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What Score Makes You Happy?

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Final scores are arbitrary markers of success and failure. It’s almost random how the same numbers can add up to make one player happy and another upset. When a 14-handicap shoots a 79, it’s time to celebrate; when a four-handicap shoots 79, don’t ask him how he played.

A golfer can hit the ball well, but with a few missed putts or a few bad bounces what looked like a promising round can end with a score that doesn’t speak to the player’s ability. Or, if it did all come together and the golfer had one of his rounds of the year, you know what? Any player will tell you that score could have been — should have been — one or two strokes lower.

So, what score makes you feel happy? Dennis, a five-handicap with a solid swing and good touch around the greens, told me his number is 75.

[quote_box_center]“Anything below that and either I didn’t screw anything up much, or I played well enough to recover from my bad holes.”[/quote_box_center]

He said this after a mediocre-for-him 38 on the front nine at Victoria. On his way to the back nine he added, “Anything over 80 and I just write it off as one of those 10 rounds that doesn’t count toward my index.”

“I’m a 26-handicap,” Rhonelle from Calgary told me at Desert Willow. “Last Thursday I shot a 92. That’s a great score for me and I beat my friend who’s a 20-handicap. To get a good score and to win a close competition makes it doubly enjoyable.”

“Anything in the 70s,” said Marty, a high single digit with an unorthodox grip and swing. “I’ve played about 2,000 rounds of golf in the last 30 years and I’ve been under 80 I believe 473 times.” I looked to see if there was a calculator hanging next to the towel on his bag or if his caddy was an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers. “I can’t wait until I get to 500 sub-80s,” he said, like he thought that would bring a sure ticket to some personal Hall of Fame induction ceremony somewhere.

“When I break 90, I make everyone buy me beers,” Lenny said. Once he was an amateur boxer; he doesn’t overpower the course anymore though he says he is still capable of a big roundhouse hook.

“I don’t keep score,” Steven told me, and I figured that meant he didn’t want to count that high. “He’s good,” his buddy Jordan said at Malibu CC, “he just doesn’t like to get caught up in the numbers thing… he just likes to hit the shots.” I bowed toward him, thinking he’s either lying or I’m in the presence of a Zen master.

“I want to have a lower score on the back nine than on the front nine,” Alex told me on the 12th hole at Green Tree. His brother Jessie said maybe then he should quit after the 16th hole.

Steven said he likes to play courses that are par 71 or even par 70. “When you tell someone you shot an 82, they don’t ask you what par was on the course,” he explained.

“I’m an eight-handicap,” Terry said. “But I can shoot anywhere from 75 to 90 in any one round.”

“Yep,” his friend Freddy said, “he’s Mr. Consistent. But if you catch him on the right day, you can win some money from him.”

“So, what score makes you happy?” I asked again.

“If it’s a tournament, I want to be par or under, net. If it’s just a round with these guys, as long as I beat them I don’t care what I shoot. If I’m playing by myself, it’s all just practice and it doesn’t matter.”

Brian, a three-handicap, said, “I like to be around par or in the low 70s, but if I don’t, you know what? Nobody got hurt, nobody died. It’s just golf.” It must be easy to be philosophical when you’re a three, I think.

As for me, my handicap has gone up along with my age. Scores that used to be just a good number are now triumphs remembered for months. And the bad numbers are as easily forgotten as what I had for breakfast a week ago Friday.

My 89-year-old father-in-law still plays golf at his club on Long Island at least twice a week. He won some club tournaments when he was younger but now he says, “I don’t take myself seriously anymore, I just want to laugh and enjoy myself.” But the juices still flow. He says when he can play a par-4 with a drive in the fairway and an approach that gets him somewhere near the putting surface “so I can just run a 7-iron onto the green and putt for par,” then he’s happy. And, he adds, “I’m still happy even if I don’t make the par putt.”

What score makes you happy? Tell us in the comments section below. And check out Tom Hill’s humorous golf book, A Perfect Lie – The Hole Truth at 7-ironpress.com – use the coupon code GOLFWRX for free shipping of the paperback.

