Golfing Magazine Online -
instruction: 3 Steps to Lower Scores This Year
Derek Hooper
By Derek Hooper
Published on 05/2/2016

instruction: 3 Steps to Lower Scores This Year
Everyone wants to shoot lower scores on the golf course. But there are so many aspects of the game that you can work on to accomplish that. How do you know where to start?

The place I start with every player, regardless of his or her skill level, is with a list I have included below. This also is the order in which we approach the process, starting with the biggest influencer upon score and moving on from there.

No penalties: If you want to shoot lower scores you simply can’t be giving strokes away through penalties. These shots can be reduced through improved course management, choosing bigger targets, and hitting clubs that have a higher chance of producing success.

No three-putts: Good putting requires no exceptional levels of physical strength, flexibility or speed. Thus, anyone can be a good putter. The majority of three-putts come from poor distance control. Invest additional time on the practice putting green, playing games that focus on gaining a better feel for distance and controlling that distance by altering your stroke length, rather than the speed at which the putter moves.

No two-chips: This is an area where I see players of all skill levels throw shots away. Once you are inside 50 yards from the green your goal must be to be on the green in one shot. Not necessarily close to the hole, but definitely be able to putt your next shot. Invest additional practice time at the short game practice facility, working on short chips and pitches. Also, get a better understanding of what your skill levels are with these shots, and choose appropriate targets. Too often I see players trying to play shots with a level of difficulty that is above their skills only to see the shot end in disaster. Always choose big targets to ensure you hit the green every time.

If you can focus on these three areas this season I can almost guarantee that you will shoot lower scores.

Derek Hooper is the Director of Instruction at Lake of Isles Golf Academy. He can be contacted at 1.888.475.3746 or