If you’ve been reading our blog entries for a while you’d know that David and I regard the process of practicing golf correctly very important. Quite frankly it’s amazing to us that there are so many amateur and professional golfers who desperately want to lower their score average and don’t really know how to go about it.
As you know, you define any golfer’s level of competency by their score average, and not by the way they hit their shots, because golf is a game of score first and foremost and that’s the name of the game. Typically the golf improvement strategy that many golfers adopt is to watch how other golfers practice and copy their methods to learn how to practice correctly, which is a recipe for disaster.
Every golfer practices for different reasons and copying another golfers approach doesn’t guarantee that you will improve your golf scores.
"If you want to lower your score average the first thing you need to look at is what your score average is right now."
This we have discovered is difficult for many golfers because they don’t fully appreciate the importance of this statistic. Most golfers have very little idea of what their score average is from month to month which makes it difficult to develop the appropriate skills and strategies to move you towards a lower golf score average.
"There are many statistics you can study but none more important than your score average. If you discovered that you had a score average in competition of say 77.0 strokes and you decided that you wanted to lower that average to 73.0 what would you do?"
What’s interesting to us is that golfers will practice their different routines on a regular basis without ever considering how they should work at their game to lower their score average. How do you practice so that the effort you invest in your game translates into lower golf scores?
In every golfers game there are three or possibly four golf skills that would guarantee improved scores by developing and improving them. The eighty-twenty principle helps us to understand that 20 percent of our golf skills accounts for eighty percent of the results we produce in every round; so it’s important that you identify these critical to performance improvement skills if you want to practice your golf skills so that you move towards lower golf scores faster.
As your golf score can be broken down into short-game skills and long-game skills you need to break these skills down into sub-sets to analyse your performances and discover your critical success factors.
If for example you have a score of 77.0 or five over on a par 72 golf course and your total putting for the round consisted of 31 putts you will quickly realise that putting by itself was worth 40.27 percent of your total score in that round, which is a big chunk of your golf score
Reducing your total putting average from 31 putts to 28 is almost four percent improvement, not to mention 3 strokes improvement in your score. This is one of your critical success factors. The fact is that you can and probably do spend too much of your time perfecting your full-swing mechanics in the hope that you can hit more fairways and greens in regulation and for the most part this is a sensible approach for golfers who are not hitting at least fifty percent of their fairways and greens in regulation.
If however you are hitting more than fifty percent of fairways and greens in regulation on average and your score average is higher than 76 then you definitely need to spend more time on your green-side wedge skills and approach wedge skills. You will discover that your critical success factors are mostly in the short-game area and by spending more time here you will find ways to lower your golf scores.
The critical to improvement pathway in your game can only be discovered by carefully analysing your results after each round of golf you play. Whatever you score average is right now; you should know that you can lower it by focusing on developing the critical to performance golf skills that quite often are ignored in favour of the easier ones to practice.
The driving ranges are full of golfers working on the wrong golf skills. Start today and keep some statistics on your rounds of golf and then break your score down to find the keys to unlock lower golf scores. Then go to work on improving the critical skills by taking a series of lessons from a competent and experienced golf instructor, practice your golf skills thoughtfully until you can see and experience improvement in your golf scores.
It won't take you as long as you think.