If you’re like most golfers you think your scores should be better. You play on a regular basis, you practice a decent amount, you hit a lot of good shots during a round and you have plenty of good holes. At the end of the round though, the score is just too high. You’re not alone, it happens to everyone.
So what’s the problem? It’s nothing huge but you need to improve a few key areas. These areas are costly your dearly during a round of golf. Here are the 5 reasons you’re scores are too high and ways to improve them:
You Started 6,7,6
This has happened to everyone. You’re excited to play but the double, triple, double start takes the wind out of your sails. You find your swing by the 4th hole but it’s too late as the damage is already done.
The problem is poor preparation. Too many players go straight from the car to the 1st tee. Get to the golf course at least 30 minutes before your tee time. Hit 20-30 balls on the range to loosen up and see how your swing works. Then head to the putting green for 10 minutes to get a feel for your stroke and the speed of the greens. Lastly get to the 1st tee a few minutes early to relax and focus on the opening tee shot. Your warm up routine doesn’t need to be PGA Tour quality but it does need to be effective.
You Hit 2 Tee Shots OB
You played 16 good holes today but two tee shots went OB leading to a 7 and an 8. This kills your score and your psyche. Anytime you get to a tee shot that typically causes you trouble, is uber tight or just doesn’t feel right, back down to a fairway wood, hybrid or even an iron. The shorter the club the less likely you’ll find trouble. There is nothing wrong with playing safe, even on a long hole. Get the ball in play and get rid of those big numbers.
You Missed 3 Very Short Putts
You’ve had a hole that was a struggle. Now you have a 3 foot putt for bogey. Make it and bogey is no big deal. Miss it and double bogey will totally deflate your spirits. These short putts can make or break rounds. To make more practice your aim by using a chalk line on the practice green. Good aim is the biggest key to making short putts. Also, practice making a smooth stroke that is the same size on the backswing as it is on the follow through. Lastly, focus on speed. Short putts shouldn’t ram into the back of the cup; nor should they just fall over the edge. Short putts should fall in the middle of the hole.
You Mishit 3 Pitch And Chip Shots
You’ve played a good first two shots on a long par 4 now you’ve got a short pitch. Instead of hitting it on the green and having a putt for par, you blade it over the green. 4 or 5 just turned into 6 or 7. It’s a scorecard and mental killer. Improve these short shots by improving your setup. Keep your feet close together, weight on the forward foot, ball positioned in the middle of the stance and grip down on the golf club. From there practice making the backswing and the through swing similar sizes and have the golf club head thump the ground.
You Finished 6,7,6
You played great all day and looked good to shoot a new low score. The only problem is you finished 6,7,6. This happens to everyone at some point and is extremely frustrating. The problem is energy. You just ran out of gas. During a round of golf you need to be drinking water or sports drinks every hole. Lay off the sodas and beers as they slow you down. Pack a few granola bars and bananas in your golf bag as well. You use a lot of energy during a round and need to refuel often. PGA Tour players are always eating during their rounds. Also, if you are walker and always seem to finish poorly, consider taking a cart for the back nine. The energy you save will help on the last few holes.
Go back and think about your last round of golf. There were probably some moments listed above. Becoming conscious of why your scores are higher is important in fixing the problem. Use these 5 guidelines and you will shave strokes off your game.
Clay Hood is a PGA Golf Professional and Co-Founder/Marketing Director for Precision Pro Golf. Clay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org/.