What Really Is The "Secret To Scoring"?
We all play golf because we love the game, and we all want to get better, I’m sure. That’s why we read all we can, practice and play, watch golf on TV, videos, etc.

And for most of us, I suppose, there is one part of our game that is holding us back from “the next level”, whatever that may be. It could be shooting par, or breaking 80 . . . it could be breaking 90, or 100. It might be to find something resembling consistency. It’s different for all of us, but all of us probably have that one hurdle that is holding us back.

But in the end, it all boils down to scoring, right?

So, I’d like to discuss the major contributors to scoring. This seems pretty obvious, but I watch golfers practice one thing, when their game really needs another. I listen to them talk about distance, when they are plenty long but can’t hit a fairway . . . well, you get my drift. So let’s go with TheWedgeGuy’s “Analysis of Scoring”. And then you guys, and gals, can sound off with your take on it.
1. Distance. I think it’s so overblown and over-rated in golf these days, that it’s actually holding most golfers back from real improvement. With the equipment and balls we have now, almost any golfer can get the distance they need to score. And if you can’t, move up to the next set of tees. The game can’t be that much fun when you never have a birdie putt because you can’t reach the green. I actually think most golfers would hit it further, on average, if they would actually slow down their swing some – solid impact trumps swing speed every time.

2. Fairways in Regulation. This is what I believe is the first key to scoring. While some courses are not that tight and don’t have that much rough, in most places, the fairway is a wonderful place to be. Sure, you still have to hit a good iron shot, but that’s so much easier to do from the fairway. If you want to see the power of fairways, next time you are out for a casual practice round, on every hole where you find the rough or OB, water, etc. off the tee, go to the middle of the fairway, walk BACK 15 yards and drop a ball – play from there. See what your scores look like.

3. Greens in Regulation. This is probably not one of the most critical elements of scoring, actually. The top tour players hit an average of 12-13 greens per round, but then they average scores of 70-72. What does that tell you? The key is this: “where are you when you miss the green?” If you will pick as your target the “safe side” of the flag, where there is a long putt or easier chip if you are wide in three directions, a very short putt if you are wide in the other, you will find your scores to go down quickly.

4. Chipping, Pitching, Bunker Play. This is where few golfers practice, but the most strokes are saved or wasted. One of my regular buddies is a good 6 hdcp, and probably doesn’t hit 5-6 greens per round, but he gets up and down from everywhere. It’s testament to the power of the short game. Work on yours and your scores will go down quickly.

5. Putting. There are two aspects to this, of course. How close are your lag putts finishing to the hole, and how good are you inside six feet? The next few rounds, track your putts and see which one could use the most work in your game. There are ways to practice “touch” to make those lag putts better, and when you face the short ones, it’s all about trusting your stroke and focusing on MAKING THE PUTT!
So, readers, I’d like to collect your input and choose the best tips from you guys this time. We’ll have a contest of sorts, where we’ll collect all the best tips you come up with and publish the top five in an upcoming article. We’ll let you choose the winner, and they will get a new “pre-production” EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge in our new oil can finish which will be introduced later this summer.

Sound off, readers!
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.


[ comments ]
jerdman says:
Fairways...guilty as charged. I have a hard time ditching the ego and just hitting a wood or iron safely out there.
6/26/09
 
JoeDuMond says:
Chipping, Pitching, Bunker Play: I'll put the ball pin high off the green on a par 5 in two and still struggle to make par because my wedge game is brutal.
When I am not flubbing and mis-hitting, i am putting the ball no where near the pin for a difficult birdie putt.
6/26/09
 
