instruction: Managing Your Way To Better Scores!
It is common for many players to take lessons, improve on a certain area within their game, yet not see improvement in their overall score. I try to get players I work with to understand their strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. While overall improvement in any area is beneficial, we want to target weaknesses in scoring during lessons, as well as understand and embrace tendencies in order to create a specific course management strategy for your game. There are an incredible amount of ways to get on or around the green in just a couple of shots.
However, based on your ball flight and short game, we can create your own ideal pathway to the green.
Understanding your weaknesses is a key part to this strategy…and lowering your scores. If you are a player that struggles with bunker play, but does well with chipping, it is important that you avoid the bunker at all costs. Look for an area around the green where you can hit to that will allow you to take advantage of your chipping to make par. Even if you hit away from the pin, you have eliminated the potential of making a big number out of the bunker. When we are aware of our weakness in the bunkers it allows us to have a clear strategy on where we want to hit the ball, which builds mental clarity, commitment to the shot, and confidence knowing we are making a good decision. Bunker play will become the focus of an improvement plan, but in the meantime your golf game is still in good shape if you know how to manage your strengths and weaknesses.
Try these tips to get a better understanding of your game:
Play out a group of five balls from different locations around a practice green. Hit shots from different slopes, terrain, length and lies to get a feel for what type shots with which you can score better.
During a round, if you miss a fairway, make an arrow pointing to the right or left on your scorecard indicating which side you missed on. Doing this you can determine statistics on where you tend to miss.
When hitting your initial approach shot to the green, make another note on your scorecard to keep track of whether you have left a shot short or hit it too long.
Using these tips we now have a good understanding of directional patterns, distance control tendencies, and short game scoring opportunities and we can plan accordingly.
Fabio Colon is a PGTAA Master Teaching Professional & NASM Golf Fitness Specialist at Keney Park Golf Course in Windsor, CT. Contact Fabio at email@example.com.