Choosing the right club at the right time is critical to lower golf scores. It haunts all golfers because club selection is the holy grail of knowledge only gained through years of practice and playing lots and lots of golf. (the second part of gaining knowledge is my favorite)
A while back, I wrote an article about a situation where the ball was on the fringe and I was left with a choice to chip or putt. There was many opinions and for the most part, choosing between putting or chipping was about 50/50.
Recently, I asked the same question without the picture and the response was different. I am not sure whether it was because the picture was not present, but the 25% increase for players wanting to putt was not really surprising.
Apart from the qualifying remarks such as: is the ball above the hole, is there a mound between the ball and the hole, what time of day is it, is the green freshly cut or how am I playing, most amateurs seem to agree that putting the ball when possible is the best option.
I generally agree, however it is important to have other shots in your bag for those times when either chipping, pitching or putting is required. My years of experience have taught me that relying on just one type of shot is not conducive to consistent low scores.
As someone who likes to always move forward, I like trying new methods to lower my score. My constant pursuit for improvement does not always meet my overall expectations.
Have you ever heard the saying ‘3 steps forward, 2 steps back’? That is what happened to me when I decided to putt more from the fringe. I focused all my attention on the flat stick and as a result, my chipping and pitching started to atrophy.
Although I had developed a new skill by putting more often, I lost my touch with my chipping and putting irons. Fortunately, with a little practice, my “feel” returned and now I have 3 solid types of shots when the ball is on the fringe. I am happy now at the end of the journey, but during the transition, I found it frustrating and sometimes wondered if I was on the right path.
Generally, when the a player is developing a new skill, there is a point of frustration when the new skill is not meeting expectations and their old skills are starting to rust. It is usually at this time when players stop learning the new skill and revert back to their old ways. As a result, the player concludes that the new skill is not worth the effort.
Golf is a challenging sport. It provides the opportunity for a player to be as good as they want. I believe that being a great golfer, we amateurs must find our own path to success. What works for me, may not work for you. I also believe that being a grateful golfer we need to keep trying to improve and be thankful for the journey to lower golf scores.
How do you handle learning a new skill? How much practice time do you devote to it?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!