Tim Horan says:
Great Shout again Terry, Points 1 and 2 - I have ditched the driver almost completely using a strong 3 wood instead. I am able to knock this out 270 - 290yds straight for the most part. Point 2 - as I have said before my better rounds have been where I miss the green by a narrow margin (not always on the safe side); on these occasions I generally chip and one putt. Long putting has never been a strong part of my game. Getting to the point...practice the short game and if you have a practice green or short course available visit before a competition or important match it will do you more good than bashing balls off a mat as a warm-up.
6/26/09
 
greendevil says:
It's def #4 for me. I usually cost myself 6 to 8 strokes per 18 holes because I'm not good around the green; I just don't have the feel for the short chip and pitch shots. I agree with Terry; scores will go down if the person could improve their short game; I know mine would substantially.
6/26/09
 
mjaber says:
I'm not sure how much you should listen to my tips, since I'll probably always be a high-handicap, but here goes.

Don't swing so hard. I noticed that when I was at the range, I had pretty consistent ball flight, but then I was all over the place on the course. I realized I was trying to kill the ball to get it to the green, instead of just making the same swing I did the day before on the range. I have made a concious effort since that realization to keep my swing smooth and easy, and it paid off. The first round I did that, I dropped 10 strokes from my previous round, and then another 4 on my next round.

Play your own game. Don't walk up to the tee with driver just because that's what the rest of your group is doing. I'm as likely to take my 6i and just put it in the fairway on some holes, especially when there's trouble (bunkers, water, OB) around my typical landing area.
6/26/09
 
SingleDigits says:
Scoring tip #1: figure out how far you really hit your clubs, especially your wedges. Use a rangefinder or GPS at the range or when no one's behind you on the course.

Scoring tip #2: play for your typical miss. For example, if your most likely miss is a push or a 10 yd slice, aim left of the pin, say 5 yds (assuming there's no danger on that side).

Scoring tip #3: Here's a drill to improve the consistency of contact with your irons & wedges. Place a tee about 1" in front of the ball and just above the height of the grass. Focus on clipping the tee right after you strike the ball. This promotes a downward blow on the ball with the divot occurring after the club head strikes the ball.

When you're playing an actual round, you can focus on the blades of grass in front of the ball. You'll be amazed at the quality of golf shots you'll produce.
6/26/09
 
Jake Bogardus says:
See I would group fairways, distance and GIR into one category: Course management. I know on most of the courses I play on which are public, I favor distance over fairways b/c rough isn't really penalizing. On other courses though I will favor the fairway. It all depends on the place and situation. The key to scoring is as much mental as it is execution in my opinion
6/26/09
 
Bryan K says:
I'd say that over half of the people I see on the practice greens are using one ball and trying to sink putts from 30 feet away. While this might be fun, it probably isn't going to help a person's game much further than letting the person know how fast or slow the greens are on that particular day. Instead, it makes more sense to bring 4-5 balls to the green and dropping them all within six feet of the pin. These multiple short putts accomplish many tasks at one time. While taking these short putting strokes, an individual is working on reading greens, distance, and getting the right touch. However, the most important part is that it allows a player to work on the putting stroke. Muscle memory is an essential part of this great game of golf, and constant repitition is the only way to get that muscle memory down. I have played with so many players who can't sink putts from within six feet. Six foot putts should be automatic.
6/26/09
 
gmurphy says:
Use the same pendulum type swing on your chips around the green as you do putting. This helps you to not break your wrists when making contact with the ball and sculling it. You might have to swing harder but it produces a much more consistent path of travel for the ball.
6/26/09
 
nswynnerton says:
I have heard of the "15-yd penalty" tactic to emphasize the importance of accuracy off the tee. When?...February 1970. Where?...PGA School for Assistant Professionals. Where?...Baton Rouge, LA. Who said it? Bob Toski (remember him?).
6/26/09
 
bducharm says:
For me, the key to scoring is to minimize the mistake. Sounds simple but it really is about understanding YOUR miss and confidence. I have played golf now for over 25 years (wished I would have started as a kid) and my best scoring rounds have ALWAYS been minimizing the big mistake. I understand my game now better than ever. If I have a shot that I just know that I cannot hit today, I will play safe and take my par.

Also, a HUGE key to scoring is knowing (not thinking) how far you HONESTLY hit each club! HUGE key here. I see higher handicaps usually come up short on shots because they have an ego and they do not understand that they only fly their driver 210 yards versus the 250-260 they think they do. This is especially critical on golf courses that have forced carries (over canyons, creeks, etc.).
6/26/09
 
ploleary says:
Just looking quickly at my addict stats tells me everything I suspected and more for this year. It's all about the short game, and wayward tee shots.

52.8% GIR+1
2.0 Putts per GIR+1

1.9 Putts after Chip
1.0 Chips per hole

39 Penalty Strokes in last 20 games

1.9 putts after a chip is particularly brutal, and there's no excuse - it's all about practicing 40-50 chips a week off the course and i'm certain there's 2-3 shots a round right there.
6/26/09
 
dangalf10 says:
the thing that helps me is putting and around the green. Also eliminating the big mistake is huge
6/26/09
 
ToddRobb says:
Focus on not making two "bad" shots in a row. If you hit a shot into trouble, your next shot should be a perfect recovery shot, not the "Hero" shot. This will help eliminate the "blow up" holes that inflate your score.
6/26/09
 
onedollarwed says:
There are some clear exceptions... when there is trouble all down one side (water, say), I'd rather be "longer" in trouble than "shorter" in trouble. If you're not used to conservative play, it can be real awkward and harder than high-risk play. Meaning... how many guys blasting big marsmallow drivers into Grizzly's territory could lace a 3 iron down the middle? Right, none.

Advice:
Kill two birds with one stone. Demo some irons from say a Golfer's Warehouse. It's free, but you have to charge them first. When I was demo-ing irons 2 years ago, I needed to hit them a lot, so I took woods out of the bag. Almost every tee was 3-iron. You know after doing that all day whether you like the irons. It was nice to think not just of getting distance, but of getting placement or shape to the shot. By the end of the day, you'd look forward to the 3-iron from tee or fairway.
6/26/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Because of that experience, I really love and play and trust all of my iron now - off of tee or rough. Without that chance, how would I feel about them? I now can pull that out when I want to hold on and make pars to keep a round low, or just feel real confident draw-ing a 3 iron around a tight dog-leg. Plus, I demo-ed a few sets of irons that way. Win-win!
6/26/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Learn and play a putting game with friends/ self. We've developed some pretty good ones over the years, and lately I developed a near standardized putting game (at the request of Merlin2diver) that anyone can do. More on those later.
But seriously most golfers hate real practice so the key is to find practice which is fun (no get away from the range with that huge new driver. If you can't hit the ultimately forgiving zero spin huge thing straight, you also need to work on hitting other clubs straight). Putting games/ special scoring, over the course of one year took about ten strokes off my game. That and cooperative play.
6/26/09
 
Hacker Al says:
Thanks alot, Wedge Guy, this was a pretty good piece. Man do I have to work on mu bunker play!
6/26/09
 
Matt Otskey says:
Here are two things that have lowered my handicap from about a 10 to about a 4 in the past year...

#1. As mentioned before by some others, you have to, have to, HAVE TO, avoid the blow up holes. Many times, this is easier said than done. But sometimes, you just have to accept a bogey after you hit a bad tee shot. If you try to make a miraculous shot, maybe 1 times out of 10 it will work, but the other 9 times, you'll cost yourself an extra shot.

#2. This is somewhat tied to avoiding the big number holes. Putting. Putting saves rounds, and keeps scores down. Being able to make a 15 footer for par is so important.


The other portion of the game which I also think is very important is your game from 100 Yards and closer. If you can get up and down more often than not from this position, you will see scores drop.

I do not put too much stock in fairways hit and GIR. You can miss every fairway, and every green, but if your chipping and putting are excellent, you will shoot a great score.
6/26/09
 
mantajim says:
1. - Good golfers know the distances they hit their clubs, but with the balls they usually use, not the range balls. I head out to the course late in the day and try to find a spot with no one behind, then hit a dozen balls with one club. Throw out the longest three and the shortest three. The distance of those 6 balls that are left is your average shot distancefor that club.
2. - Determine which wedge is your 'go to' club.(most accurate - distance and side to side) Then, think about leaving yourself that distance for layups. Even if you can get the ball closer, play to your strength.
3. - Practice short putts. Try to hit 25 three footers in a row. Start over if you don't. It's boring but it develops concentration and simulates the pressure one might face in an important round. When you can do that easily, move out to 20 four', then 15 five', then 10 six'.
6/27/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Yes, yes! How far do my clubs go? I mean, the subconcious kind of takes over a little to adjust, but the range isn't really the answer. And then all the other figuring.
One thing is cool, I played with a guy with a laser last week. As we stood at my ball, I would guess and then he would tell me the yardage - It was always within a few yds, even from other fairways. I also played a practice executive without the card (there were no posted yardages). Except for once, I always was choosing the right club. These things are quite reassuring.
But really, I need to find a field and mark off yardages I guess.
And yes! Yes! Short putts! That is a big key. Short=6-10ft flat, and 3-6 with decent break.
6/27/09
 
activesense says:
Great post Terry.
Accuracy not distance off the tee is a stroke saver. Many times I found myself trying to slam the ball off the tee and watched it either slice away from the fairway or hop 60 yards from being skulled. Groove your swing and tempo for consistent full shots.
Get to know the length of your clubs from different lies: practice out of divots and varying lengths of rough, you may end up there after a drive. This is going to get your approach shot on the green more often.
Control the mental (macho) side of your game: be honest with yourself about the length you hit each club. There is no shame in playing a 6 iron from the same place the other guys are playing 8's if it gets you on the green.
6/27/09
 
activesense says:
...
Confident putting is another big key to scoring low. Read the green and decide on your line and speed before you address the ball. I use top-flite D2's with an alignment mark factory stamped on them. Take a few practice swings and align yourself with the putt. With the 'math' all figured out beforehand you can focus on playing a smooth putt right into the cup. Don't second guess yourself once in your stance, trust your original read and play the ball as planned, then just listen for the satisfying ball in hole sound. I like to putt with my eyes closed (mostly positive results within 2 club lengths) on the practice green. Just set your shot up, address the ball, close your eyes and use the force, Luke.
6/27/09
 
DeepRough says:
Activesense, the first time I played with those older 2007 D2 balls, with the big alignment aid, it was a huge eye opener for me. Trusting that alignment you made with the line, behind the ball, is such a huge key!
6/27/09
 
Bryan K says:
Hmm...they sell devices where you can make your own alignment ring on your balls. I'm thinking I might invest in one.
6/27/09
 
eventHorizon says:
I feel like adding a couple tips to the conversation... not very different from the above tips but hopefully helpful.

1) Mental approach to a round. One should develop a fair way to judge his/her score. A 15 handicapper shouldn't judge his score against par when a bogey is the more common score. In other words, if your average way to play a par 4 is to hit the green in 3 shots (not a GIR) and make two putts then make that your goal... forget about the GIR stat as it is meaningless to your game. If you struggle with thinking about past holes, break up your rounds into smaller segments. In other words set a score goal for every three holes, say 2 over par. After playing three holes, start again at even. When the round is over, compare your score to your handicap, not how many over par you are.
6/27/09
 
eventHorizon says:
2) Short putts. Create confidence in the short putts (1ft-4ft.). As others have said, repetition on the practice green will begin to develop your confidence. After these drills though make sure you develop confidence on the course. To do this, don't play gimmes... play everything out. everything. Also, always mark your ball and step away. If you are not out, don't finish. Wait. Make yourself take a look at the putt while everybody else finishes, take deep breathes and think about the ball going in the hole. If there are people waiting in the fairway that is an even better time to mark your ball and back away. This puts pressure on yourself, teaches you how to stay calm, and then confidently stroke the putt.
6/27/09
 
