Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Quickest Way to Lower Scores - $9.99 plus s&h

On (at least) a monthly basis, you can read the latest on how to lower your scores from Golf magazine, Golf Digest, and various other golf magazines. Similarly, you can walk into any bookseller (real or virtual) and find countless books on how to improve your scores. Some say "practice putting", since you take about 1/3 of your strokes with your putter....Others say "Get your drive in the fairway", espousing practice off the tee, while others evangelize on the merits of practicing your short game.

What is the ambitious golfer to do ? Buy all the books ? Invest in a DVD library ? Subscribe to every monthly rag ? Hire the best coach you can find ? Buy all new equipment ? Quit your job so you have enough time to practice ? It's enough to make anyone's head spin...

I broke 80 almost 15 years ago for the first time. It was a bit of a fluke, but I have fought mightily to get back to that level of play. After trying all sorts of things, I have made a lot of progress in the past year, and now regularly score around 80, and have broken that "magic barrier" 5 times this year. More importantly, I have gotten much more consistent and am a much better competitive golfer. Here are the things that have worked for me:

(1) Find a coach who fits your style (are you a "feel" player or a "technical" player ? (See related post on that) - and spend some time having them identify the critical flaws in your game. Don't worry - we all have 'em.
(2) Commit yourself to practicing (I suggest once per week) - and target 60-90 minutes for practice sessions.
(3) Divide your practice sessions into "thirds". Practice putting 1/3 of the time, Practice chipping and pitching (shots less than 100 yards) 1/3 of the time, and practice full swings 1/3 of the time.
I find that the following order works best for me:
  • Practice 1/4 and 1/2 swings with your wedges (this is 1/2 of your short game practice)
  • Practice Putting
  • Practice 1/2 and 3/4 swings with your wedges (this is the 2nd half of your short game practice)
  • Practice full swing shots
I'm not suggesting this is the "perfect solution", but I have found that it really works for me. What works best for you ?

No comments: