2018 - 09:53 AM.


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#32 IamMarkMac

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 08:10 PM

I have a cousin, much younger than me so I rarely saw him, and was surprised when I found out he played golf and was scratch/near scratch. He came to visit for several weeks and I got a good look at his game and what struck me was how "normal" it all seemed. He hits a fairway, then a green then two putts for par. Same as I do an any number of holes.

Of course, it's quite a feat to do that 18 straight times but he didn't need to bomb 300+ yard drives nor do masterful knockdown wedge shots so basically, I didn't see him do anything physically that I couldn't do, he was just damn consistent (you don't make highlight reels for consistency though).
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#33 Justsomeguy

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:12 PM

First time for me was last weekend or so. Played a semi-private club. Nice place. Home base for a local HS team. Played w a guy who coaches it, he was killing time while his daughter played her round w the team. Super nice dude, real day job.
He pounded it off the tee. Played up w my buddy and I, probably just to be polite. Routinely eschewed driver but for par 5's and longest par 4's, otherwise hit 3w.
I saw one bogey, 7 birdies, 2 missed eagle putts, and everything else a humdrum hit GiR and 2putt. If he had dropped a few more putts he would have been low 60s easy.
Every facet was solid. His proximity to the hole on approaches might have been the most impressive.
Had an older golf bag from university of AZ. Asked him if he had player college. Said he tried out for the team, but didn't make it. Same years Jim Furyk was there, and some other notables. Had to be a pretty tough squad to crack.
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#34 LeftDaddy

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:17 PM

I play regularly with a 3 hdcp and a scratch player. I play semi-regularly with two guys at +2. The +2s are vastly superior to the scratch and the 3. I can hang with the 3 for 9-12 holes but over 18 he always wins out. Heís just more consistent overall, and although I have a good short game, his is far superior to mine. The scratch doesnít wow me in any way, but he is just very consistent and rarely gets into trouble (and never misses a tee shot).

One of the +2s was a former Nike tour player. I canít imagine another human being hitting a golf ball harder/farther. He carries his drives 340 in the air and hits 6 iron 220. He is a mediocre putter and I guess that is why he is a regular working stiff now.

The other +2 is a little longer than me, but has an amazing game overall. Great with irons, great putter, really great short game, great off the tee. I wish I played more with him because he would be great to learn from (the other +2 is on another planet with ballstriking).

The main lessons Iíve taken from these guys is they are more consistent overall, have really well developed short games when they do get in trouble, and they put their irons much closer to the hole with regularity.
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#35 2putttom

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:18 PM

on the first tee we were joined by a golfer whom goes by the initial's T H. An rather un opposing figure of a man, friendly, not an over bearing personality. We all shook hands and gave our first names, off we went. pars all around til the fourth, a long par five T H birdied the rest took boogies.  On the next teeing ground one of the players in our group had an ah ha moment.  As we watch the birdie holder address his tee shot he leaned over and whispered " he's a pro"  I said  " well hell ya he just flushed his 3 wood 270"... "no he's a PGA pro ..... I've seen him on t v"  he said.  My game went in the shytt#r after that.

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#36 Quasimoto

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:39 PM

Only once.
Met the guy on the first tee after the shop pro asked if I would mind if a pro played with me.
I would be delighted I replied.
Guy was playing mini tours in US and Asia, and about 21 yo, grandfather about 80 yo riding and not playing.
I was a 6 at the time and was blown away with what this fellow would put his mind to accomplish, and pull it off.
He was having a horrible time putting - in part because he had never played the course before, and in part he said he was struggling with the putter - and I had at least 12 rounds already played.
So after the 6th hole he had me read his putts for him which I thought was a huge compliment - and helped him.
The course was the Quarry near Virginia MN. He played the blacks at roughly 7200 yds and I played from approx 6500 in September.
I have played with + amateurs many times; the ball striking, course management, and ability to effectively get out of trouble by the pro's is beyond comparison.
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#37 Chomper

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 03:43 AM

I have played a lot of rounds with guys who are around scratch - +3. One guy is a fairly regular partner, he bounces between +1 and +2.
They all seem to hit the ball further than I do, spend more time reading putts, and have really solid short games.
And they hit the ball closer to the hole than I do.
One guy, who played college Div III golf in W Palm FL, is still the only guy I have ever played with who, on every approach shot, hit his ball so that it always spun toward the flag. I have played 3-4 rounds with him, and it is quite impressive.

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#38 zebra2955

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 08:27 AM

I got paired up with this guy at Legend Trail in AZ a couple years back. He was a member at Greyhawk at believe, or something like that. He was out at Legend Trail because of 3 reasons
1 his course was closed for the day
2. legend Trail was having a $20 Monday
3. His Callaway Epic driver was delivered the day before and he had to hit it.

