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!