Whereas back in the day (the mid 80's early 90's ,with old equipment) I was a pretty good amateur playing off +1 at 15 and +3 when I turned pro and tried playing for a living .... after chasing the dream for years I settled for teaching golf as even at +3 I felt I couldn't make the grade.....
There is a vast gulf between a scratch player who plays normal length (6000-6200yd )courses that they know intimately and the big boys who play for money on long tour set-up courses (6800yd+) that they play once a year.
Put money on the table that you have to win so you can live and the game changes dramatically ......
Now at 45 I play off 2 on the Ryder cup course at Celtic manor which plays circa 7100 yds from the back tees ....the tour boys easily knock it round in 4 under.
OT but what has your hcap got to do with anything about not being up to the standard?
Paul lawrie turned pro off scratch. Ross Fisher wasn't too low either from memory. A lot were worse than +3. Poulter was an assistant pro off 4.
Once into the + numbers on a respected course, it's all between the ears. The game is there.
The point I was trying to make ( rather poorly) through my own situation was that even though I had the game, handling emotions is everything...... I had the game but not the right emotional balance to make it on tour. If you don't have the full complement of technical and emotional skills then just having "game" is not enough to compete.
Depending on how easy or difficult the golf course you play is determines how easy or hard it is to attain a low handicap or how good or bad it makes you look.
You can be a scratch player at your local track and never really play anywhere else, that makes you a one trick pony.
Or you can be a far more rounded scratch player that plays numerous courses in tournament conditions and actually manages to play to that handicap on most of those courses.
If you happen to be in the latter category and have the right handle on your emotions when faced with having to pay bills with your abilities then you may have a half chance of making it on tour.
I actually played with Paul Lawrie in Scotland as a junior and although his game was nothing special, his attitude was different to the other boys in the events..he had an inner strength that nearly everyone else didn't.
I now play regularly with my old PGA mates and sometimes Phil Price joins us .....some of my PGA mates used to take money from Phil on a regular basis when they were juniors but when he turned pro and had to make money to live he found a different attitude and made money.....
Beau is a talented calm individual ....he has shown maturity on the course beyond his 17 yrs ..as has the 14 yr old who is also playing.
To get back on topic ... Tiger... can he do it..... got a feeling if he does that we may see a resurgence in his game ......Nicklaus record may not be so safe after all.