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Tom Hill is a 9.7 handicap, author and former radio reporter. Hill is the author of the recently released fiction novel, A Perfect Lie – The Hole Truth, a humorous golf saga of one player’s unexpected attempt to shoot a score he never before thought possible. Kirkus Reviews raved about A Perfect Lie, (It) “has the immediacy of a memoir…it’s no gimme but Hill nails it square.” (kirkusreviews.com). A Perfect Lie is available as an ebook or paperback through 7-ironpress.com and the first three chapters are available online to sample. Hill is a dedicated golfer who has played more than 2,000 rounds in the past 30 years and had a one-time personal best handicap of 5.5. As a freelance radio reporter, Hill covered more than 60 PGA and LPGA tournaments working for CBS Radio, ABC Radio, AP Audio, The Mutual Broadcasting System and individual radio stations around the country. “Few knew my name and no one saw my face,” he says, “but millions heard my voice.” Hill is the father of three sons and lives with his wife, Arava Talve, in southern California where he chases after a little white ball as often as he can.

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Bob

    Jul 22, 2015 at 2:19 am

    I play 4 times a week. Can’t drive. hit irons, pitch, chip or put. Handicap , if I kept a score would be above 36 hence I do not keep score. I ,however play fast and enjoy the game.

  2. Ron

    May 17, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Great question! Golf is interesting partly because successive days on the same course can be so different. Whatever the level, golfers who play fairly often tend to score fifteen of the holes more-or-less the same – that is to say, the aggregate score will be comparable (but not the scores on the individual holes). Whether its a great round or a horrible one depends on what happened on the other three.

    For me (at 75 years old with an index of about 3), I’ll typically have 5 or 6 bogies, so a good or bad round depends on whether I birdie a couple of the others or bogie (or worse) the remaining three. So the score often comes down to two or three shots – either hit better or worse than on the rest of the round. Yesterday, my three bogies and two birdies made a great round. Had I bogeyed instead of birdied on those two, it would have just been so-so. Shooting my age, I guess, is always a target – but as my son so graciously reminds me, that is getting easier since I keep getting older!

    My happiness shouldn’t depend on any of that! After all, I’m still getting to play as much as I want!

  3. Big D

    May 8, 2015 at 3:52 am

    Having recently become a senior (50 years), I am at the point where I am just happy to be out on the course playing. I went through a period where my handicap was scratch or better for 15+ years but now play off a 3.8. Any time I can shoot under 75, I am thrilled. After a serious injury incurred hitting a tree root and going through 6 surgeries to try and resolve the issues, I just love playing whether that is shooting 70 or shooting 80. That being said, I am happier shooting 70 and losing than shooting 80 and winning.

  4. Mat

    May 2, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I don’t care what the number is as long as my handicap goes down even a tenth. I’m a 17 these days, thus, roughly breaking 90 is a happy day.

  5. alan

    Apr 30, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    anything in the 70’s makes me happy. im a 7+ index so i dont get there as often as id like too but conditions play a huge part in my personal par which varies every time on get on the course.

  6. Progolfer

    Apr 27, 2015 at 1:28 am

    As my name indicates, I play for a living. My career low is 60 (lipped-out for 59), and that day I was so in the moment that it didn’t matter what I shot. That’s how you break barriers and play your best– forget about score and get absorbed in the game.

    I got a great tip from Eddie Merrins once. He said, “No matter how well you’re playing, there will always be somebody out there playing better than you are. Don’t ever protect your score.” Words of wisdom.

  7. JohnnyB

    Apr 26, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Its easy, par or better. I will never forget the first time I broke par on 18 holes. It was one of the most satisfying days of my entire life.

  8. Matto

    Apr 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    About 6-7 years ago, after 25yrs of golf, I threw it all in, sold my clubs, cancelled my course membership and said F this game.
    I was taking it so seriously that it made me miserable, 84 was my best ever score.
    I didn’t play for 2yrs. Then I met some new friends on a job who were new to the game and I took it up again, promising myself not to revert to my old ways…and I never have. Within 6mths I had a 79.
    My number is 82-86, I’m a 10.8.
    My goal every round is to be the happiest guy in my group.

  9. Double Mocha Man

    Apr 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    If I shoot 2 over or better I am happy. So sad since I used to be ecstatic when I broke 80. When I’m very near par, or under, I will stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way home and treat myself.

  10. ooffa

    Apr 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I strive to shoot one shot better then the competition and collect the money without raising my handicap. If the best number is 80 then 79 takes the money why shoot 74 if you don’t have to. If your winning by a few dump one in the water or three put a few of the closing holes. Barely winning in the key to the bank.

