Golf is officially here. The crew at Roundel Glen Golf Course spent many long days cleaning up the winter mess and their efforts are greatly appreciated by all the anxious golfers! With the hope of an awesome season ahead, it is time to focus on the fundamentals and execute my plan of being a scratch golfer.
This year, I am going about things a bit differently. I am not actually developing my plan until mid-May. I know many of you are shaking your heads thinking that I will be wasting a precious month, but rest assured there is a method to my madness.
My plan is to work on my fundamentals first, then see where I need to focus my practice time to generate the most ‘bang for my buck’. So after much introspection, this is my initial approach to the 2015 golf season:
Chipping. This year I believe that chipping will be the key to a lower handicap. My GIR stat is not bad (I hope to improve this), however on the days that I am not striking the ball well, chipping is what is going to keep my scores low. On the days that I am doing well, the odd missed green will not have as great an impact on my score. So, chipping is first.
Mid-Irons. Most experts would suggest that putting should be next. Personally, my GIR stat is more important. If I do not give myself the opportunity for birdie more times than not, then being a great putter does not really matter. The distance I will focus on is from 175 – 125 yards.
Putting. Once on the green, putting will help me close the deal. Being a strong putter is critical to low scores. My self-assessment is that I am a strong putter already and that focusing on chipping and mid-irons is a better use of my time so early in the season.
3-wood. I hit my 3-wood on most par 5s and several times off the tee. It is an important club for my game because it helps with my course management. In the past, it was my go-to club, but recently I have relied on it less. Regardless, my 3-wood will be next in line as I practice this spring.
Long-Irons. I do not hit many long irons. My course management is such that hitting long irons is generally avoided. I will hit a short iron and stay 75 yards back, then hit a long iron to 30 yards from the green. Not always mind you, but hitting into the an area of my game that I use 2 or 3 times a round does not make sense, but I do have to practice hitting long-irons just in case I need to during a round.
Driver. Many of you are gasping right about now! Not to worry. I have left my driver until last because I plan to be fitted for a new driver in early June. Mike at my home course is a Master Club Fitter and we are going work together more this year. My focus for the fitting will be the shaft, thus extensive practice with my old driver does not make any sense early in the season.
There you have it. My initial practice plan is in place. My area of focus and overall plan for 2015 will not be formed until around mid-May. This is a new approach for me, but I think focusing on the fundamentals in each area without the pressure of having to score well will be very beneficial. What do you think?
What is your initial plan to prepare for the 2015 golf season?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!