eventHorizon says:
Continuing the mental approach. Don't play outside your game. Don't hit low percentage shots. For example, if you play a fade but the shot into the green requires a draw to get it close, just hit the fade to the middle of the green and take the 20 footer instead of hitting the draw that only 10% of the time you will actually succeed with.
6/27/09
 
kidputter says:
Most important tips for scoring are the mental aspects of the game. Prepare BEFORE you get to the course to score low. Show up to the course with the right frame of mind. Don't allow a bad shot, hole or outside influence disrupt your game plan. You know how to score low. Put yourself in the right frame of mind to execute it.
6/27/09
 
Dawg64 says:
Find a practice aid and use it. The short weighted clubs works well for me keeping my swing on plane, helps to build flexibility along with muscle memory. There are drills on the internet and 10 swings a day will improve your ball striking.

Chipping practice will help get you up and down more often. Drop several balls around the green, not always the perfect lie, throw some in the rough and try to get them within three feet of the cup. If you hit one ball to two feet, try to get the rest closer. Practice hitting different shots some higher, some lower, some short shots like you short sided your approach. Vary the lies just like you might get while playing on the course

Best putting tip: on short putts (straight) keep the blade of the putter going over the hole. This works well on long putts too, if you are putting to/over a spot make sure the putter goes over the spot you selected.
6/28/09
 
ToddRobb says:
Do some sort of golf practice (chipping, putts, weighted club swings, etc) everyday for AT LEAST 15 minutes. This helps keep the golf "feeling" when you don't have the opportunity to play.
6/28/09
 
wmigolf says:
Around the green is the most important area to practice if you want to lower your scores. It's ok to bomb it 300 yards, but if you can't hit the green, you better get it up and down.
6/28/09
 
jp24 says:
This was a great article. I'm not certainly not the lowest handicap on this message board I know but as the old saying goes, "Do as I say, not as I do."

The thing that helps me most is the mental aspect and getting in the right frame of mind. Tell yourself the score you want for the day, realistically and go out and try everything you can to hit that score. Make the right choices! Instead of going for it in two on a par 5 when you know you may not clear the hazard, lay up. Give yourself the best opportunity for the lowest score you can manage on each hole. With this approach you'll see your scores drop. Maybe not as significantly as you want every round but it will happen if you try to make the right decisions on the course.
Practice putting and chipping everyday in your back yard if you have to and your game will improve. "Don't break the neighbors windows!"
6/29/09
 
Thirsty Hursty says:
My long game and short game are rarely both working at the same time. I have found, however,that when my long game is off but my short game is on I can still post good scores. The reverse combination never equals a good score. Chipping and putting well is essential to scoring well. On the other hand, nothing is as much fun as smashing a good drive.
Chipping tip - Focus on the spot of ground at the lead edge of the ball to promote descending, ball first contact. During your slow, precise swing concentrate on keeping this point utterly still. This will force you to keep your head still and turn, not sway or bounce. If the position of the ball moves relative to your head, it is much harder to bring the club face cleanly back to the ball.
Putting tip - If your common miss is a slight pull left it might be due to over active hands at impact. I find I putt my best with extremely quiet hands, in regards to both line AND length.
6/29/09
 
chadmgreenlee says:
Between my sophomore and junior years in college, I went from a 6 handicap to a +0.7. I had one instructor the entire summer. We worked on one thing and that was learning to hit one club its max, 75% and 50% distances. For instance, we would take an 8 iron, my max on that club would be 155 yards. We would then aim at 100 or 125 yard sign. I practiced this with all clubs the entire summer (still do to this day). Now I have a trajectory and ability to control shots in variety of situations. This has helped the ability to score when my swing is not at 100%. Considering that I do not have the ability to play daily, I can count on hitting controlled shots wheneve needed.
6/29/09
 
sdinwiddie says:
Putting...and it's kind of a no brainer. Complain about all the other areas as you please, the fact is if you can stand over an 8 footer knowing you'll make it 80% of the time, every other area of your game will benefit from that confidence. Knowing you don't have to have a tap in from that 90 yard wedge shot or tough lie in the bunker make those shots that much easier.