    • Taylor

      Apr 24, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      So true. I keep my handicap so I can hopefully one day play in the state amateur, and to get strokes against my buddies. If I have the low score for the day I’m happy, typically the low score is high 70’s or low 80s. We typically play 73 rated courses, so thats a pretty good day.

  11. other paul

    Apr 24, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I am happy when I hit great shots. No score will ever satisfy. Maybe 18 under par will satisfy. Not that I will ever know.

  12. RobG

    Apr 24, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I only play golf 5 or 6 times per year. I’m always looking to shoot in the high 70’s but my game is too rusty and I usually end up in the mid 80’s. 84-85 I’m happy, 82-83 I’m content, 80-81 I’m thrilled. They only time I get really frustrated with my score is when I shoot 84-86 and I go back and add up my wasted shots – OB tee balls, balls left in bunkers, and missed short(ish) putts – and they add up to 8 or 10 strokes.

  13. Alex

    Apr 24, 2015 at 10:33 am

    I don’t really have a number. It’s more about what happened during the round. I can be happy with an 85 if I did my best and caught a few bad breaks. I can be disappointed in a 76 if I had some stupid mishits.

    It’s not the best way to think about it. A good-looking 80 and a bad-looking 80 are both 80s, but it’s hard for me to remember that I’m playing golf, not golf swing, sometimes.

  14. Jay

    Apr 24, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Division 1 hockey player who recently walked on my college’s varsity golf team. Its fun to play with the top guys on the squad because they are scratch golfers and as a 3 handicap who keeps up with them from time to time is a great feeling no matter what the number is.

  15. Blake

    Apr 24, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Much like others who have already posted, I want to play to, or lower, my handicap. I currently play off a +0.3, and I play an easy course, where the course rating is 66.5. Therefore, I look to shoot 66 or lower when I go out. Some days this isn’t possible unless I play a perfect round, but I always want to be under par.

  16. 8thehardway

    Apr 23, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    There are a lot of scores that put a smile on my face: 2 birdies, 3 strokes better than the rest of my foursome, 10 GIRs, 11 fairways, 26 putts. For the round, 74 on my par 70 course is a well spent Saturday.

  17. Gary Gutful

    Apr 23, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    A pass mark for me is to play to my handicap. Even on the toughest of courses that is my aim. If I don’t do it then I snap at least 3 clubs in the car par after the round…sometimes 4.

  18. Johnnythunders

    Apr 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I really dont care what i shoot, i play in a match play league and love to beat my opponent. Love the strategy, the pressure, one on one is the best.

    Playing for score is so boring.

  19. RG

    Apr 23, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I keep an index because I like to play tournamrnts and skins games. My index is currently 4.2 and I look at score like this.
    It’s going to happen and numbers cannot tell the story. The most important thing in a round is my decision making process and did I get everything out of the round I could that day. If I manage my game well the score will take care of itself.

  20. Bob

    Apr 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I am happy to shoot 80-85. Have broken 80 4 times all just barely. I am a 18 handicap and anything over 85 I wonder if I just made this shot or that one it would have been a better round. Even a bad day on the golf course beats a good day at work.

  21. JBoh

    Apr 23, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Score doesn’t really matter to me. I keep my handicap so I can play in events during the season, but its truly just relaxing to get out and play. My handicap states I am a 5, but some days large scores happen. I played 9 the other night and shot 46. 5 water balls did me in, but I struck the ball pretty well. Could not have been more pleased (working through some swing changes).

  22. R.Conklin

    Apr 23, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I’m a 22 handicap and for me, I call a good day anytime I break 90.

  23. bradford

    Apr 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Yeah, there’s a lot to be said about someone who can walk off the course and say “I played awful, but what a great day!”. I wish I could do it more often, but it being a game where every shot counts, it’s hard to ignore that 7. To answer the question, anything starting with a 7 is a pretty good day. I normally sit anywhere between 78-83 and can go a couple either way any given day.

  24. Bob

    Apr 23, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I play only nine holes at a time. 38 or 39 makes me feel good. 40 is a might-have been score, and 42 is a what happened? score.

  25. Connor

    Apr 23, 2015 at 1:44 am

    Division II college player.

    Anything with a 6 in front of it makes me “happy”, 70-72 leaves me pleased, but knowing I didn’t get everything out the round that I could, and if it is over par it means it was not all put together that day.

    Happiness is anytime I suck the life out of a round and walk away knowing I took everything from the round, and scored the best I could have, with the swing I had that day.

