What Is Your Next Level?

There are 4 groups of golfer I will refer to and create content for. This is for the benefit of the golfers in that category as well as giving that player an insight to what the next level of their progression may entail. This is why we are all here right? Level up, get better and shoot lower scores. If you play with better golfers, you pick up things they do. This is the same idea, just more specific.

This will be a mix of what players may use, what players may think about and what players do. You want to be a Tour Player? I’ll do my best to give you the vision of what they do so you can knuckle down and emulate the same behaviors. If you’re a complete beginner, no problem, you’ll see the basics of what a club golfer does so again, you can begin to do these same things. Putting you in the shoes of the player you want to be.

The following categories may well be open to interpretation but it does encompass the journey from start to finish. Some will progress within the same category and some will progress to the next. For me, I just hope we are all looking to improve as opposed to doing the same thing every week and expecting new results to happen out of thin air.

Beginner/Junior

We all have to start somewhere right? I see this player as never picked up a club to shooting over 110 on the course. Maybe doesn’t play regularly, takes group lessons. No clubs of your own up to a first set of used clubs or package set.

Club Golfer

Holds a handicap and/or is a member at a club or golfing society. Plays fairly regularly and can get on a golf course without having to go to a shop, essentials like golf balls etc all thought of. Can shoot under 100 but not always, down to a 6 handicap club golfer.

Elite Golfer

I see this category from a 5 handicap to something like a player on the EuroPro Tour, Including a PGA Professional such as myself. This player may be capable of shooting under par on their home course and away but is not subject to the pressure and conditions set up on the main tours.

I’ve seen some splendid amateurs shoot very low scores and hit the ball like a Tour Player would. It’s a different story doing it 4 days in a row, week in week out.

Tour Player

This player has something called a Tour Card, earned by qualifying and maintained to that standard

Seniors Tour, Ladies European Tour, European Tour and PGA Tour.

Once upon a time I read a European Tour Player maintaining a Tour Card has to be winning +/- €330’000 per year just to keep that card. This will fluctuate every year but that is not an easy task.

It is my opinion, that the gap from 28 handicap to 0 handicap (scratch) is the same as 0 handicap to Tour Player. This is no small task but anyone with the dedication, resources and mind set can get there. No one is qualified to tell you something’s not possible. Target setting does however have to be SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based.

Go forth and conquer.

MIRACLE on the 17th – A Short COVID Golf Story

18 months ago was the last time I played Golf with my Dad and after this game, it could be 18 months until we play again!

Fortunately, we managed to play just before the most recent lockdown, Lockdown3 that started in early January. Teeing off at 8am, playing the back 9 of the tree-lined, Leighton Buzzard Golf Club. On a chilly and fresh morning, the mix of woodland and parkland ground soft from the recent rain that has soaked through the course over the previous 2 weeks of downpour.

My Dad announces on the 10th tee that we shall be playing matchplay, closely followed by, “and you will be giving me 3 shots.” “Well hang on, I haven’t played since June and that’s my only game last year” I protested. Dad was quick to remind me that my previous handicap before surrendering membership in 2017 was 3, alas he got his way.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that I find myself 2 down to the old boy as we stand on the 17th tee. Although, I wasn’t really bothered, it was great to be out spending the time and talk with my Dad this Christmas. Having not seen any of my family due to the COVID lockdown this was a fortunate safe and legal way to see him and do something we both enjoy.

Emotions aside, this is where our game takes an unexpected turn. The 17th at Leighton Buzzard is 260 yards Par 4, but is tight. You must use an 8 iron of the tee and then wedge on. There is the option to go for the green, which being 2 down I elect. The problem is that anything left will be lost and anything right, drops down a bank which is around a 20ft drop, there is no margin for error.

Looking down the hole shoes how narrow the 17th at Leighton Buzzard GC is

Dad finds the fairway with his little iron and I pull out the hybrid. Unfortunately, I push it ever so slightly, and the ball rolls halfway down the right-hand bank, green high.

The relentless old boy hits a full wedge which lands 3 feet right of the hole and spins due to the delightful little draw he’s manufactured and ends 1 foot away. Instead of “shaking hands/ accepting defeat from 2 meters” I tell him that I will play my ball. He laughs, picks up his gimmie birdie and stands on the edge of the green, peering down towards me, halfway down the bank.

I have a little jump up to check where the hole is because you cannot see the flag from down there and I pull out the 58 degree. A big swing and a flop and the ball goes up and I notice, it looks pretty good, certainly in line with the flag. CRACK! I hear the ball strike the flag! “YOU ARE JOKING” I hear the old boy shout, and as I look at him on the edge of the green, his hands have flown to behind his head. The flop has bounced perfectly into the hole, and we have an eagle. The match continues.

I will save the details of 18, but the old boy is now rattled and is on the green putting for bogey. That won’t be enough old boy, and we have a surprising yet honourable half.

The match didn’t really matter, we had a lovely time together, it was fantastic to catch up with him and order a sausage roll from the half-way hut again. A throwback, a blessing and a great golfing story to come out the back of it

Matt Tizzard

@MattTizzard

Founder: WAGGLE DUFF

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