Better Together

A mid-year review of the Broken Tee Society’s journey toward lower handicaps and healthier lives

On January 1, 2023, we introduced The Index Experiment, a community-wide initiative aimed at dialing in our games, lowering our handicaps, and improving our lives. Members were asked to assess the state of their golf game, enter their current and desired handicaps, and set goals for the year ahead. As we enter the second half of the year, it’s time to report our findings and take stock of our progress. This is the Index Experiment Mid-Year Review.

Overall Breakdown

Just past the six-month mark, we’re encouraged to see the goals and scorecards piling up, and have already seen some members hit their 12-month objectives.

Community Index Breakdown

TIE Progress Report

The USGA reports that the average handicap index for an American male golfer is 14.1. Halfway through the year, some 70% of our Index Experiment participants are already below this number, meaning we’re starting from a good place. But what does our community trend look like?

Slow and Steady

Progress report

The grind is just beginning. Onward.

Heard Around the Grill Room

Real reflections penned by BTS members in our Discord server (entries lightly edited for clarity):

“Played a four-day buddies trip at Kinderlou Forest in GA last week. Had an absolute blast, even finding my first hole in one. But what I’m most proud of is putting up three rounds in the 80s (which is rare for me) and shooting my personal best 82. Dropped from a 19.4 to a 15.4 over 4 days! Suddenly my goal of 9.9 by the end of the year doesn’t seem so insane.”

Joe Couture (@JoeCouture)
Starting handicap: 17.7
Current handicap: 14.9
Outstanding goal: 9.9 handicap by end of year
Sand Valley July 2023
BTS members take on Sand Valley (July 2023 | Photo: Dylan Bloch)

“Today was the golf-iest round ever. One goal was to play a round with zero penalty strokes. Today it happened! However: 39 putts, zero birdies, six 3-putts (thought I should try a different putter and it didn’t go well). Terrible round from the tips but I got off the tee well. Couldn’t make anything happen around the greens. Gotta keep working.”

Jamisen A. (@LonestarLefty)
Starting handicap: 9.6
Current handicap: 9.8
Completed goal: Play a round with zero penalty strokes
Outstanding goal: Average 30 putts or fewer per round
“Fore left!” at Flossmoor outside Chicago (July 2023 | Photo: Kohjiro Kinno)

“I won’t go into the details. But I had IT. Just for a moment, but I did. Shot a two-under 34 on the front nine on Saturday morning. I had almost perfect control of my golf ball.”

Jeff A. (@Tennpoke)
Starting handicap: 6.7
Current handicap: 6.5
Outstanding goal: Ensure handicap travels better at away rounds
Dissecting Sand Valley (July 2023 | Photo: Dylan Bloch)

“For the better part of two months, the majority of my scores have been stuck between 3- and 6-over. It feels like eating the same sandwich every day but in a bad way (shout out to sandwiches, which are great). Sounds like it’s time to reassess the mental approach. Maybe that means half-set twilight rounds, or hyper focused no phone rounds, or both. Open to suggestions here.”

Matt B. (@mattiebee)
Starting handicap: 1.0
Current handicap: 2.0
Outstanding goal: Improve mental/emotional approach to game

Resource Center

We’ve called in the experts to ensure that BTS members have every chance to hit their goals this year. First, Casey Bannon and Ben Darden spent a morning under the watchful eye of Parker McLachlin, aka @shortgamechef, to dial in their greenside games.

Then, we sent Tom Coyne and Tristan Hightower out to Trinity Forest for a full-swing tune up with Jordan Spieth’s longtime instructor, Cameron McCormick.

To view the full suite of lessons from Parker and Cameron, head to our YouTube channel:

The Index Experiment on YouTube

And if peer-approved advice is more your style, visit our BTS Index Experiment Community Hub, a constantly evolving set of resources where you can learn from TPI instructors, golf coaches, and members just like you. We’ve collected the most helpful inputs from our Discord community under one roof, so you can explore everything from the ideal pre-round warmup to drills to eliminate early extension to recipes for homemade mid-round snacks.

Post-Lesson Reactions

A few unprompted responses from our members after absorbing the lessons from Parker and Cameron:

“So I have been playing golf for over 25 years and have always struggled with my pitch and chip game. I have spent about two weeks working on the few things that the Short Game Chef has mentioned in his videos and have seen a tremendous improvement in my game. Thursday I played my normal game at the muni here and have never felt more confident around the greens and even had one chip in and a pitch in from 35 yards. Very excited, so glad I joined BTS this year.”

David W. (@thisholidaylife)

“Played Chambers Bay yesterday. Shot an 83 from the Sands—down to 10.2 after an 11.7 start. The Cameron McCormick driver video was on loop in my head all the way round. I was faster, more aggressive, and better balanced off the tee.”

Edward Harborne (@talarv)

“Everything Parker talks about is the exact opposite of what I do and it makes absolute sense. This week is going to be so different for how I try to practice my short game.”

Cory Figueroa (@CTFigueroa)

“Played today. Can confirm: Short Game Chef changed my life.”

Raynaldo V. (@ReyJuaq)
Sand Valley Dylan Bloch
Sand Valley (July 2023 | Photo: Dylan Bloch)

Helping Hands

As The Index Experiment has ramped up, a number of industry-leading performance brands have joined the quest. We’re fortunate to be able to offer our members exclusive savings on everything from rangefinders to shot trackers to nutrition supplements and more. Visit your Member Locker to take advantage of these Index Experiment offers:

Arccos Sensors
short game chef
Short Game Chef

Track Goals, Win Prizes

Every month, participants fill out a virtual scorecard in their TGJ account to track their progress and check off their goals. Everyone who signs a card gets entered into a drawing for that month’s giveaway. It’s kind of like the pro shop credit raffle at your local muni—with slightly upgraded merchandise.

TIE giveaways
Titleist ProV1 & ProV1X
TIE giveaways
Titleist TSR
TIE giveaways
FootJoy MyJoys
TIE giveaways
Vokey SM-9 Wedges

Work to be Done

The season is already halfway over, but low rounds still lay ahead. Focus, commitment, and steady progress are the order of the day.

Haven’t joined The Index Experiment and want to jump in? We’re just getting started. Let’s go low.

Join The Index Experiment