He was a very good player said he was a 2. He was 3 under going to the last par 5 , hit his only bad shot of the day into the desert. tripled bogey the hole. finished at even. He could bomb it, of the tee, very good with his irons and made some decent amount of putts. Said his weakest part was his ability to read greens. Most of his misses were those ones that are just off the edge.

It was fun just to watch him hit it.
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#39 sdandrea

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 08:35 AM

Never played with anyone famous, but I have played with several scratch club pros.  Fun to watch, but they were both so consistent, it was almost boring.   Fairways and greens... ...yawn.  The impressive part was the swing and ball striking.
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#40 kozubs

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 08:47 AM

 MtlJeff, 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.

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

Couldn't agree more.  Played with plenty of scratch golfers.  We have 4 kids under the age of 16 at our club that are scratch and have all shot in the sixties during tournament play.  Pro level, is quite a few steps past scratch.

Once people get below 4 the differences between handicaps can be subtle.  It seems like every point lower in handicap is just a little tighter dispersion, slightly short game, putting etc that means only 1 stroke per round.  Nothing stands out unless there's a few points between handicaps and that's where the misses of the higher handicap (not many more mind you) start to show up.  However, put a pro/semi pro against a scratch and it would be night and day.


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#41 Mike_C

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 09:26 AM

At my current club we have probably a dozen or so + handicaps to 2-3.  At my last club, probably more, had a couple of mini-tour guys.  But as somebody said, the really good players are rarely going to be playing and walking on at a muni.

But I must say, one of the most fun rounds I've ever played was when I walked onto a Muni in Albuquerque NM (Arroyo del Oso), they asked if I mined playing with a young woman, they said she was pretty good, I said sure.  Then they pro at the club decided to play with us, she was a student of his.  She was a D1 player, very solid, we played from the back tees, I think I shot about 2 over, so did the girl, which is pretty good for a lady from the back tees.  But the pro shot like 67, with a bad break double bogey on 17, but he didn't even seem to be even trying, it was so effortless, almost no bad shots, every putt looked like it was going in.....that is how I wish I could play....
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#42 EKELLY

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 10:00 AM

Nobody is a "natural" in any sport. "It's hard work becoming a natural", as my father says. Some people just grasp, or were taught, the fundamentals easier/better. I play with a ridiculous arsenal of advanced golfers, a few don't seem to be human at times.  It's just a game, and like any game, there are always those that make it look easy.

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#43 ThinkingPlus

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 10:16 AM

View PostMike_C, on 16 September 2018 - 09:26 AM, said:

At my current club we have probably a dozen or so + handicaps to 2-3.  At my last club, probably more, had a couple of mini-tour guys.  But as somebody said, the really good players are rarely going to be playing and walking on at a muni.

But I must say, one of the most fun rounds I've ever played was when I walked onto a Muni in Albuquerque NM (Arroyo del Oso), they asked if I mined playing with a young woman, they said she was pretty good, I said sure.  Then they pro at the club decided to play with us, she was a student of his.  She was a D1 player, very solid, we played from the back tees, I think I shot about 2 over, so did the girl, which is pretty good for a lady from the back tees.  But the pro shot like 67, with a bad break double bogey on 17, but he didn't even seem to be even trying, it was so effortless, almost no bad shots, every putt looked like it was going in.....that is how I wish I could play....
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#44 wrmiller

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 10:51 AM

View PostEKELLY, on 16 September 2018 - 10:00 AM, said:

Nobody is a "natural" in any sport. "It's hard work becoming a natural", as my father says. Some people just grasp, or were taught, the fundamentals easier/better. I play with a ridiculous arsenal of advanced golfers, a few don't seem to be human at times.  It's just a game, and like any game, there are always those that make it look easy.

Anyone who can grasp the fundamentals of any sport "easier/better" than everyone else would be called a natural in my book. But that's just me. :)
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#45 Under2hours

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 12:00 PM

Didn't ask his HC, but name was on the bag and in late 50's-60's.....  Was paired up with him and another friend and since second 18 of the day was made to wait and watched him on the range.....  You could see the difference between him and the scratch golfer.  Every shot was laser-like....

Not a long course but rating about 128, and every approach was within 15'.

Also played with someone who played on the CPGA.  He decided a less stressful job was as an Air Traffic Controller.  He didn't play particularly well (which means +2 or so), but again the difference was stark.

Edited by Under2hours, 16 September 2018 - 01:36 PM.