  26. MHendon

    Apr 23, 2015 at 12:44 am

    What scores make me happy, 70 to 75 I’m happy, any thing below 70 I’m ecstatic. I’m currently a 1.6

  27. slider

    Apr 23, 2015 at 12:00 am

    any day on the course is a good day in my eyes all you can do is your best on every shot

  28. Jonzy

    Apr 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I’m a 12, and I’m extremely happy with breaking 80 (only done it twice), but if I shoot 86 or higher I feel that I had a bad day. To answer the question “what score makes me happy”, I’ll say 82. If I shoot 83-85, I’m not upset but I know that I screwed up somewhere.

  29. marty

    Apr 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I hope for under 90.

  30. david

    Apr 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I’m a3.7, my goal is 74 or beter. a lot is weather dependant; if it’s quite windy or cold, I’ll lower my expectations, it’s difficult for me to shoot more than 83 even when I play terrible, but I get bored if it’s another round of 77…I know I also need to lighten up.

  31. Jeff

    Apr 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    My handicap is just under 6, and my average score is just over 80. I am seldom happy with a round in the 80s unless I had a really bad hole and had to make up ground during the round.

  32. Sam

    Apr 22, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I play for my high school golf team, and im a 8 handicap. Im happy at 79 and under. Ive been playing for two years and when I do shoot a 90 or high 80s I feel like Im right back at square one.

  33. JMaron

    Apr 22, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Anything in that is 0 or better in the index for the round makes me happy. I’m a 1 handicap now, never been 0. Last year I did that 7 times in 40 rounds.

    Anything 80 and up makes me downright depressed. Did that 12 times in 40 rounds.

    Having pondered this question – I think I need to lighten up.

  34. Scott

    Apr 22, 2015 at 11:13 am

    I am a 5.5 index and most of the courses that I play are considered very difficult, especially my home course (slope of 148 from the tips and 142 from the blues) . I tried to not get too caught up in the numbers if I am hitting the ball well because big numbers lurk almost everywhere on my home course. If I am playing at my home course, I am happy breaking 80, but a low 80s won’t bother me too much, if I have some birdies and win some cash.

  35. JBH

    Apr 22, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I’m ecstatic with a round at or better than net par for my handicap (9), I don’t get too bent out of shape if I don’t break 80 though and generally shoot low to mid 80’s. There’s always a chance of blowing a round up into the 90’s on days when nothing feels right but they are few and far between. Used to be a bit of a hot head and still commit the crime of bad self talk when I’m struggling but getting better at letting go and refocusing on the next shot.

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: A few thoughts on off-season improvement

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Having lived my entire life in South Texas, one of the things I had to learn very quickly when I went into the golf business nearly 40 years ago was that this was a much more “seasonal” activity than I had ever thought about. Though we are blessed to be able to play golf year-round down here, we do have periods (like the past two weeks), where cold/windy/wet weather keeps all but the most devoted off the courses. Still, I certainly understand that there are many of you who have had to “hang ‘em up” for the next few months and get your golf fix with maybe one or two trips over the winter, or just by watching golf on TV and reading about it.

Over those 4o years I’ve talked with lots of golfers about what they do to “get their fix” during the long months when the weather just does not allow you to get out at all to work on your game. It seems I’ve heard everything from “I just try to forget about it” to “I’ll take a couple of trips to southern climates” to “it hurts every day”.

I’m going to try to offer you a bit more than that today, with some tips anyone can use to actually improve your game during the long off season. So here goes:

Improve your putting stroke. All you need is a strip of commercial grade carpet about 8 feet long if you don’t want to purchase one of the specialized putting mats (get it in a green color if you can, but any neutral earth tone will do). Find a place in your home where you can set this 12-20” wide strip of carpet down on the floor and leave it for regularly scheduled sessions. The goal with this off-season exercise is to improve your mechanics to a point where you have so much trust in your stroke that when you get to the course in the Spring (or on one of your trips) that you can focus entirely on making the putt.

One of my very closest friends was/is maybe the best putter I ever saw in the recreational ranks . . . because he dedicated time nearly every day to honing his putting stroke to a razor edge. He would spend a half hour each night watching the evening news with his putting mat in front of the TV and stroke 6-8 footers . . . one after the other . . . probably several hundred every day. He had so much confidence in his set-up and mechanics that the only thing he thought about on the greens was the line and hitting the putt the right speed.