What other club can you stand on the first tee knowing you'll hit between 22 and 40 shots with? That's the difference between a 64 and an 82. When is Eidolon Golf going to start selling putters and when will Terry see oobgolf.com spells the name of his company incorrectly at the bottom of this page. "Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of Eidlon Golf- The Short Game Company." Luckily he has friends like us to help proof read. ;-)
6/29/09
 
Scratch Golfer Jones says:
I am a beginner golfer (have played 20 rounds total)and I have found out in my brief career that it is all about chipping and Putting. I have not had any issues...example...365 par 4, I drive it 305 off the tee (that doesnt happen often) and end up with a double bogey. 60 yds away from the hole and it takes me 5 more shots to get it in the hole. I would love to have some pitching tips from everyone...alot of my friends use a Sand Wedge to chip close to the green...of course they are 5 handicaps...
6/29/09
 
Scratch Golfer Jones says:
They say if you can 2 putt instead of 3 putting on every hole, you shave 18 strokes off your score
6/29/09
 
possingk says:
My tips are:
1. Work with a Pro they help tremendously and can fine tune a good swing or a horrible one. My pro finally gave me confidence and trust in my in my swing, that is impressive.
2. Know your distances for all clubs including wedges and ball position on wedges.
3. Chipping and putting get it close and have confidence, I am working with a 6/6 drill I take six balls and throw them in the air, pick a hole and try to get all six up and down before I move to another spot on the chipping green aim for the same pin and do it again.
6/29/09
 
TWUES17 says:
I hit something like 60% of GIR on par 3s, 50+% of fairways, but only 20% of GIR on par 4s. These numbers MAKE NO SENSE.
6/29/09
 
Bobby4400 says:
You can be the best in the world at reading breaks, but if you can't hit your target, you will not make putts. Instead of aiming at an area, aim at a single blade of grass or a bit of dirt. Pick out a tiny target and even if you're slightly off, the putt still has a chance of being good enough to go in the hole.

Here's a putting drill I did in my living room that helped me beat my best score by 5 strokes: I stood a tee up on it's head on my living room carpet and put a piece of masking tape 10 feet away, marked 3 balls with a black line. I aligned the stripe on the ball directly at the tee and tried to knock the tee over while keeping the black line solid all the way to the target.

Knocking a tee over from 10 feet is much harder than it sounds. I kept score to keep it interesting (let's face it, practicing putting is boring). I did sets of 3 putts about 10 times. The next day I had SEVEN fewer putts than my average. I made most of my putts from 4 to 7 feet which is key for scoring.
6/29/09
 
BK88 says:
Avoid blow-up holes! Make your next shot after a poorly hit shot, a confidence builder. Most high-handicappers are capable of par/bogie on all 18 holes. What happens is the couple of holes where 8-13 strokes are added each hole. Trust me, get rid of the blow-ups and watch 10-20 strokes come off your round. Now that's an ego boost!
6/29/09
 
KVSmith59 says:
Eventhorizon's post about the mental game and breaking the round up into 6 mini rounds has helped me the last two rounds alot. As simple as it sounds, it works. The key is to forget the last 3 hole round if you screwed up on your goal and mentally start from scratch on the next one. Prior to trying this, I'd be on the 11th hole still upset for getting a snowman on the 6th...that doesn't help your game. I've also been trying to improve my game around the green....been using "The Rule of 12", and it's helped me tweak my accuracy
6/29/09
 
RIDuffer says:
I have found there are different keys based on skill level and each has their own learning curve. The short game takes a long time and a lot of work while off the tee and the approach shot has a steeper learning curve.

