By now if you've followed my blog entries for a while you would know that at Pro Tour Golf College we take the lowering of competitive golf score averages very seriously.
We believe that whether you’re an amateur or professional that your scoring ability is the most important golf skill to develop.
As we’re coming to the end of another year of golf it seems like the right time to share a simple idea with you to help you to change the direction of your golf game in the New Year.
You see you’re only as competitive on the golf course as you’re willing to keep finding ways to lower your golf scores in competition.
What we've discovered working with many elite golfers is that it is much easier for them to complain about the state of their existing game rather than devising a strategy that leads to lower golf scores. The trouble we constantly face is a mountain of golf swing instruction that although is helpful for many golfers, for others it is more like a debilitating virus.
This is particularly true of very advanced amateur and professional golfers. It almost seems like the only answer to better performances on the golf course is perfecting some aspect of their golf swing technique.
Sadly with most of the focus on golf swing, it is difficult to work on the more important areas of mental skills development and scoring ability from within 100 yards of the pin.
The primary influence of this swing focus mentality is major media. And can you really blame them when it sells magazines and keeps advertising revenue coming into their business.
Personally I have been purchasing golf magazines since I was 12 years old so I've seen my fare share of golf swing instruction and the trouble with golf tips is that it is just that; a tip.
As an elite golfer you need a lot more than a tip from a golf magazine, golf telecast, or from The Golf Channel. You need to take a very close look at your game and decide on which are your weakest-most important golf skills for lowering your golf scores in competition.
Here’s an insight. From within 100 yards of the green what percent of the time do you hit the ball close enough to the pin and one putt?
To be competitive you have to be able to do this more than 50 percent of the time.Would it help if you could? I bet it would, and that would be a useful way to think about the importance of lowering your golf scores by becoming deadly from less than 100 yards from the pin.
Part 1: Wedge Distance Control Check
How do you determine how good you are with wedge shots?
This is important; by identifying the trend of your wedge shots you can make the adjustments that are necessary to improve your distance and directional control on that particular shot. You might discover that your 50 yards approach wedge is really a 45 yard approach wedge which means that this becomes your go-to-distance for this distance.
What this exercise will show you is what your ‘true wedge distance range’ is and it will help you to make progress in this extremely important part of the game.
Part 2: Wedge Distance Proximity to Hole Check
OK now that you have some idea about the average distance of your wedge shots in relationship to a target on the range.
Now if you can, hit 10 shots to a pin at one of those distances and get one of your friends to mark the finish position in relation to the pin with ball markers, coins or tee’s.
Once you have hit all 10 shots onto the green, using a tape measure record each distance location to the edge of the hole carefully and write it down.
Once you have all the distances marked down, average it out by dividing the total distance by 10 to work out your proximity to the hole with that shot distance. Ideally you will want to do this procedures with every distance from 20 yards to 100 yards (in 5 yards increments) if you’re serious about improving your wedge game.
Yes it is a lot of work but think about it, you’re going to keep practicing in the New Year anyway, so by changing your improvement strategy and carefully assessing your ability with your wedge shots you will very quickly gain the upper hand on the golf course in tournaments.
And become a deadly weapon when you have a wedge in your hand which wouldn't be a bad thing would it?
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College
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