Watch any PGA Tour telecast and all you will hear are commentators talking about how beautiful a certain players golf swing is, how someone else has a less than desirable quirky move in their golf swing and the things the average player should copy from the tour players. Last time I checked the ball doesn’t care what your swing looks like. It cares what the club face is doing at the moment of impact. How you looked getting it there is totally irrelevant. Golf is not about how pretty your swing looks. It’s about learning skills and executing them when you need to.
If you are going to get better and shoot lower scores then working on your game has got to mean more than improving swing positions and making the swing look better. There a wide variety of skills required to play the game well, and if you want to play your best then you need to know what skills are more important than others and be sure your coach is helping you to get better at those higher priority skills.
Priority #1: Ball Control – The ability to get the ball in play from the tee and then get it somewhere near your target on the second shot is critical to good scoring. Penalty shots will quickly inflate your score so the importance of avoiding them cannot be overstated. The key to this area of your game is not how many great shots do you hit, but rather how good are you at avoiding disasters. Distance with your shots is of far less importance than how well you can control the ball’s direction.
Priority #2: Putting – If penalties are the number one killer of a good score, then 3 putts are number 2. Too often I see players working on their full swing because their ball curves a little off line, yet they regularly have over 40 putts per round. If you are not having 32 putts or less per round, then you need to invest some time working on your putting.
Priority #3: Scrambling – We focus so much on how far we can hit a golf ball, but we choose to overlook how quickly you are able to get the ball in the hole. Playing golf is not purely a distance game. It is about getting the ball in the hole in as few as strokes as possible. There is no point in hitting a driver 250 yards in one stroke if it takes another 4 or 5 strokes to get the ball in the hole from 50 yards. If you are unable to consistently hit the ball within 20 feet of the hole from inside 50 yards, then working on this area of your game will help to dramatically lower your scores.
Assess your game today. Decide the skills, that if improved will give you the greatest reduction in score and then allocate your practice time accordingly. You will be glad you did.
I hope you enjoyed this post. As always comments are welcome and appreciated.
PS. If you really enjoyed this post, please consider helping me out and spreading the word below. Thanks!