As a beginner, minimize the blow-up tee to green by playing within my game. My home course is fairly short, even from the back tees. I only use my driver on 5 holes, don't even use it on all the par 5's... I know I can't move the ball consistently so I'll play a 230 yd straight shot over a 260 yd shot(hopefully around the corner). 2 to 3 club lengths different on approach but I would rather play from the grass than the trees. Also, I'd rather play full rather than partial swings so I play to distances from the green as opposed to grip and rip. That is what got me into the 80s consistently.

Once tee to green is solid, then chipping and putting. Ideally, off in 1 or 2 whether it be an up and down from around the green, 2 putt, or the occasional birdie...
6/30/09
 
onedollarwed says:
True.
A little off the topic, but significant is the topic of physical fitness. Now I always said that golf is what athletes do when injured - me included. More rugby stories later, but seriously. If find Some good solid cycling, (not the day before), during the week can really sure up your support structure. The grueling 18 in the heat on the weekend can leave the legs weak. That and good solid nutrtion and sleep the day before and during a golf outing. It can improve physical and mental stability. It might not take six strokes off, but it will help not to add 6 extra strokes.
6/30/09
 
onedollarwed says:
putting (or chipping) game 1 - for 2 or more (for typical practice green)

1. From a common starting point each players putts toward designated hole.
2. Whoever is closest chooses which of the remaining putts to attempt.
3. If you sink it, you can try another.
4. If you miss the next closest players makes an attempt.
5. Points are awarded for length of putts made (in ft.)
6. Player to sink the last putt chooses the next starting point (putt or chip, any distance)
7. Play to 50 or 100 ft.
addendum: if you sink a starting putt, you're the closest. If you sink one and then your buddy sinks one, he's the closest (the last one trumps). Sinking a starting putt gives you that many feet/pts. You don't have to putt the closest ball, or your own ball.
6/30/09
 
onedollarwed says:
The above game has several effects: Leaving it close from a distance is important. If you're putting 2nd, you're trying to just get it closer. By measuring ft., you'll get used to internalizing distances of putts, and pacing off footage. A typical putter is about a yard long. Also, you can't miss the short ones - not just for points, but for honors in choosing a good next shot.
Mostly though, it's fun and I can play this game longer than I would ever practice.
6/30/09
 
onedollarwed says:
I think we call the above game "Closies" or "50."
Of course you can win by sinking a long putt to start. Other players get a chance to steal the game by finishing out the frame however.

For solitare (one ball), each "hole" is a par 2. If you par the hole add the feet. Bogey=ft+10. Birdie = no feet, holes+1. See how many holes you can do before reaching 50. Start at a standard 10 paces from each one.
6/30/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Putting game #2 "the clock" (putting only) - it helps to have a practice green with some tilt.
This is a great time killer before, after, or after a beer after a round.
Grab an extra scorecard from the pro shop for your group.
What you'll need to look at is the hole# and the hdcp# for a sort of randomization.
1. Starting with hole #1 hdcp# 5. This means you find a hole and point up the slope (this is 12 o'clock). Now point to 1 o'clock and walk 5 yds in that direction (hole 1= 1 o'clock, hdcp 5 = 5 yds).
2. Play all 18 putts this way. Using military time 13=1 14=2 etc.
3. You'll need to keep switching holes to accomidate for the yds and direction. Or even putt from off the green a little.
4. Remember 12:00 is always up hill - you can face up hill and put your arm out to the side to estimate clock facings.
5. you'l get combos like 1/5 2/13 3/7 4/3, etc.
6/30/09
 
onedollarwed says:
6. You'll end up with 171 yds (513ft) of putts wherever you play. And each course is standardized by the card.
7. To make it easy, you can consider each putt a par 2 and keep a plus/minus going. Either way, divide 513 by number of putts and get your ft/putts number - so far this is pretty consistent from game to game. If not the plus/minus will work
8. Use ft. instead of yds for the mini version (18ft and closer)
9. For two or more players, have one person start at a different hole number.
It's possibly a way to compare players accross time and space. It's fun and once again - I'll play this longer than I would practice.
6/30/09
 
dpoimboeuf says:
The longer I play, the more I realize that scoring is about 2 things:

