Remembering What Works In Golf

For some reason, I stopped doing certain aspects of my golf game that are proven to be very successful. Does this ever happen to you? It is challenging and frustrating at the same time to relearn the same golf lessons.There are many reasons for having to go back to your roots, but lately I seem to be a victim of my own foolishness.

As you are aware, I like looking at all aspects of golf and sometimes I get lost in the labyrinth of the journey! Many paths lead to a dead-end, but now and then I strike it rich. Lately, my game has not been where I think it should be, but my recent adventure with pre-round visualization has opened my eyes and I am ready, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, to re-invigorate some of my past successes.

Before we start, understand this is not a vain attempt to regain past glories or an admission of defeat, but a realization that my some of my old techniques are still valid for my game today.

During my round yesterday, I kept stats on fairways hit, putts, GIR, sand saves and scramble percentage. It was these stats that started my analytical review and realization that I needed to go back to my basics. During the round, this is how the raw stats stacked up:

  • Fairways hit: 14 of 18
  • Greens in Regulation: 7 of 18
  • Sand Saves: 2 of 3
  • Scramble Percentage: 6 of 11
  • Putts: 29

Immediately, all eyes will go to the GIR stat and say that is my problem. I agree, it was very poor yesterday, but not a reason to panic because my scramble percentage was above 50%. I would normally have a better GIR percentage so not to worry.

Fairways hit, sand saves, and putts were pretty good, but what was the missing piece? What you do not know (because you needed to be there) was how poorly I putted. The first 12 holes, I was not even close on many of the initial putts (2 putting 8 of 12 greens). Sometimes, I would miss the hole by 18 inches left or right! This was atypical of my short game.

Believe it or not, collecting all these stats started me thinking (not always a good idea on the golf course) that golf should not be this hard. So I decided to make an immediate change and my putting routine was the only thing available at the time. So I went back to the basics and used my old putting routine.

Immediately, I noticed positive results. During the last 6 holes I one-putted 3-times and was left with tap ins for the other 3. The three that I missed, I was past the hole and lipped out each time. It was like being re-acquainted with an old friend. I am pumped to hit the links soon and keep using my new/old putting routine.

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. As I continue to experiment with new techniques to reach my goal as a scratch golfer, I need to ensure that I do not forget what got me here in the first place. The real trick to all of this is to give the new techniques a reasonable chance to improve my game, but if it does not – back to the basics.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


6 thoughts on “Remembering What Works In Golf

  1. Jim,

    I think you bring up a good point about not forgetting what got you to where you are in the first place. I find that with myself, something I typically do well can suffer when I am working on something else, because my mind is so focused on something new that it neglects the good old faithful.

    One of the first things I consider if I’m not hitting it as well as I’d like is tempo. If my transition at the top gets too quick, I get out of sync, and that seems to be the most common culprit of throwing my swing off. When I am under pressure or in competition, good tempo is always my comforting swing thought.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh

      I agree. I find that I loose focus on the successful parts of mu game when trying to make changes that will improve my overall score. The trick is realizing when things are not working. I guess that is why I am not a pro golfer…haha. Play well.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, I’d be interested to know some of the basics you constantly refer back to that are tried and true.

    For myself, I have playing notes from hundreds of rounds and practice sessions dating back to 2007, so my sample size is ample. In all that data, I can only point to three things that keep recurring that are associated with positive play and what I would consider basics as compared to WOOD band-aids. They are:
    1) Big shoulder turn on the back swing
    2) Soft hands on the putter
    3) Think target

    Thanks and play well!



    • Brian

      Your basics are very good. Mine are more in the area of routine. For example, I have tried many different putting tips over the past 2 years and my putting has slowly atrophied. So, I went back to my basic pre-shot routine. I set up my practice putts exactly like a real shot. I take 3 practice putts to get the feel for distance. Then I move forward a few inches already set up, find my target and putt. For some reason, this routine was lost in the white noise of trying to “improve”. I also think soft hands, but on my driver as well and I aim for a specific target. There are a few more, but I will have to gather my thoughts to explain. A topic for another article.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow Jim. Sounds like you learned that less is more. Just like Luke Donald when he tried to add distance and fouled up a perfectly good golf swing and #1 world ranking.

        If you have a mindset of continuous improvement, it’s so hard to back off sometimes when things are running good and you still want to get to great. Such is the see saw world of this game. Glad you figured it out.



        Liked by 1 person

      • Brian

        That is an understatement. I just returned from the range practice my old putting technique with excellent results! Worked on my driver and 3 hybrid; I worked on a bigger shoulder turn with less pull. Seems to be working…still need more work. Today is a good golf day.


        Liked by 1 person

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