If you are in pursuit of a better golf game, then change is something that must be part of your process. I know for me, it sure is and recently I owe a debt of gratitude to my friend Andre for advising me to step out side of my comfort zone. His sage guidance is already starting to pay off and I only see better things ahead in my golfing future.
My current evolution is actually quite dramatic and has recently started to take shape. It all began with the purchase of my new Mizuno MP20 irons and Mizuno 3 and 4 hybrids. I purchased these clubs because I wanted to ‘pin hunt’ more from 150 yards. I felt that I needed to be more aggressive on my approach shots so, I gravitated away from distance irons. After playing 10 rounds this year, I can say that my choice of new equipment was excellent.
However, the best equipment in the world is not the definitive answer to all my problems. This is where Andre pokes his head up and challenges my long entrenched approach to course management. He suggested that, given my current game and handicap, my golf game would benefit from being more aggressive in my approach to looping the links. I actually took some time to think about his suggestion and decided to give it a try.
The first area, for now, that I decided to increase my aggressive attitude to my game was on my approach shots. I decided to try and hit the exact pin distance in order to narrow my first putt distance on a tick in the GIR stat. I can say with honesty, that this has been met with mixed success. My current average for first putt distance is 20 feet. I am hoping to shorten that distance to 15 feet by mid-July as I continue to attack the pin.
By adopting the aggressive approach shot mentality I have hit the ball past the pin more times than I did all last year! Some have flown the green, but I take comfort in knowing that as I become more aware of how my new clubs actually fly, I will be able to rectify my distance woes. It is just a matter of time and practice.
I want to thank Andre for challenging my golf game. He has opened a door that might have remained shut because I was too blind to see! Golf is about evolution and expanding our own boundaries. Right now, I am pushing he envelope of approach shots to improve my GIR!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
4 thoughts on “Accepting Change For The Greater Good”
Jim, interesting approach. Has your overall GIR number changed from last year? Seems like 10 rounds is a decent sample size to begin analysis. I would say with new clubs, overall GIR provides the highest value as a stat, and is what I’d focus on. Pin hunting with clubs you are still learning your yardages on may lead to misleading GIR numbers. I guess it’s all about what you want to improve on the most. . .I know, you want it all. 🙂
Good luck and play well!
The short answer is yes, I want it all! 🙂 My GIR numbers are about the same for this time of year. My 9 hole average for 10 rounds is 63% – this was unusually high. My 18 hole average for 3 rounds is 46% – this is 10% lower from last year. I am not chasing anything right now because it is still very early to tell, but by being more aggressive to hit the distance of the pin I am feeling more confident and I think it will pay off in the long run. Make no mistake GIR is the stat I am focused on. Narrowing the first putt distance is a sub-goal that will help improve my overall GIR stat. It is a delicate balance and I think this path will be beneficial for my overall game and golf scores. The challenge I face is time; we have such a short season it is difficult to fit it all in. But, not to worry, life is great, I am grateful, and the awesome golfing weather is on its way. Have a great weekend.
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From 50-125 yards, the BEST approach shot result averages on the PGA Tour was 15 feet, 6 inches in 2014. So that’s a pretty high bar to set for yourself. Especially trying to achieve it in such a short time frame. But it’s not out of reach forever I don’t think. And even if your average doesn’t quite get there, a few more 1st putts from inside of 5 feet is the benefit of trying to reach that goal.
I went the other route today. Not purposely, it was just windy and I came up short with and against the wind today on most of the holes. The benefit was, I only had 20 putts for the round. 2 one putt birdies, 1 chip in birdie, and three 2 putt bogies though is still par. If not for the two drives I let the wind get, and the two follow up approach shots that I flubbed ( one a push and the other a chunk ), I might have missed 15 greens and still shot under par. I can also tell you for sure that those 15 greens I missed I never once worried about 3 putting either.
It’s not really that I wasn’t being aggressive today. The pins were all up front and I just wasn’t dialed in. I hit the ball well with the exceptions of the ones I’ve already mentioned and maybe the first tee shot though that ended fine and in the fairway even if it wasn’t exactly struck well. But 15 short chips from ten feet is almost as a good as 10 foot putts.
I think my goal of 15 feet will work. The more I improve with my new clubs (figuring out distances), the more I believe my stats will improve. It sounds like you had a very solid ‘up and down’ game with only only 20 putts and 15 chips. Actually that is quite impressive. Congrats.