Hey HardTicket- There are several answers and I`ll try to give you a general idea without sounding jaded or condecending. First of all, I see that you`ve played 7 strokeplay rounds and ten times that in Closest To The Hole(ctth) rounds. IMO the ctth`s have their own parameters of deviation(the Beast) compared to strokeplay. Ctth`s in general are like pinball games. You can nudge it here and there(with some skill) but in the end, the ball is going where It wants to. Some are set-up so your skill will show, others(Bali Hai) are So ridiculous that it`s embarrassing to even admit. Therefore-do not judge by these. That being said, you Will find deviation in strokeplay. This is to make it as realistic as real-life-golf. No-one hits a perfect shot, every shot, and lands it in the same place every time, period. In time and Alot of practice you`ll learn the game, courses, and your clubs. Learning these will improve your play(unless you`re completely inept) exponentially. There are a few things you can do to improve your game right away. Practice and PAY attention( if I haven`t put you to sleep yet) to how your shots react in different conditions(wind,course,specific hole,etc.). Read tips in these forums (use the search box-top right of page) to short-cut Alot of hard learning done by other players. You can up-grade your clubs and balls also, BUT don`t expect that improvement to be immediate. You`ll have to re-learn your new equipment as well. Most importantly, enjoy the ride! Good Luck!