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How much easier vs. real life?

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  • How much easier vs. real life?

    I've been playing for a few weeks now and definitely am finding myself getting better. I think my swing is more consistent and I'm keeping most of my shots more in play. I'm about a 16 or 17 handicap in real life but last night I shot a 71 on Merion East (ProTee) and missed a chip in on 18 by a foot for birdie and an even par round. Now I know there is no way in real life I can shoot one over par and I know playing on the simulator is much easier with 6 foot gimmies, every shot from a flat lie, and no real rough or sand to hit out of. Still, I do think my game is improving and I'm trying to get a sense of how much.

    For people who have been playing on these simulators for a while and particularly on TGC, how much better do you shoot on TGC as compared to a real golf course? Is it just a couple of shots or are you significantly better when you play on your sim? I'm going to keep practicing, hopefully keep getting better and the see come springtime how well it translates to a real course.

    Happy holidays!

  • #2
    I've been playing Sims since 2007, and I'm consistently 10 shots better in a sim.
    At my best I was 7 hcp and I'd shoot 67-74. Now I'm a 10 and I'm 70-78.
    Even with 10ft gimmies I think the other big difference is the up and down stat. I only get up and down 23% of the time this year but pull of 5+ a round in a Sim.

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    • #3
      I haven't played enough with TGC to get a good handle on it, but a few years back I spent a lot of time one winter working on my game and playing the simulator (red chain software). I'd done a fair bit of tweaking and only used 18 inch gimmes (an option I want TGC to add) and I was impressed with how my scores matched real life. In the fall when I started on the simulator I was shooting in the 90s (I'd been decent when I was younger but got out of golf for a long time). That was in line with what i'd been shooting on the course. I worked on my game a lot and by the spring I was breaking 80 sometimes on the simulator. That summer I generally shot in the low 80s and broke 80 once. It was a good indicator of progress, even if scores were lower by a few shots.

      The fact that you're always hitting from a perfectly flat lie and are never battling true rough or heavy fescue, and the fact that you don't actually have to hit out of sand, inherently make things easier. Progress you make in the consistency of your swing improving (more solid shots, more repeatable distances, straighter shots) should translate well to the fairway on the real course. Having said that, I have always had trouble taking my simulator swing fully to the course. I swing very carefree on the simulator...kind of like at the range. Nothing on the line, and just hitting on my own. Get me on the course with scores on the line and a few buddies along and my swing tightens up....I generally don't hit it as far as I don't have a full backswing and tension-free release. That's something i'm always trying to get out on the course...it's a mind game.

      Anyway...progress is progress. If you shoot in the mid 80s in real life, and start out shooting in the high 70s on the simulator, then you work down to low 70s on the simulator...you should see the real life scores come down similarly (maybe not quite as much, but still).

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      • #4
        I shoot high 80's in real life and mid to low 80s on here. not really hitting out of tall grass or sand helps that a lot.

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        • #5
          10-15 strokes difference at least. Perfect lie ,no sand, deep rough, and I always find my ball.

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          • #6
            10-15 shots? Wow.
            My Courses:
            Weston G&CC by mthunt RCR
            London Hunt Club L mthunt RCR
            Park CC Lidar mthunt RCR
            Sunningdale GC Robinson L RCR
            Sunningdale GC Thompson L RCR
            Twin Peaks Desert Fictional
            Muirfield Village (liDAR) First Ever Lidar course
            Country Club of Castle Pines (liDAR) RCR
            The Sanctuary GC ProTee L RCR
            National GC of Canada RCR
            Mississaugua G&CC mthunt RCR
            Shaughnessy G&CC L mthunt
            mthunt Range Fictional
            The Meadows 5047 mthunt Fictional

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            • #7
              100 rounds on the sim since Aug. 7 rounds IRL since Aug. I have a friend that plays 80 rounds a year IRL and he's played 3 times in my basement. He beats me out there and I beat him in the basement...... Okay ..... maybe not 15 but I would think that 10 is not out of line considering how much more I play on the sim.

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              • #8
                That makes sense. Playing well on the simulator is an acquired skill just like golf in real life...particularly for the short game differences. It's hard for someone that hasn't played on the simulator to step in and score well...it takes some time to get used to how to play chips and putts when you can't simply rely on feel.

