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Expert, marksman and beginner score cards will allow golfer to choose what skill level they want to play.

By Leslie Andre Golliday on June 2, 2014
The most frustrating thing about this part of the golf experience 

Golf is fun but frustrating when you think about high numbers on a score card. when people shoot 120 consistently it is very discouraging. I wanted to quit several times and it killed the fun when I saw that I was not getting any better.

My idea for addressing this issue 

I would like to submit the idea of letting golfers classify themselves and choose their level of expertise. One way that we could do this is to create lets say 3 classification expert, marksman and beginner. Each classification would have its own score card reflecting more strokes per hole based on the skill level.
Almost all sports and video games allow players to determine what skill level they want to play or what level they think they are.
So lets say I am a beginner why then am I playing towards scores of experts. If I could say I am a beginner and my score card gave me 7 strokes to get a par instead of 4 or 5 strokes then I could walk away saying I got 7 pars today.
This would also give golfers something to shoot for as far as moving up to the next card level. We could tell golfers hey when you can get 5 to 7 pars in a round its time for you to move to the next card.
For beginners the course could be a par 102, for a marksman the course could be a 90 and of course the expert would be 72.
If a golfer walks away from a round feeling good about themselves I guarantee they are coming back and if they know there are other obtainable levels they can reach they will go for it.
I heard the President of Taylor Made say golf lacks innovation, so lets GET OUT of the box, lets not stay in the box and peek out every once in a while.

I really like this idea! It's simple and actionable now. It also provides another real alternative for players of all skill levels to play together and compete against one another. This has always been one of the great aspects of the game - experts and beginners can play together and compete.

I like what you are saying. Score most definitely is relevant to skill levels of players. I believe it is a state of mind and too high expectations. I am a mid handicap and while par is a goal on every hole it isn't realistic. I am a senior player and while I can play from normal white tee placement (6300 yards is about my limit) I have played courses from shorter gold tees and had a really fun time. I am not saying I score better, I am talking about fun. From my observations, the casual or recreational golfer takes the fun out of it for himself (and playing partners) when he doesn't make par.

That's a great point Leslie. I'm a scratch golfer but always feel bad when higher handicappers expect to shoot par on every hole then bogey or double bogey and get upset.

This is a great idea! One of the best definitions of par that I've ever heard was from a fellow Golf Teaching Professional here is Calgary where I live by the name of Dan Cameron. In a "Golf Tips" column he wrote for a local newspaper, in one of his columns he wrote, "Par is the score expected of an expert golfer."

In other words, for those players who have fully developed their skills in all facets of the game and have become experts, on any given hole, they should be able to attain the target score of par. I tell the students that I teach, "Why in the world are you even thinking about par! Have you developed expert levels of skill?" That's like someone who is just learning to play guitar thinking that they should be aspiring to get up on stage and play with Eric Clapton or BB King!

I tell beginners that they shouldn't even think about keeping score for at least the first two to three years while they develop the skills necessary to make keeping score even remotely meaningful. Once they do, they should strive to shoot 2 over par on each hole, maximum 3 over par. Once two over par gets easy, make it 1 over, maximum two over. Once that gets easy (or easier), now you are playing at or near par with expert skill.

And if par gets easy?.... Go play golf for a living on television! ;-)

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