Golf is a funny game. To score well, it is important to have a well-rounded game that fires on all cylinders. I know this because over my experience has taught me that any weakness or flaw will be accentuated under pressure. Of course pressure is relative to every player and what bothers me may not bother you. Such is the nature of golf.
However, there is one part of our game that is essential to low scores. Being a consistent putter is more important than a strong short game, booming drives, or precision approach shots. If the flat stick is not working, the rest of your game does not matter. Let me explain.
Just to make something very clear, it is early in the season and definitely not time to panic. I was out for my first 18 holes, in shorts by the way, last Wednesday. The sun was shining, it was warm and there was very little wind. As I walked to the first tee, I was feeling very comfortable about my game and was excited to hit the links. Overall, I was mentally prepared for a fun round.
Early in the round, I realized that my ball striking was pretty good. I did make a few mistakes (as expected) however, my overall my game was solid. As the round progressed, I found that my play to the green was getting stronger and as a result, I was scoring fairly well. I hit 4 greens in regulation, had 15 putts, scored nothing higher than a bogey and finished with a 3 over 38 for the front nine. Of the 15 putts, 3 putts lipped out so my score could have been lower. Being so early in the season, I was very happy with the results. More importantly, I was rolling the ball very well with my putter and my confidence was growing.
The back nine is an entirely different story. My ball striking continued to improve. After a bogey, birdie start, I was still feeling pretty confident. Then something strange happened. I lost the feel for my putter. This may sound crazy, but on the 12 hole, my putter felt foreign in my hands and I could not judge the speed of the greens! As a result, my confidence quickly eroded and score started rise.
Of the last 7 holes, I 2-putted 4 times and 3-putted 3 times. Interestingly, I never scored a double bogey. Of the last 7 holes, I bogeyed 5 of them. My 3-putts all started out as birdie attempts! It was crazy, I was leaving my first putt at least 10 feet from the hole every time. And that my friends was the frustrating part. After putting so well on the front nine, my back nine was a complete mystery to me. Needless to say, I was disappointed because I shot a 42 with a GIR of 6 of 9!
I am sure you added my score and an 80 is not bad for my first 18 of 2017 and I look forward to improving that score very soon.
So you can see how I surmise that putting this the key factor to scoring well in golf. My view has not changed over the years and I will continue to work on my short game, especially my putter. Moving forward, I can assure you that I am not in any type of panic mode. It is far too early to make any changes or adjustments. I willingly accept my putting woes from the last round and know that things will get better. It is just a matter of practice.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!