Lower my Handicap – October 21, 2023 Update

It is the end of the golf season for me, and my handicap finished at 8. I had a low of 7.7 sometime in September, but had a few rounds that drove it back up to 8 to finish off the season.

Handicap chart with scores from each round.

I was playing my best golf mid-July to mid-August. This also happened to be the same time handicaps were being locked for our club championship. I squeaked in as the 16th seed. Unfortunately, I had to play the current club champ and couldn’t make it past the 15th hole.

Certainly not making excuses, but it was several weeks after handicaps were locked and when we actually played. I was struggling a bit by the time we played. That being said, even if I had been playing my best golf, he still would have been able to beat me. I really needed to have my best round and for him to have a bad day.

The best part of this – I set a goal at the end of last year to “make it into the championship flight”. So I accomplished my goal! Yes, I would have loved to win, but I felt it was a realistic goal.

Exciting Year

I also won a Me & My Golf competition, which included a new TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, a private coaching call, and a video swing analysis.

The video analysis was on my driver. Their observations were relatively straight forward. I was doing pretty much everything well, but my grip was causing some issues from time-to-time.

I have a very strong grip – probably as a result of trying to correct my nasty slice that carried with me for years.

Anyway, It will be an off-season project to get my grip more neutral.


Winning is always fun, and I was fortunate enough to win some money in most of the scrambles we played. The biggest win came on a team that was put together to win, not just a group of friends playing.

We had 2 seniors on the team who had each won club champion and senior champion multiple times. They’re both great golfers. Another guy that was a PGA golf pro a decade ago – he was pretty good too! And me.

Honestly, I was just happy that I was able to contribute to the team. The only reason I was asked to play is for my long drives. This was a tournament with no mulligans, no gimmicks. We finished 19 under!

Hitting Bombs

As you can see from the tweet above 👆 I am hitting them really far. This one was 303 yards carry! On the course, especially when it was dry, I was getting much more out of them. Pretty awesome, especially when I’m able to do it in a scramble and put us on the green on a 340 yard par 4.

What do I attribute this to – the swing speed work I’ve put in! I have been using The Stack System and cannot wait to see how much more distance I can gain through the winter.

Too Much Golf

Once the summer started coming to an end, I found that I was really playing too much. I was playing league 2, sometimes 3, nights per week. Then I would play couples league on Friday’s. Then Saturday’s I’d play a round with my son and usually ended up having a scramble event somewhere in there.

Once I started playing this much, I wasn’t practicing at home or at the course. I was only playing. I think this absolutely contributed to my scores heading higher. It was a toll on the body as well. Reminder to self – don’t do that again next year!

Plans For The Off-Season

Now that regular play on the course is winding down, I plan to do the following

  • Swing Speed work
  • Regular simulator practice
    • Iron Technique
    • Driver Technique
    • Putting
  • Work through more programs with Me & My Golf
  • Buying new irons – and getting used to the distances in the sim

Buying New Irons?

My current set are 20 years old, and still have the original grips. I like PXG, and since I am a veteran know that I can get a nice discount. So, I went to get fitted. I was really excited to give the new Gen 6 irons a try, but it turns out they’re not for me.

Why? Distance! The Gen 6 irons are strong lofted. I hit my current 7-iron at about 175 carry. I was hitting the Gen 6 at about 205 carry and the descent angle was too low. The fitter ended up going to the 0317 model, which has a bit higher loft. They looked and felt AMAZING!

I honestly had no idea how much better the newer irons feel. I guess it’s just a matter of not knowing what you’re missing.

Anyway, after playing around with shafts and weights over two separate sessions we dialed everything in. I’m just waiting for another couple of weeks to see if they have any Veteran’s Day deals. I’d love to get them in the bag ASAP, but there was really no need. Waiting a couple of weeks wasn’t going to hurt anything, but buying right away could end up costing me if they end up discounted further come Nov 11th.

During the fitting, I was getting more distance than my current irons, so I’m going to need to spend some time this winter getting used to the new distances.

Final Thoughts

I need to set some goals for next year. I think I’m going to go with a couple of things.

  1. Increase my driver swing speed by 10 mph by the start of next season
  2. Reduce my handicap to 4 by the end of 2024
  3. Win the club championship

Good luck this off-season!

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