How To Achieve Your Golf Milestone

Are you the type of golfer that likes to achieve milestones? Generally, this means breaking 100, 90, or 80 on the scorecard. But, does breaking these challenging scores once really mean you have achieved your golf milestone. I realize that breaking through the wall opens a plethora of opportunities for our game, but amateur golfers get confused on what achieving a golf milestone really means. It is not about achieving the score, but sustaining it over the long haul.

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Breaking 80 Using Golf Stats

Most golfers who find their handicap dropping will collect data to monitor their play. This data is converted into stats which they can use to focus on specific areas of their game. Kevin, a regular at The Grateful Golfer, has mentioned many times over the years that collecting and analyzing stats is more than just numbers on a page. I agree wholeheartedly. When I worked I, like Kevin, use stats off the course to determine courses of action or at least recommend a way forward. This analytical process has helped my golf game over the years because I learned to gather and apply fact based results to lower my score. This process of stat analysis is one I used to consistently break 80 and you can as well.

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Opening a Bee’s Nest

As many of you know, I like to pose questions on Twitter and talk about them in a blog. Yesterday, I posed a question about the best golf score milestone and the response I received was very unexpected. Overall, I am very happy about the extended conversation and feedback; I hope that in the future my questions garner the same results. Continue reading

The First Time I Broke 80

This article was inspired by Jimmy at Tiger Golf Traveler. He wrote an article about breaking 80 for the first time and his story resonated with me. So I thought I would take it one step further and outline, in my opinion, the key to breaking 80 consistently.

As most golfers understand, wedges are the key to low golf scores. Of course, hitting a solid driver and consistent iron play are very important, however, great wedge play will help ensure you break 90, 80, or even 70 consistently. But first, my story.

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Chipping to Lower Your Golf Score

Chipping to lower your golf score is the goal of all golfers! For most amateurs chipping the ball during a round of golf, having a tap in putt helps lower their score very quickly. Recently, one of my normal playing partners shot 78 by getting up and down 6 times out of 7 during his round of golf. Although capable of shooting in the 70s most of the time, he has been plagued with challenging putts as a result of not chipping the ball close to the hole when given the opportunity. His challenge is one that most amateurs face every time they hit the links!

Previously, posts on club selection, chipping drills, and course management have outlined some of the concepts of chipping the ball close to lower your golf score. These are great points, but do not really discuss the mechanics of chipping. The “how to” chip is fundamental to beginner and intermediate players because saving strokes around the green is important to breaking 100, 90, or 80.

Derek Hooper has a fantastic video on chipping. Additionally, he is a great resource for other golfing techniques because he explains the golfing process in a manner that is clear and easy to follow.

The video discusses how to consistently chip close. However, three points during the video need to emphasized.  For consistent, successful chipping, pay attention too:

Keeping Your Head Still – Most miss hits are caused by extra movement in the upper body. As amateurs, we have the tendency to try and help the ball to the hole. The extra movement in the upper body will change the contact position of the club on the ball (resulting in topping or sculling the ball), hitting the ball fat (club hits the ground before the ball) or scooping the ball (sometimes known as a chilli dip). Keeping your head still will prevent additional upper body movement, thereby increasing the effectiveness of your chipping.

Weight Distributed on the Lead Foot – Having 80% of your weight on your lead foot is critical to solid chipping. The important aspect of this weight distribution is to keep your knees bent slightly and to have your weight distributed over the whole lead foot. Sometimes, amateurs will lean so the weight is on either the inside or outside of their foot. To build a strong foundation, keep the weight evenly distributed on the lead foot.

Keeping your Hands Ahead of the Ball – On contact, the hands need to be ahead of the ball slightly. Also, while following through, avoid breaking your wrists! It is important to let the hands lead the chip because it promotes crisp, solid and repeatable contact. Locked wrists also ensure that the ball is contacted first before the follow through, which allows for spin to be placed on the ball.

It is important to practice chipping. It is more important to practice focused chipping. By following these chipping tips, strokes will be saved during your round. Chipping the ball effectively is a great way to lower your score and have more fun while playing golf!

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