Breaking Par For The First Time In My 2020 Golf Season

I finally broke par in 2020. Yesterday I shot a 1 under par 70. It was a solid round where I struck the ball better than any other round this year. My round was comfortable and seemed easy right from the first swing. I was over the moon to play a solid round with no major errors.

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Playing Golf In the Cold and Wind

The last two rounds of golf have really challenged my game. With gusts up to 65 kph (40 mph) and temperatures around 10° C (50° F), I found the playing conditions very tough. Before Padraig and his crew from the northern shores of Ireland start laughing at me, I think it is fair to say that for our area, these were very tough conditions. It challenged all my play making abilities to a point where I realized that I have some work to do with respect to my mid iron play. But this is a good thing…..right?

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Gaining a Stroke Through Luck

How many times have we complained about an unlucky bounce. About that time you had a great round going until something completely unexpected changed everything. Probably more times than when a good bounce lowered your golf score. Well, being a grateful golfer, I choose to remember the good bounce and whine about the bad. It is a mental approach that has really helped keep my game grounded over the years.

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Chipping In and Lower Golf Scores

The connection is obvious between chipping in and lower golf scores. Jarring one from 25 yards or more off the green reduces my golf score by at least two strokes a majority of the time. It makes sense because most amateurs have a low up and down percentage regardless of where they chip from. It is a stoke of luck all golfers want, but rarely achieve. I wonder why it is so difficult to achieve considering the thousands of balls I chip every year. Chipping in is not something I do on a regular basis; how about you? Continue reading

Chipping In Again and Again

One of the more exciting strokes in golf is chipping in from anywhere.  Of course, the closer to the hole increases the chances of success.  Watching the ball roll up to the hole, take the break in the perfect way, then drop right in the heart is a thrill!  Fantastic shot – your player partner says as you collect high 5s from the group!  Some players will say ‘boy, that was lucky’…..or was it.  Is that not the intent of every shot….to go in every time?

Watching the highlights of the WGC Cadillac Championship, it was amazing to see how many players recovered from a missed approach shot and chipped in.  From the sand, the fringe, the fairway, it did not seem to matter.  A while back, I posted an article on how to use the bump-and-run to increase a players changes of chipping in and as a result lower their overall score.  Happily, after watching the pros, some of my technique had some similarities with the pros, but my skill level has a long way to go!

What do the pros have that empowers them to be more successful?  Yes, they are highly skilled, make their living at playing golf, and have the time to practice, but that is not what I mean.  So again – What do pros have that empowers them to be more successful?

Is it confidence, mental toughness, lack of fear, strong visualization skills or what? Actually, it seems to be all these things.  When an élite player walks up to their ball, they immediately start to analyze the ball position, the lay of the green, the grain, hole location, and possible hazards.  Watch their eyes.  Sometimes they are looking at a spot that baffles the amateur, but it has caught their attention.  When they have figured out what they want to do, they prepare to execute.

All their actions are feeding the best kept secret in golf – there is always a perfect shot that will result in a chip in.  Every shot has one, every shot!  The trick is to figure out what it is. It sounds complex and sometimes it is…..others it is obvious.  Armed with this knowledge, the pros play with confidence knowing the answer is out there and they are the ones to figure it out.

If every amateur approached all their chip shots armed with the same knowledge and confidence, they would have greater success and their misses would not miss by that much.

Chipping in is possible for every shot.  Figuring out exactly how all the pieces fit together is the fun part.  It is the ultimate jigsaw puzzle.  If you have any hints or secrets you would like to share, please send them along for all to share.

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