While you might not work on it every day as he did, you can build an extremely reliable putting stroke over this off season that will pay off very well for you in 2023.

Rebuild your chipping/pitching technique. Making significant changes in our techniques during the golf season is the hardest thing we golfers try to do. What happens is that you learn something new, but on the golf course you are really wanting to get results, so you end up trapped between old and new, and quickly lose confidence in the new. I’ve heard it said that any new physical activity become a habit after 21 consecutive days of doing it. Well, the guy who wrote that probably was not a golfer, because this is a lifelong learning experience.

If chipping and pitching the ball are not your strengths, make this off-season the time to do something about it. In my opinion and years of observation of recreational golfers, poor chipping and pitching are the result of poor technique. There are dozens of good books and videos out there (not to mention dozens of my own posts here) showing you how to develop a proper technique, and physical strength is not an obstacle around the greens. ANYONE can learn to chip and pitch with sound fundamentals, and those can be better learned away from the course than on it.

All you have to do is commit to making the change, get one of the great books by Stan Utley, Tom Watson or others, purchase some of the soft “almost golf balls” that won’t break anything and work on it through the off season.

Keep yourself “golf ready”. As I have transitioned now to life after 70, I have realized that keeping my flexibility was the key to feeling great every morning, and to being able to maintain my golf skills. A number of years ago, I began a simple 4- to 5-minute stretching routine I do every day before I even get out of bed, and it has made a world of difference in everything I do and the way I feel.

Especially for those of you 40-50 years and older, I guarantee you that if you will commit to a daily stretching routine, not only will your golf dramatically improve, but it will change the way you feel every day.

So, there are three ideas for you to consider for using the off season to improve your golf game for 2023. Regardless of your age, there is no reason not to set a goal of making next year your best golf year ever.

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2022 Alfred Dunhill Championship: Betting Tips & Selections

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As the DP World Tour ends its stint in South Africa, the stars come out to play.

Whilst the Nedbank was officially part of the 2022 season, the invitational was the start of a four -event run that now concludes at the picturesque Leopard Creek, summed up by the course website:

“Golfing hazards take on a new dimension at Leopard Creek, for much of the water is home to the magnificent creatures for which the river is named – crocodiles. Extensive use has been made of water features and sightings of crocodile, hippo, antelope, buffalo and elephant are commonplace, on the course or in the Kruger Park bordering the course.”

Not only is this time for Tony Johnstone to show his exacting knowledge of the local wildlife, but golf fans can witness some of the true legends of South African and European Tour golf.

Whilst single-figure favourite Christiaan Bezuidenhout represents the best of the current generation of players, viewers will also see the likes of former Masters winners as well as the future of African golf.

In Bez we have a worthy favourite that is hard to crab given his current and course form. The 28-year-old won here in 2020 on the way to an impressive back-to-back fortnight that included the South African Open (at another Gary Player design), whilst both his victory at Valderrama and play-off defeat against Lucas Herbert in Dubai can be linked into Adri Arnaus, runner-up and third in those events and, incidentally, sixth here behind this week’s favourite.

Latest form sees the short-game wizard leave some acceptable, if disappointing, PGA results behind, with a fifth at his favoured Gary Player Country Club being followed a fortnight later with a very laidback third place finish at the Joburg Open.

At both home events, Bez started slowly and was never nearer than at the line, and trusting that the cobwebs have been blown away, he has to be in the plan, even if as a saver.

There’s a decent argument to say multiple event champion Charl Schwartzel and still-classy Louis Oosthuizen should challenge for favouritism (Oosty has now shortened up) but I’m simply not convinced their hunger is as strong as it once was, and of the three, I’d much rather be with the player with more to come.

If we are getting Bez beat, then it makes sense to row along with history, at least for a pair of back-up wagers.

There is a host of South African players attempting to continue the run of seven home winners from the last nine, but this course tends to lend itself to experience and Hennie Du Plessis looks the type to ‘do a JB Hansen’ and finally crawl over the line, as the Dane did in Joburg in 2020.

The 26-year-old has been banging his head against the winning line for a few years now, with many of his multiple top-five finishes having genuine potential to bring home the trophy instead of glancing at it.

6th at both runnings of the South African Open in Covid 2020, to Branden Grace and then Bez, he recorded a host of top-20 finishes at Challenge Tour level (including three top fives) before qualifying for the DP World Tour off the back of an 18th place at the Grand Final.

