This time of year we get a lot of calls and emails from single axis golfers asking for “quick tips” to improve their scoring.
Many times, these golfers are playing in tournaments for work, for “social gatherings”, etc.. They are looking for some “last minute” advice to help them score better.
In other words, these aren’t tips to help improve their swing and hence the scoring “over a period of time” – but more of a “cram session” type of advice, golf tips that will help scoring now.
Thought I’d give everyone the same advice in this etip –
5 Quick Tips to Improve Scoring
1. Putt when you can, chip when you can’t putt, pitch ONLY when you have too.
For most, hitting an “average” putt from off the green will go closer than a good / average chip. And an “average” chip will go closer than a good pitch. Always look to putt first – even in situations when you might not think about it. There is MUCH less room for error in a putt than a chip and much less room for error in a chip than a pitch. Add nerves (tournament / important round) – would much rather hit a putt a little hard or soft than “fat” a chip or “blade” a pitch….
2. Take enough club – Add a club or two to EVERY shot until you get there.
Question for you…. For the average golfer, how many times do you think they get the ball to the hole (hit enough club) in a round of golf? In other words, when they have a chance to get the ball to the hole (hitting an iron, hybrid, etc..) and hit the shot, how many shots actually are hit long enough to get to the hole?
Answer – Average of 3 times in 18 holes.
Meaning – only 3 shots a round does the average golfer select the correct club and hit it well enough to hit the distance they need.
Test yourself next time you play a round of golf. Example – Playing a par 4 / 350 yards. You hit a drive and have 150 yards left to the hole. You select a 7 iron and hit it. If the ball comes up hole high or longer, you have hit enough club, if the shot is short of the hole, you have not. Count how many times you hit enough club / well enough to get to the hole.
Solution – hit more club – especially early in round when not “warmed up” yet, until you get the ball to the hole. Plus, mentally if you think you have “too much” club for the shot, most will swing smoother and better than normal…. a good thing.
3. Don’t be “hooked” to the driver.
It is shocking how many times I see average golfers fight their driver in a round when many times they don’t need it.
If you aren’t hitting the driver well or are not confident in your driver – DON’T hit it. Hit a fairway wood or hybrid instead. You may loose a few yards, but being in the fairway (or close to the fairway) and having a few more yards to the green is MUCH better than being in the trees, rough or worse… topped off the tee.
Hit the longest club you have confidence in – work on your driver LATER.
4. Comfort is MUCH more important than Fundamentals….
Hard to believe a teacher is telling you this.. but remember, this is a “Quick Fix” for a round of golf. Meaning, during your round, make sure you are first comfortable over the shot, working on fundamentals during a round almost NEVER works. Take what you have now and play with it. It might be a big slice – play it. It might be a low ball – don’t try to hit it over trees or long carries.
Remember – comfort first – play what you have – work on fundamentals after…
5. Don’t be a hero…
It is not the time to try and be a hero. If you hit the ball in high rough – get it back in the fairway first… Trying to hit a shot that you have doubt in… most often will only get you in more trouble.
In the bunker – get it on the green. To get a bunker shot up and down (on the green and one putt) the average golfer must hit the shot within 5 feet of the hole to make the putt….. What are your chances in this if you haven’t practiced bunker shots lately…? Get the ball out first, then get on green…. Getting a bunker shot on the green and two putting will save A LOT of shots.
If you question this philosophy, did you watch the Canadian Open this past weekend? How many professionals tried to be heroes out of the thick rough too only got themselves in more trouble. In fact, I can think of 5 professionals who were all in the hunt the last day and cost themselves the tournament win trying to hit “hero” shots instead of playing safe.
I have never seen a golfer hurt their score giving up a shot here and there… I have seen thousands of golfers “kill” their score trying to be a hero. A bogey or double will not “kill” a round… Blow Up Hole’s do…
Remember – Always Practice with a Purpose.