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                • #9
                  I have now had 4 rounds of 77 in a row on the sim. I am playing at a local course on Saturday which is much easier (shorter and wider) than the courses I've played on the sim this week.
                  I find chipping and bunker play much easier on the sim. Putting... Im terrible on both sim and IRL.
                  I am curious how I will score.
                  Im expecting mid 80s but will be happy if I can shoot In the low 80s and ecstatic if I can break 80.

                  I normally shoot mid to high 80s near the tail end of the season if I have had the opportunity to play a lot that summer.
                  This is the beginning of the season and Ive never practiced this much going in so I am stoked about this year.

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                  • #10
                    Playing on a sim and getting practice regularly improved my real life golf scores by 5-10 shots, was shooting in the mid 90s before a sim and now regularly break 90 and shot a best of 82. I shoot around 80 in the sim, usually a little under. So for me a sim score is 5-10 shots better than real life, but you will see improvement in your game to some degree

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                    • #11
                      I would say that sim is at least 10 strokes easier for me. The things that factor most are 1) flat lie, 2) while you do have a penalty for rough, I duff it a lot more IRL than I do on the sim, and I don't think you get as penalized for fat shots, 3) not as much of a wind factor on the sim (I generally play a course as designed and realize later that there is not much, if any, wind. Even if you have the wind on the course in the sim and that does affect the ball flight, I don't think you have as much of a psychological influence as you do when you are standing on the tee of a 580-yard par 5 with 15 mph wind in your face), 4) sand shots on the sim are basically like chip shots from the fairway and I rarely lose strokes from the sand on the sim where I can easily lose 2-3 strokes from sand IRL, 5) six-foot gimmes must give me at least 4-5 strokes a round, 6) I rarely hit a super heavy slice/hook that ultimately goes way OB on the sim where I am good for a couple of those a round IRL. This is probably a combination of various factors such as the wind, the lie, more pressure IRL, etc.

                      That being said, I generally play IRL 1-2 times per month with a few range sessions sprinkled in-between. With the lockdown, I have been averaging about 4-5 18-hole rounds per week (some days I may play 36-45 holes weather permitting), so I think I am striking the ball much better with my driver, long irons and especially wedges. That should account for a lot, not only the physical aspect but also the mental/confidence aspect. I am really eager to get out on the course and see how much I have really improved. I will be particularly interested to see how I do on my home course since I have designed that course on TGC 2019. From a psychological point of view, now that I have had success on a few of the holes that I have historically done very poorly on, I expect that I should be able to play those holes much better IRL. We'll see in a month or so.

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                      • #12
                        I think the higher your real life handicap is, the more difference there will be between real scores and simulator scores. I will qualify that by agreeing with rdh above in that simulator game play definitely has a learning curve. My handicap is 17 IRL and I can regularly score in the 70s on the simulator, my real life best score in the last 3 years is 81. As you can tell by my handicap my normal scores are high 80s to low 90s.

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                        • #13
                          I do think that sim golf closes the gap between high and low handicapers. This would be related to all that has been discussed above. Use indoor sims as practice and fun but it will never be the same as real golf.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rdh View Post
                            That makes sense. Playing well on the simulator is an acquired skill just like golf in real life...particularly for the short game differences. It's hard for someone that hasn't played on the simulator to step in and score well...it takes some time to get used to how to play chips and putts when you can't simply rely on feel.
                            I'm finding there's a lot of truth to this. I'm a 7 handicap in real life and I just got setup with tgc this past week. My first few rounds have been a bit .... humbling lol. While all the advantages listed in this thread are certainly true, it's awfully tough hitting a shot that requires a 40 yard carry when you just don't have much experience doing that on a sim and knowing what that feels like. Much different than real golf where you can see your target and have that depth perception.

                            I'm getting the hang of it, but there is definitely a learning curve for sim golf just like in real golf.

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                            • #15
                              Totally agree with this and see it in my sons games. Out in real life it's a much larger gap.
                              Originally posted by Bubba22 View Post
                              I do think that sim golf closes the gap between high and low handicapers. This would be related to all that has been discussed above. Use indoor sims as practice and fun but it will never be the same as real golf.

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