Get your mind outta the gutter- this is a family blog. Probably; I’m actually kind of afraid what the ratings police would give me.
I’m talking about how to score… in golf.
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What’s more important: how you swing, or how you score?
You’d be surprised. Consider this:
Think about it for a second: how often do we spend on the range, trying to perfect our backswing, or keeping our target-side arm straight, or any other tweak.
But how many of us work on learning how to score?
It’s not your fault; how many of those “tips” you see in golf magazines teach this? They seem to assume that, once you cure your slice (the fallback tip), everything will magically work itself out.
Keep The Ball In Play
Instead of worrying about making a push-draw your “go-to” shot, just make sure you’re able to find your ball. If you can find it, the majority of the time you’ll have a chance. Maybe not birdie, but par or bogey. It’s doubles, triples, and the dreaded “other” that really hurt your score.
Taking penalty shots off the tee is one of the things that will kill your score. Well, not just off the tee; anywhere you’re in a situation to hit a full shot, where there’s trouble around, it’s best to stop over-thinking it and keep the ball in play.
You see? It’s called the “KISS Method”; Keep It Simple, Stupid. That’s my motto for everything, not just golf. You don’t need to overthink anything. Keep the ball in play. Mitigate your misses.
Keep It Simple.
All three of the above are miscues you can avoid to keep your score down.
So we talked about penalty shots, so let’s move on to #2.
Avoid Two Chips
Two chips come in many forms. Many people like to putt from off the green. It’s an admirable notion, to be sure.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen more than a few leave them short. Why is that? The grass.
Fringe and fairway grass is taller, so it’s going to slow the ball down. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen people not account for that.
Then there’s the opposite: too much mustard on the ball. It rolls strong- too strong- right off the back of the green.
Unfortunately, the only way to work on this is practice. Developing touch. It doesn’t come easy, so don’t get discouraged.
Another way they two-chip is when they stub their chips. Keep the swing smooth. Another tip is to look in front of the ball, 2-4″ in front.
Looking at the ball generally leads to a release point behind the ball. It hurts not only chips, but pitches and the full swing, as well. Stubbing a chip is similar to hitting it fat. Not good.
Remember the post about the differences between a chip, pitch and flop shot? Use the ratios I gave there to help you chip with confidence.
Avoiding Three Putts
Seems like this shouldn’t need to be discussed, because it has been to death… but people still do it.
My favorite is the Ladder Drill, which teaches you what mechanics you need to hit putts of certain lengths.
Here’s another trick: your stroke length can help.
Take your normal stance. Depending on how long you make your stroke, that determines how far the putt will go.
What I mean is, if your putter head stops at your foot, it’ll be a shorter putt. If your hands stop at your feet, it’ll be a longer putt.
I can’t give you exacts, because I don’t know how much “oomph” you put into your putts, but this general rule of thumb can help maintain your pacing, depending on the length you need to hit it.
The biggest key in learning to score is, keep it simple.
[su_highlight background=”#f9f61d”]Speaking of learning to score, why not sign up for GLG’s Lower Your Score series? Find out more HERE.[/su_highlight]
I might sound like a blasphemer, but golf at its basest level isn’t difficult to play. If you want to play at Tour (professional) level, yes, it can be difficult; but that’s no different than any other sport.
You have to decide for yourself how good you want to be. If you want to be “good enough”, there’s a lot of info online, including this site, that can help.
If you want to be Professional Level, you need to get one-on-one with a teacher, and work at it day after day after day, for 8+ hours a day.
We can go out right now and have a good, fun game of basketball. We can get a crew and play some football. But if we want to be professional basketball or football players… that’s going to take a LOT of work, especially if we’re older.
Manage your expectations, mitigate your misses; that’s how you score lower.