Playing Slower Golf Improved My Score

On Sunday I hit the links for what I thought would be a quick round. I normally play nine holes on my new course in about 1.5 hours (give or take 15 minutes; okay give 15 minutes 😉 ) with two balls. During my last round, I was stuck behind a three 4somes. So, I was going nowhere fast. I spent a good deal of time putting and chipping as I waited to go to the next hole. I found that I needed something to occupy my mind as I slowly played the round and I easily found it.

Due to the extra time on my hands, I decided to think about how I could improve my game. The interesting thing is that I did not come up with anything new, but reverted back to my basics that I sometimes neglect when I try to steam threw my round. I sometimes forget my basics because I am more focused on time than playing good golf.

Because I had the time, I decided to accentuate my pre-shot routine. I focused on my aim point because if we aim small, we miss fall. Additionally, I took more time selecting my club by account for the wind, my lie and pin location. I was actually playing golf the way I had used to envision. It was great to be back in form and I look forward to building on my success.

During my round, I tried using my three hybrid to putt from just off the green. I found it very successful and all by one shot I was left with three feet. That is a very acceptable for lag distances. I am not sure that my 7 iron could not have produced the same results, but I said I would try using my hybrid and the first step of this experiment has started.

The next thing I did was practice my 5/6 foot putts from around the hole. I did not practice my putting on all the holes, but I am starting to develop an understanding of the subtle breaks on the new greens. We have talked in the past about how important 5 or 6 foot putts are to low golf scores and today I started to understand just how important that distance will be at my new home course.

The last aspect of my golf game I worked on was switching up my club selection. If I was at the same distance off the tee (which I usually was) I consciously decided to used a different club on my approach shot. Mostly, I focused on my wedges and short irons. If I was a gap wedge away, I would use that club on one shot and club up for the next shot. This decision demonstrated that I actually need to club up on most approach shots because of the elevated greens. I found that by clubbing up I was able to hit the green more often than if I did not club up. It was a great lesson on course management and I am glad I approached my last round as I did.

Every round of golf offers something to learn. Because I was forced to slow down and think during my last round I was able to learn a few things that will improve my game. It is a lesson I needed at this time of the season and I expect I will be playing better moving forward.

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

2 thoughts on “Playing Slower Golf Improved My Score

  1. Slowing down is something I have to tell myself to do at times. I play far to fast if I allow it. Decisions get made on the way to the ball rather than once I get there. Sometimes that can bring trouble. The lie can’t be determined on the way to the ball. And while you can change your mind on a shot once you get to it, that can also allow a path for doubt to enter and make execution that much tougher.

    Showing more progress today. I played the 9 hole course tonight to give me more practice with the mid irons. Lots of 5,6, and 7 irons shots to make there. I played 2-4 balls and went around twice so I got lots of practice swings in and I have to say I was impressed. The first time around I was alone and sticking with the program. Not trying to hit too hard or take too much off anything. I wanted as many semi full swings as I could get. But I had a buddy join me half way around and I started hitting a few balls to test myself. And did things like fly a 160 green with a 7 iron. Hit another green with the driver. And hit a couple draws and fades on demand with the hybrids.

    It felt like it all came together with those mid irons. I worked on chipping too. The second time around I was behind a slow foursome so I spent a lot of time around the greens between holes. Excellent practice. Holed out twice from inside 30 feet. But nothing felt as good as seeing those mid irons start to really fly again.

    Liked by 1 person

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