2021 ended well, with his three home visits, including 7th in Joburg and third in his home Open, suggesting a good year, and for more evidence he ended his first full DP season with five top-10s.

Unlike his more obvious compatriots, Schwartzel and Oosthuizen, Du Plessis was a surprise call-up to the LIV Golf series, but he hardly let himself down in his brief spell, running-up to the 2011 Masters champion at LIV London.

After his season-ending top-10 behind Jon Rahm in Spain (third at halfway), Du Plessis followed a steady 33rd at Houghton with an improved and closing top-10 at Blair Atholl last week when his game was in acceptable shape in preparation for this week’s test.

Whilst length is somewhat negated around Leopard Creek’s twisting fairways, huge hitter Adrian Meronk finished joint runner-up here two years ago (look at him go now!) and Du Plessis should be able to club down on many of the tee-shots and take advantage of his tee-to-green play – a factor for which he ranked in ninth place through the DP season.

With players catching the eye much earlier than in previous generations, it’s hard to believe that Wilco Nienaber is just 22 years of age.

It’s a tough thing to say that this former amateur star should have won the 2020 Joburg Open, as it was surely only inexperience that cost him the trophy against a determined JB Hansen. Whilst hugely talented, the former world amateur ranked 28 has become frustrating, winning just once and that at the lower level co-sanctioned event, the Dimension Data, in the Western Cape, although an event the likes of Nick Price, Retief Goosen, Darren Clarke and Oosthuizen, amongst others, have won.

Still, back to what he can do today and going forward.

Another huge hitter off the tee, Nienaber has been 18th and ninth in tee-to-green over the last two tournaments, finishing in 24th and 15th but in far better position through the events (10th at halfway in Joburg and 5th into Payday last weekend). Whilst last week’s test was right up his long-driving alley, that should have been a perfect warm-up for an event at which he’s improved to finish 24th and 12th in 2019 and 2020.

Adrian Otaegui has always been a tee-to-green machine, and whilst he already had three trophies in the cabinet, his six-stroke victory at Valderrama was a revelation.

It’s not as if the Spaniard was in poor form, having arrived in Sotogrande off the back off just one missed-cut in 11 starts, including a third place in Scotland and 13th at Wentworth and Le Golf National, interesting comparisons to this week’s venue. However, when recording figures of first in approaches, second for tee-to-green and second in putting, Otaegui not only took his form to a new level, but showed his strength against adversity.

The Spaniard became the first ex-LIV plater to win a ‘proper’ event, overcoming a bizarre attitude from the organising tour, who ignored much of his outstanding play and refused to cover any of the highlights on their social media pages.

I can certainly forgive a moderate effort the following week in Mallorca, but the 30-year-old has performed well of late, finishing 18th at the Nedbank (in seventh place going into Sunday), 16th at the DP World Tour Championship (11th at halfway) and dropping away from 8th overnight to 23rd at Joburg.

Take away the home contingent and Spaniards almost dominate recent runnings of the Alfred Dunhill, with Alvaro Quiros, Pablo Martin (x2) and Pablo Larrazabal winning here since 2006. Otaegui can make a good run at making it the nap hand.

I’m waiting for the right moment to back Joost Luiten, showing some tremendous play but only in spurts, whilst the likes of Tom McKibbin and Alejandro Del Rey are players I’ll have in the list of ‘follows’ through 2023. For the final selection, let’s go big!

Christiaan Maas is a young South African player that has been on the ‘watch’ list for a couple of years. His brilliant amateur career saw him rank a best of 19th and awarded him the Brabazon Trophy, the prestigious national amateur stroke-play event, as well as some of his homelands most valued events.

However, it is hard to understand how he rates 50 points shorter than his amateur rival, Casey Jarvis, who has recently shown he can compete with the legends of the game, leading George Coetzee at the South African PGA Championship before succumbing into second, and following that up with a top-10 at Joburg.

Following a stellar junior career, the 19-year-old won four of the best home amateur events in 2020, beating the best that South African golf could throw at him – including Mass – as he won the African Amateur Stroke Play in back-to-back years.

Maas took revenge on the development tour – the Big Easy – but Jarvis was back on the winner’s rostrum in July this year, and recent form suggests it might be better sticking with him this week.

