Have you ever thought that you are focusing on the wrong aspect of your golf game? I sure have over the years and to my demise. Yup, every player has on occasion travelled down the wrong path searching for the magic to lower our golf scores. I have found something that worked very well for me and has served my golfing needs for a long time. It deals less a particular stroke or technique, but a philosophy of lowering my golf scores in a consistent manner. I have mentioned it before, but I figure it is worth talking about because it will work for every player.
My philosophy is very simple; to improve my game, I start at the pin and work my way out. Sounds simple right?
If you think of all the strokes lost during your last three rounds, I bet you will find that well over half your strokes occurred within 10 yards of the green. It took many years before I figured out that I was focusing on the wrong things. I was more concerned about ball striking than lowering my golf score at least that is what I found out. About 30 years ago, when I rededicated my intent to improve my game, I was shocked to realize that I would lose anywhere from 5 to 10 strokes around through missing easy putts and chipping more that once on the same hole. And here I thought I was doing so well!
My journey began by evaluating my putting. At that time, after counting for 5 rounds, I was averaging 34 putts a round. I was very disappointed with results and thought that I was playing better than I was. This one ah-ha moment shaped my next 30 years of golf. My adventure had started.
As I pushed out from the green and worked on my chipping, approach shots, fairway shots and my driver. I had mixed reviews on my performance at the beginning as I tried to navigate my way on my new found path. Mostly I used the trial and error process until I decided to follow a proven method to improve my game. Basically, I became more of a student of the game and focused on what would work to improve my scores. It was a slow process (as golf is), but one I completely relished. I have worked diligently on my game (on and off) for the past 32 golf seasons and found myself in a favourable position.
I have lowered my putts per round to around 30 (usually lower, but I am being conservative), my up and down percentage is up, my sand saves have improved, my approach shots are good (but will be better by the end of this season), my long shots are better than average and my driver is the best club in my bag. Overall, I lowered my handicap index by 10 since I started. I could be lower, I guess, but shooting in the mid 70s most of the time is okay with me. My journey has been a fun one and it all started when I stopped focusing on the wrong part of my golf game.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “Focused On The Wrong Thing In Golf”
I can’t argue that. Short game should always be where we concentrate most of our attention. It’s where we score and/or how we save our scores.
As an IT guy though I have to say that we do have options today that can bring us a very thorough look into how well we are doing in most areas of the game. The Shot Scope v3 with the sensors that I chose gives me lots of very detailed data. And that allows me to target my practice better than I ever could.
It’s not perfect. It’s not telling us how to fix anything. lol. But it tells me what changes I can try and make to get the most gain fast and that’s pretty awesome. Takes the guesswork out of it. It pointed out the 3-6 foot range is costing me on the greens more than the 9-12 foot range was with a like number of putts involved. My drop percentage in the 3-6 foot range was simply not up to what it was pretty much anywhere inside 20 feet for that matter. That is more than enough reason to put special attention to that range. It tells me I’m not getting enough practice on the home course with my mid irons and I need to go to a bigger range to put some more work in on them. They should be bread and butter clubs but I’m seeing data telling me they need work. Misses short are almost reaching the 40% mark and that’s way too much. I know that’s not under clubbing. That’s too many bad swings. Many may have been from not so great lies so that’s going to make a difference, but what I see is room where improvements will bring better scores fastest. Right now left, right, and short outnumber middle and long is a tiny percentage probably due more to misreading the wind than anything. We’ve had plenty of it. Misses short will be part of that too, but again, what I’m looking for is immediate areas where gains should be easy. That 3-6 foot putt range lost me a good 25 strokes over 17 rounds had a just made 50% more of them if I remember the numbers correctly.
That was easily the biggest possible gain to be made. And approach shots, especially between 170 and 130 show a definite need for improvements. Those are shots I don’t get to make on the home course. Not from the rough. Not from the fairway. At least they’re rare and require a really bad fail off the tee. lol So I’m only seeing them on the weekends and playing new courses where I’m guessing more. But the numbers I think show that some more work there should bring me some easy gains because I think I’ve just been neglecting them too long living here. Off the tee here, I use them but that’s different. It’s the worse lies I need to find on some grass practice range and get myself back in better sync with those clubs. Might need a new reading on distances. Might just need the practice. Won’t know until I get off my butt and make it happen. lol
Your stats support areas of improvement and that is something that takes the guess work out of the process. I find that most players do not correctly identify their shortcomings and focus on the wrong areas. In our case as mature players, it is easier to realize (without our ego getting in the way) that our weaknesses are determined over many rounds, not just a fleeting moment. The fun we have.