Scoring in the 60s
Yes, in only two days I will be 60 years old! Wow. I remember when that was “O-L-D”, but now I totally subscribe to the new adage that “60 is the new 40”. At least that’s how it feels to me . . . maybe even the new 30. This first year in my 60s will see me move into my dream home in the country and marry the lady I wish I’d met many, many years ago. And it is seeing the material culmination of a dream to build a golf company that really is making a difference in how golfers view the short game and scoring, and how they perform with their short range clubs. Apparently, I’ve just been practicing up to now.
The singular focus here at the SCOR Golf brand is to help all golfers really improve their scoring and lower their handicap. And despite all the hype and advertising about drivers and hitting it longer, the simple truth is ...
If you want lower scores, you need a better short game. And to build a better short game, you need to play the right mix of scoring clubs, improve your technique and dedicate the appropriate amount of time to practicing the shots that really will take strokes off your score.
If you will make it your goal this year to improve your performance from 9-iron range and in to the hole, you WILL shoot lower scores. For all golfers, that’s where 50-70% of the strokes are taken. If you are an 85 shooter, only 14 of those are tee shots. So how many strokes do you think you’ll save if you focus your time and equipment investment on only 16% of your game? Versus spending time and investment in the 60+% that really matters?
And I’ll tell you another thing about improving your short range performance. The improved techniques you learn there will migrate to your longer clubs. The proper tempo and timing of a 20-yard pitch is not very different from a drive or fairway wood. The proper release through impact is almost identical, but much easier to learn on short pitches and half wedges, where things are happening much slower.
The simple fact is that the guys that are winning on tour, in college, and at your club are the guys that can score. Period.
So, back to the topic . . . scoring in the 60s. For me it means that for the rest of my life, my driving distance is probably not going to improve. But my short range performance can. I can get better around the greens. I can get better with lag putts and make more inside of 5-6 feet. And I can get the ball closer to the hole once I have a high-lofted club (9-iron or less) in my hands.
Oh, and I can play smarter, wiser, more efficient golf. Hitting that soft 6-iron into the wind from 135 is a better play than trying to muscle a 7- or even 8-iron. Playing for the easy side of the flags to give myself a 25-40 foot putt, rather than a difficult short-side pitch or chip. Seeing par-fives as true three shot holes. All these things will allow me to keep my handicap in the low single digits from the back tees.
So, that’s my goal for 2012 . . . and from now on. Smarter golf. More accurate short range golf. More fun.
Scoring in the 60s. The cool thing is that I am going to do this every round for a decade . . . no matter what I shoot!
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
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Happy upcoming birthday Terry! Every year at Christmas, I buy myself a small gift, and this year I purchased a hardcover copy of The Wisdom of Harvey Penick, which I am thoroughly enjoying. I know nearly all instructors/golf gurus trace some of their philosophy back to Harvey, but I have noticed you seem to be very true to his words. Maybe you've already made the disclaimer, but I may have missed it.
I am really enjoying his book, and it so happens the part I just read mirrors what you say here. I guess it makes sense why I've enjoyed your writings as well. Keep up the good work.
Happy Birthday Terry! Enjoy your missives. And I good reminder to focus on playing smarter golf. One of my goals this year is to hit more fairway woods and less driver off the tee, no matter what kind of groove I think that I'm in. Fewer errors means lower scores.
joe jones says:
Happy birthday Terry. My 79th is coming up on April 12th. Using your theory I should feel like someone 59 years old. Some days I think in dog years so I feel about 553 years old. In any case, any day on the golf course is a good day and I'm still on the correct side of the grass. Considering the alternative I guess we shouldn't complain.
I love the first paragraph. Congratulations on everything.
Happy birthday Terry
Tim Horan says:
Fast catching you up Terry! My wife and I are off to South Africa to get some sun after the winter here in England. We got back from golf on Saturday washed off all the mud and packed the clubs away ready for Thursday's flight. In packing we are only taking half a set each and it was interesting discussing what clubs to include. We will be playing at altitude... For me - No driver, no 13 degree fairway. Two Hybrids 7, 9, 48, 52, 56 and 60 and a putter. The emphasis is definitely on accuracy and the short game.
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