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#46 IamMarkMac

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 01:47 PM

View PostIamMarkMac, on 15 September 2018 - 08:10 PM, said:

I have a cousin, much younger than me so I rarely saw him, and was surprised when I found out he played golf and was scratch/near scratch. He came to visit for several weeks and I got a good look at his game and what struck me was how "normal" it all seemed. He hits a fairway, then a green then two putts for par. Same as I do an any number of holes.

Of course, it's quite a feat to do that 18 straight times but he didn't need to bomb 300+ yard drives nor do masterful knockdown wedge shots so basically, I didn't see him do anything physically that I couldn't do, he was just damn consistent (you don't make highlight reels for consistency though).

Now that I think about it, I haven't played with a lot of scratch players but I have played with a ton of bombers with no game from 150 in. They're far more "spectacular" to play with than my cousin because the 300+ yard drive always leaves an impression while you don't really think anything of a three putt by your playing companion. You just see the score at the end where, despite the awesome drives, he didn't break 80.

I imagine if you were a bomber with a short game, you'd be much better than scratch.
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#47 Bucken77

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 02:43 PM

I've played with a couple. It's really fun to watch as they just tear the golf course up. I've played a few rounds with Gio and he just absolutely smashes the ball off the tee box. Nice easy looking swing and it's 200 yards past my bomb lol. I've also played with a few guys locally that hit the ball as far as I do (230ish off the tee on average) yet their irons are ridiculous and they don't miss putts. My favorite person to play with was a player that did not hit the ball far at all yet just surgically took apart the course. Every shot was where he wanted it to be.
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#48 GolfChannel

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 04:38 PM

Television really doesn’t do how good a PGA Tour caliber player really is at golf. Through my grandfather, who was a PGA Tour official, and when I formerly worked at the Golf Channel I have been fortunate enough to play with a few touring pros and a couple legends of the game and it’s just dumb how good they are (especially when there is no pressure other than living up to the expectations of fawning admirers).

I have been elite at almost every sport I have ever tried. I have never come close to elite at golf (even when I attained scratch), which is why I look forward to it every day. There is no sport which is more humbling than golf.
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#49 Moonlightgrm

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 04:41 PM

I play with at least one scratch golfer almost every round. My group includes guys from +3 to 5 handicaps. Two of our crew have won our state amateur championship (brothers). I have played with a long drive champion who shot a cool 68 from the tips with a bag full of drivers and no iron greater than a 7-iron. I have played with most of the club Professional's in my area and they can score, too. There are some talented guys out there, no doubt.

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#50 Carl Spackler3

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 04:53 PM

Play with a true scratch player occasionally. Things that stand out: he looks like heís playing a totally different sport first off,
Never needs driver,  usually only on 2 par 5s, putts whenever humanly possible from off green, always picks a side of the hole to hit to instead of a distance, drops literally everything inside 7 feet( everything).  Plays old technology 905 R and MP 32s, and works a bullseye style Cameron like a big huge spider

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#51 GolfChannel

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 05:15 PM

View Postwrmiller, on 16 September 2018 - 10:51 AM, said:

View PostEKELLY, on 16 September 2018 - 10:00 AM, said:

Nobody is a "natural" in any sport. "It's hard work becoming a natural", as my father says. Some people just grasp, or were taught, the fundamentals easier/better. I play with a ridiculous arsenal of advanced golfers, a few don't seem to be human at times.  It's just a game, and like any game, there are always those that make it look easy.

Anyone who can grasp the fundamentals of any sport "easier/better" than everyone else would be called a natural in my book. But that's just me. :)

In every sport there will always be “naturals”. Those that just have a higher aptitude when it comes to that sport or endeavor. Work is always important, a natural is only potential hoping to be realized.

Giftedness applies as much to sports as it does intellectual pursuits.
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Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG No. 7
Ball: Titleist ProV1

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#52 cqueen

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 09:17 PM

If a regular tour pro played at most of our local muni courses they would destroy them. They donít play the courses we do because they are used to 400+ par 4ís and 550+ par 5ís. Most of the guys at the munis would whine and complain if every hole was that long. The tour pros are the elite of the elite.

Driver - Cobra F6 Matrix Black Tie
3 Wood - Nike Vapor Fly Tensei Blue
3 Iron - Nike VRS Forged
4i - PW - Nike Vapor Pro KBS Tour V X-Stiff
50, 54, 58 - Vokey SM7 S400
Putter - Nike Method Converge B1-01

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#53 wrmiller

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 10:02 PM

Oh come on... I play 400+ yard par fours every week (seven I think). But only one par 5 that's over 550 though (570+ typically IIRC). With modern equipment those numbers you give are not that big a deal, distance wise.