A 63 in the second round in Joburg was matched only by multiple winner Daniel Van Tonder, and was one shot ahead of Bezuidenhout, so the game is there for all to see.

Jarvis missed the cut on the number when making his debut here in 2020, but the following week improved throughout the week to finish 25th behind Bez at the Gary Player Country Club. That is promising enough without much of what has gone on since, and it might pay to be on at big prices in better fields, before both he and Maas start mopping up the lesser home events.

Recommended Bets:

  • Christiaan Bezhuidenhout WIN
  • Adrian Otaegui WIN
  • Wilco Nieneber WIN/Top-10
  • Hennie Du Plessis WIN/Top-10
  • Casey Jarvis WIN/Top-10/Top-20
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Club Junkie

Club Junkie Review: Samsung’s Galaxy Watch5 Pro Golf Edition

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Technology has been playing a larger part in golf for years and you can now integrate it like never before. I don’t need to tell you, but Samsung is a world leader in electronics and has been making smart watches for years. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition is the latest Samsung wearable running Google’s Wear OS operating system and it is more than just a golf watch.

The Watch5 Golf Edition is a full function smartwatch that you can wear every day and use for everything from golf to checking your text messages. For more details on the Golf Edition made sure to check out the Club Junkie podcast below, or on any podcast platform. Just search GolfWRX Radio.

Samsung’s Watch5 Pro Golf Edition has a pretty large 45mm case that is made from titanium for reduced weight without sacrificing any durability. The titanium case is finished in a matte black and has two pushers on the right side to help with navigating the pretty extensive menu options. The case measures about 52mm from lug to lug and stands about 14mm tall, so the fit on smaller wrists could be an issue. I did notice that when wearing a few layers on colder days the extra height did have me adjusting my sleeves to ensure I could swing freely.

The sapphire crystal display is 1.4 inches in diameter, so it should be very scratch resistant, and is protected by a raised titanium bezel. The Super AMOLED display has a 450 x 450 resolution with 321ppi density for clear, crisp graphics. Inside the watch is a dual-core 1.18Ghz Cortex-A55 CPU, 16GB + 1.5GB RAM, and a Mali-G68 GPU to ensure your apps run quickly and efficiently.

I do like that the Watch5 Pro Golf Edition’s white and black rubber strap has a quick release system so you can change it out to match or contrast an outfit. The Golf Edition strap is very supple and conforms to your wrist well, holding it in place during multiple swings.

Out on the course the Watch5 Pro golf Edition is comfortable on the wrist and light enough, ~46g, where it isn’t very noticeable. I don’t usually wear a watch on the course, and it only took a few holes to get used to having it on my left wrist. Wearing a glove on the same hand as the watch doesn’t really change much, depending on the glove. If you have a model that goes a little higher on the wrist you could feel the watch and leather bunch a little bit. Some of my Kirkland Signature gloves would run into the watch case while I didn’t have an issue with my Titleist or Callaway models.

The screen is great in direct sunlight and is just as easy to read in overcast or twilight rounds. The images of holes and text for distances is crisp and has a bright contrast agains the black background. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition comes with a lifetime membership to Smart Caddie for your use on the course. Smart Caddie was developed by Golfbuddy, who has been making rangefinders and GPS units for years. I didn’t sign up for the Smart Caddie app as I did not buy the watch and have logins for multiple GPS and tracking apps. Smart Caddie looks to be extremely extensive, offering a ton of options beyond just GPS and it is one that works seamlessly with the Galaxy watches.

I ended up using The Grint as it was an app I have used in the past and was already signed up for. Getting to the app to start a round was very simple, needing one swipe up and one tap to start The Grint app. The screen is very smooth and records each swipe and tap with zero issues. I never felt like I was tapping or swiping without the Watch5 Pro acknowledging those movements and navigating the menu as I desired. The GPS worked flawlessly and the distances were accurate and consistent. With The Grint’s app you did have to keep the phone in your pocket or in the cart close enough for the Bluetooth connection. For most that is’t a big deal and the only time I noticed it was when I used my electric cart and drove it well in front of me down the fairway.

Overall the Samsung Watch5 Pro Golf Edition is a great option for golfers who want one device for everyday wear and use on the course. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition still has all the fitness and health options as well as being able to  connect to your email, text messages, and social media apps. With the Watch5 Pro Golf Edition you won’t have to worry about buying a device just for golf or forgetting to bring your GPS to the course.

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