tim laqua dot com Thoughts and Code from Tim Laqua


High Handicappers: Why count Three off the Tee during practice?

First of all, I'm a high handicapper. Currently I float around 20-25. I do NOT count penalty strokes when my tee shot goes out of bounds when practicing (I count all other penalties, just not that one). I don't count those because they inflate my handicap. When practicing, I've got my driver out every hole except for par 3 holes simply because I can - not because it's the smart play. If you slice 50% of the time and the right side of the teebox is out of bounds (and the subsequent 250 yards are also out of bounds to the right) - the intelligent thing to do is take out your 4 or 5 iron and put it on the fairway. That's exactly what you would do during competition play. But when practicing, every time, without fail, I'll sacrafice 2-3 balls to the right lateral hazard. Technically, that's 4 strokes - tee out of bounds, drop, tee out of bounds, drop, etc. But that shouldn't be factored in to my handicap. Basically, if you take a risk during practice that you wouldn't take during competitive play - I see no reason to rack up stroke and distance penalties. You're better off (in my opinion) just saying to yourself "lesson learned - don't do that," dropping another ball and practicing the safe and logical play.