Managing Your Game To Better Scores

It is very common for many players to take lessons, improve on a certain area within their game but not see an improvement in their overall score. That is a large part of the reason why I try to get players I work with to understand strengths, weaknesses and tendencies.  While overall improvement in any area is beneficial, we want to target weaknesses in scoring during our lessons as well as understand and embrace our tendencies in order to create a specific course management strategy for specific to your game. There are an incredible amount of possible ways to get on or around the green in just a couple 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 that bunker at all costs and look for an area around the green where you can hit to that will allow you to take advantage of your strength of chipping to make par. Even if we have to hit away from the pin, you have eliminated the chance of making a big number out of that bunker. Since we are aware of our  weakness in bunker play, that now allows us to have a clear strategy on where we want to hit the ball, which builds mental clarity, commitment to our shot and confidence in knowing we are making a good decision. Bunker play now becomes the focus of your improvement plan but in the meantime, your golf game is still in good shape if you know how to manage your strengths and weaknesses out on the course.

Try these tips to get a better understanding of your game:

  • Play out a group of 5 balls from different locations around a practice green.  Try from different slopes, terrain, length and lies to get a feel for what kind of shots you score better on.
  • On your scorecard, if you miss a  fairway, make an arrow pointing to the right or left indicating which side you missed on. At the end of your round your tendencies will be drawn out for you. You can do this with irons as well.
  • 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.

With these tips we now have a good understanding of our directional patterns, distance control tendencies, and short game scoring opportunities to plan accordingly! Feel free to contact me via colongolf@pga.com if interested in more self-discovery drills!

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