Driving STRAIGHT: Not even hitting fairways, but not getting into trouble off the tee. It's hard to make par when you are hitting 3 off the tee.

Chipping and putting. Getting down in 2 from near and on the green.

It's amazing how well you can score without hitting solid irons. My contention is that you make pars with your driver, wedges and putter, and you make birdies with your irons when you are hitting them well.
7/10/09
 
ibashdaily says:
1. Swing softer and go a club higher. How often do you over shoot the green?
2. Loosen up your grip when chipping around the green. Let the club do the work, you'll have a lot more touch to your chips and a lot less blading it across the green
3. If an errant drive has put you in a tough spot, chip onto the fairway to put yourself in a position to make a great shot. Trying to pull the miracle shot to the green will more often create an extra 2-3 strokes than the one it would have taken you to get out of trouble.
4. Before you take your swing, close your eyes, take a deep breath and feel the breeze on your face. After all, the best part of being out on the course is just being out on the course. The sunny disposition can also keep you from getting frustrated and making mental errors. A beer or two can also help with this.
7/14/09
 
cmuidiot says:
Putting tip: use the lettering on the ball to line up your putt. That way, when you step up to the ball for your putt, you only need to focus on the distance of the putt, the aiming is already taken care of. Your lag putts will finish closer to the hole and be inside of six feet more often.
7/16/09
 
N-THE-RUFF says:
Don't know where I got this, but you are right, DISTANCE IS NOT IMPORTANT. Most of us "hackers" would be happy playing "bogey' golf. Here's a formula, based on the number of putts you take in a round, and playing backwards, from "green to Tee".

Average distances to play Bogey Golf

Let's assume you play on an average length course of 6,100 yards. I am going to throw some average distance requirements per stroke out there to break 90 that are based on different putting abilities:

45 putts/round - average distance/stroke to shoot 89 = 138 yards
40 putts/round - average distance/stroke to shoot 89 = 124 yards
36 putts/round - average distance/stroke to shoot 89 = 115 yards
(average distance = 6,100 ++ (89 - # of putts/round)

As you look at these numbers, even some absolute beginners using a set of old clubs can reach these distances!
7/25/09
 
dooboo says:
1) You need to know your stats. Stats will tell you where your weakness is. then work to improve based on your ind. stat is important. Every1 has different weaknesses-off the tee, approach, chipping, putting, etc-work to improve it.

2) When ur at the range for practice, divide ur time in half. 1st half, work on ur short games-chipping, pitching, putting. 2nd half, work other stuff - irons, wood, driver. And set a specific target to hit.

3) Seek out to find a good golf teacher, take lessons. I said seek out to find a teacher, not just any instructor. When we want to learn how to play piano, we take lessons. Yet, so many of us think that we can just self help this golf game. Come on. If Tiger W. needs a coach, what make us think we can do this on our own, and last time I checked, I think Tiger is still #1 ranked player in the world.

4) Enjoy the game. Don't get drunk at course, Relax.
7/29/09
 
nuf says:
best putting drill i've found to help me the most is take 5-6 balls and place around the hole at 2ft make all of them tghen move back to 3ft and make all of them then continue to move out evey foot after making al of balls. By putting the balls around the hole it makes you face a different putt and you have to think about what you are doing.......it is important to think about what .you are doing when you are practing....dont just go out there and swat the ball around make practice work for you,if not you are just wasting your time..
8/7/09
 
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