Most golfers want to shot the best score of their lives every time they hit the links. I am no different. I strive to shoot par are lower each time I play, but alas I rarely accomplish this feat. It is not because I do not have the skill or desire, it usually happens because I fail to keep the ball in play. This is my Achilles Heel and I know it!
I cannot count the number of times that I step up to the first tee and either pull or push my ball off the fairway. Immediately, this wayward shot starts my game off poorly and I feel that I must do something early to compensate for my error. Of course, this is the wrong approach, yet it happens once in a while.
As an amateur, keeping the ball in play off the first tee is important. So much so, I asked how you fared:
I fall into the 41%, but should be in the 14% if I want to lower my handicap index. As a matter of fact, my expectations is to hit the fairway or green around 80% or more to score well. I realize that this is a very high expectation, but I feel to score in the low 70s or high 60s consistently, I need to hit more fairways. This need dovetails into the my point for today.\
The key to lower golf scores is to keep the ball in play on the short grass. Yup, it is not anymore complicated than that. I realize that everyone makes a poor shot, however it is those shots where we have control and miss that cause the issues.
Generally, when I make a very poor shot it is because I am trying to squeeze a few extra yards out of my next shot. Instead of settling for 175 yards from the green, I am trying for 168 yards. As I attempt to gain a bit more real estate, my risk for the shot increases and hence the chances of making the shot lower. It is something we have discussed during our course management talks, but I continue to make that silly mistake. I do catch myself most of the time, but every once in awhile my ego takes over and that usually spells disaster.
Keeping the ball in play off the tee and in the general area is key to lower golf scores. It affords great shot options because as Ben Hogan says:
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!