Low Net

Introducing Low Net, a golf newsletter for the rest of us

Give me your slicers, your three-putters, your huddled masses yearning to break 80 . . .

Hey! I’m Sam Weinman, Golf Digest’s Digital Editorial Director. My Low Net newsletter will take on the typical dynamics faced by average golfers like me—why we can hit it great on the range then terribly on the course; why we make dumb decisions late in rounds; how we can still get better even when it feels like we’re getting worse. The newsletter will be for Golf Digest+ members, but you're getting this one free. If you like it, sign up for Golf Digest+ right here and we can do this every week.

Golf Digest has a staff filled with impressive golfers. I wish I could say I was one of them. I am erratic off the tee, miss more greens than I hit, but I chip and putt reasonably well enough to play to an 11 handicap. The Low Net newsletter does not dismiss the possibility that you might be better than its author.

What I am, however, is someone who spends too much time thinking about the game the way most of us play it, and who is just self-absorbed enough to believe everything in golf somehow relates to me.

The benefit to you is I am habitually exploring topics that might relate to your game as well. It’s why I wrote a cover story about my round with tour pro Joel Dahmen last year in which he hit my drives and I hit his; why I have been known to call up leading sports psychologists ahead of my B-flight tournaments; and why I recently embarked on an ambitious speed-training program (I’m also tired of being ridiculed on social media).

My scratch golfer colleagues and the elite players we cover are all better players, but let’s face it: There are a lot more golfers like me than there are of them. The goal, then, is to share here in weekly installments the lessons and advice that resonate for the beefy middle of the bell curve—tips and strategies ranging from squeezing out more yards to squeezing in more rounds.

Writing this in January, I am convinced the golf season ahead will be my best one yet, and I suspect plenty of others feel the same way. I can’t guarantee that will actually happen. But one thing I do know is there’s just as much you can learn from the struggle along the way.

Have a topic you want me to explore? Send me an email at Samuel.Weinman@wbd.com with your feedback.

What Else I'm Liking This Week

The Golf Digest 1 Percent Challenge: The Low Net newsletter is understandably cautious about promises of transformation. But modest incremental improvement? That’s more our speed. This month-long programfocuses on the highly achievable little things—for your swing, for your body, and your equipment—you can do to set your golf year up for success.


There's a test to measure your swing potential: I already know I DON’T swing like a scratch golfer. But CAN I? That’s a question that can be answered by this simple physical test devised by Golf Digest chief fitness adviser Ben Shear. As with the 1 Percent Challenge, it’s a great tool to determine what you should work on during the offseason.

The handicap system is changing again: A few years ago, I took some heat when I shot 39 on the front 9 and wondered if it would count as breaking 80if I came back the next day and shot 40 on the back. Well, believe it or not, the new World Handicap System is taking this a step further. According to our Ryan Herrington, the new system will use a formula to apply an “expected score” for 18 holes based on your nine-hole score. Ryan details that and other changes here.