FROM TEE TO GREEN

How to shoot better scores without practicing

Now that I have your attention, let’s have a goal of making 2018 your best golf year yet. While it may be too cold outside to hit balls, you can plan ahead for the season right now by focusing on two often neglected areas: equipment and course management. If you think about how important these two categories are, you can improve your scores without hitting endless buckets of balls (although routine practice will certainly improve you even more!)

Equipment – this doesn’t mean that you should rush out and buy a new set and that will cure all that ails you. Rather, focus on what is important when you golf. I will often have customers who spend money on the latest driver (now $650 and higher) but will have trouble justifying $300 for a putter. If you think about your golf rounds, you likely use your driver (at most) 14 times a round. But often golfers will have 30 or more putts. Wouldn’t it make sense to spend the most money on the club you use the most?

Even if you are convinced that your tee shots are way more important to you than putting, is a driver really the best tool for the job? I would argue that a 3 wood has multiple benefits that might make this club a wiser choice, such as:

  • Shorter shaft length: easier to swing and thus more control
  • More lofted clubface: more forgiving and therefore straighter shots
  • Price: Fairway woods are generally $200 cheaper than a driver

I think you will be pleasantly surprised with a 3 wood as a main weapon off the tee box, and any loss in distance versus using a driver will be more than compensated with greater accuracy, versatility, and consistency.

Course Management – what makes the game of golf great is that even as we all grow older, there is still an ability to score well even when our physical skills diminish. Intelligence, risk management, and wisdom will serve you well, regardless of your age. Think about the following three scenarios and we will discuss them further in the next newsletter:

  1. You are a decent 3 wood and iron player. Your driver is inconsistent and you don’t practice your short game very often. You are playing well today and you are coming up to a short par 4. Will you tee off with a  3 wood and then hit a 8 iron, or will you drive it as close to the green as you can and then hit a mid-range pitch onto the green?
  2. You are teeing off on a par 4 with out-of-bounds on the right side of the hole and trees on the left. What side of the tee box should you tee your ball up on?
  3. You are playing well today and hit your 8 iron about 140 yards. You are 140 yards from the hole with lots of trouble in front of the green. What club will you hit?

Dan Warwaruk, Golf Operations Manager