So you’ve been playing golf for a few years and you just can’t seem to get your scores down. You’ve taken the lessons, bought the latest, greatest huge headed driver, and every DVD you could find, and banged balls at the range until your hands bled. The answer to getting a single digit handicap is something you’ve already known since you started golf…SHORT GAME!
70/30……Spend 70 percent of your practice time on the putting green and chipping area the other 30% on the full swing. Find a club that you are comfortable with around the greens, PW, SW, LW, it doesn’t matter, it just has to feel good. Chip from every distance and lie you can find. Get the feel ingrained into memory. Do the same with putting…but MAKE IT FUN. If you’re not having a good time practicing, you won’t want to do it, and you won’t get any better.
NO Penalty Strokes…Nothing kills your score like unnecessary penalty strokes. This means you should do whatever you have to to avoid hitting the ball Out of Bounds or in that lateral water hazard. Usually this means putting the driver back in the bag on that tight Par 4, and opting for a 5 wood, hybird, or even a 5 iron. Get the ball out there, in play, and go from there. Even if you can’t make the green in two because you lost some distance off the tee, just get up close to the green and you’re a chip and a putt from a par. Worst case you’ll make bogey, which is much better than blasting one OB off the tee and and making a nice 7 on a par 4. Good decisions like this make the difference between a round in the low 80’s and a round in the low 90’s.
Take More Club…Most of us amateurs make the mistake of not taking enough club for our approach shots. By this I mean that if you have 160 yards to the pin, you’ll take out your 7 iron, which you will hit 160, if you absolutely pure it, which doesn’t happen but 1 out of 20 shots. Instead, take the 6 iron, and put a nice, controlled swing on it. Chances are you will hit a nice shot, on or very near the green. If you happen to hit the shot of your life, you’ll be a little long. The point is, give yourself a chance to get on the green in regulation by taking that extra club. You’ll be putting for birdie a lot more if you do this.
More to come……