I agree, that most pros don't play munis, but I think there's more to it than the reasons you state.
Primary bag:
Titleist 913 D3 8.5
Titleist 915Fd 13.5
Titleist 913h 17
Mizuno MP-18 4-PW
Scratch wedges 50, 55, and 60
Bettinardi mid-shank putter

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Ping G400 9
Ping G30 fw 13
Ping G30 hybrid 19
Ping iBlade 4-PW power spec
Macgregor VIP wedges 51, 56, and 60
Bettinardi mid-shank putter

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#54 RRH

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 10:26 PM

I would love Tiger Woods to come play my local 4700 yard muni with me. No spectators, just 2 of my buddies and him. Would be fun man.

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#55 isaacbm

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 10:29 PM

I have 65 in my phones contact list.

Met most in tournaments. That’s where they congregate...

I play muni’s at least 10 times a year


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#56 GMR

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 07:49 AM

I have actually been fortunate enough to play rounds of golf with three different Major winners. One is pushing 60 and well past his prime, another (the most accomplished of the three) will be turning 50 soon so clearly past his prime but still somewhat competitive, and the third is in his early 30s so just around his prime.  The rounds were all surprisingly different and eye-opening in their own ways.  Most aspects of those guys' games were as good or better than you would expect, and it's really amazing to see it up close.  Other aspects were actually not quite as tight as you'd think, but it was amazing how they were able to either work around those aspects or recover from some positions you wouldn't have expected them to be in.  For example, the young guy couldn't putt (at least the day we played), but maybe missed one green all day and shot a 69...about the worst that he could have shot with his tee-to-green game.  The middle guy drained a ton of putts but his short game was surprisingly loose when he missed the green, with a couple shockingly bad chip/pitch shots (especially considering his resume)...made a bogey or two and still shot 66 I believe.  The older guy shot around 69 or 70...could still move it out there for his age (had a trackman set up on one hole where he put up 110 of swing speed), but wasn't nearly as on point with his approaches as the other two guys and even managed to miss one so far right on a par 3 I'm wondering if he shanked it...but he still made par on the hole.

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#57 larrybud

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 07:50 AM

I'm not sure why scratch is put in the same category as "pro level" with this question.  There's a ton of scratch guys.

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#58 jdl

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 08:05 AM

Two come to mind. Once at my home course the head pro asked if one of his local buddies could join us for a few holes. Had the big staff bag with his name on it, etc. First 2 holes he hits his approach shot within 2' or so after walking up cold with no warm up. My friend and I are like, "so this is what a pro plays like!" He sees us and says something like, "guys, this doesn't happen like this all the time." Nice guy and pretty humble, he left after about 6 holes or so, so didn't get to see too much more.

The other was at a local high end semi-private course. They were having a qualifier for the New England PGA that week so they asked our 3 some if one of the guys playing in it could join us since he wanted to check out the course. We said sure no problem. This guy was just obnoxious, he would drive back to the tips on each hole and hit a few tee shots. Then around the greens he'd be throwing balls to different sections, etc. No problem with that, but he'd do it while we were trying to putt or chip. And he complained often about how the slow greens would "ruin" his putting stroke. Best moment came right on the first hole. He was on the fringe and flat out chunked a chip shot. I made about a 12' birdie putt so was thinking, "this guy isn't all that..." :) Mentioned it to the head pro at my home course and as soon as I said the guy's name, he kind of chuckled and said the guy was known by all the pros in the area to be an arrogant SOB. Had a good nickname for him, too that I wish I could remember.

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#59 naval2006

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 08:43 AM

I saw a bunch of kids from my course become scratch players, they grew to be men, two of them tried the pro life for some time and most of them now play at my club.  There were a lot of children back then at the kids golf school, but the good ones were salient very early.  I agree with the natural theory.

You play with these young guys today and they are a lot of fun because we've been around together for a long time and the way they play is simply amazing.  They make you believe golf can be easy.  Now you see their power, the quality of their ball striking and the short game skills they display and you feel sorry for your little 260 yard drives and your ups and downs based on grind not on talent.

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#60 Ferguson

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 12:11 PM

A guy at my former club - he was sort of an enigma.   His name was Teddy, Tosh, Tad or Ted, depending on who you asked.   I played with him a handful of times (back when I was a better player; I suck, currently - a promotion will kill a golf game).   I called him Ted.  The guy had a long and straight ball from the tee - if anything it fell to the left.  He could hit any club.   Our group called him “Stiff Hand Ted”  because when he shook a person’s hand, he could not close his fingers all the way.   Even his wife said he had trouble grasping and turning small door knobs.   But give him a golf club and he closed his hands perfectly.   One guy said he saw him shoot a 62 and missing only one green.   As I recall his rounds with me – he was always 68 or better.   If I ever write a book, it will be entitled, The Legend of Stiff Hand Ted.


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