A great thought from PGA Tour player Brian Harmon came from a Podcast that I listened to this week. He mentioned that if the average golfer, when working on their short game spent the majority of their time from 10 yards and in they would improve their ability to score. It makes perfect sense, when really thought about. Our goal as a golfer is to get the ball into in the least amount of strokes. If average player actually took the time to measure the distance from ball to hole in greenside area they may be quite surprised of the result. However, the average golfer spends more time trying to drive it longer with the newest technology that the golf industry has produced.
According to the National Golf Foundation only 1 in 4 of people who play golf consistently breaks 90.This fact takes us to the thought, do golfers really know how to get better? My answer is no! Golf has become a power game. Just take a look how golf is marketed these days. Hit it longer, straighter, with less spin to shoot lower scores. Just because you are hitting 10 yards further does not align with shooting lower scores for the average player. It is still the same golfer that cannot chip, putt, and play a half way decent bunker shot.
Spending time developing greenside skills can also benefit your long game. Grip, stance, alignment, posture, ball position, and attitude can all be practiced. These fundamentals have transference to all parts of the average golfers’ game. The average player practices his/her golf swing and not golf when going to the range. I do understand that certain mechanics’ in the golf swing need some repetition, but it should not be the majority of your practice time. I for one was guilty of that until I found the on ramp on how to score and play golf.
I think that one of the best things that happened to me was playing golf with my Daughter. We played from the short tees and I hit driver on every hole just for fun, which left me short pitches or chips to the green. However, the amount of birdies I made was surprisingly low and exposed a hole in my overall game. It forced me to focus on that 10 to 15 yard radius and in a short period of time the number of birdies made increased. On a few outings I practiced short pitches into bunkers and practiced my sand play. This is golf course practice and not range practice. They are two different concepts and should be treated as such.
Golf course practice is a somewhat new entity and is understood by those who really see the knowledge it produces. It will prepare the player for situations that occur in the game. Golf is a game of misses. It is played in variable conditions. The player who responds to those misses under changing conditions the best will be the one who is better prepared and will be able to face the challenge with confidence and resilience.
Until next time!