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.

[ comments ]
MSchad says:
Turning 60 at the end of the year, my approach is the same. Need to improve the short game because the long game is more than likely going to be getting 'shorter'. I started working harder on my short game after I bought your wedges a couple years ago. In the last 2 years I have dropped from a 17 hdcp to an 11. Hope to hit the single digits this year. Thanks for the great columns.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

Click here to learn more about Terry.
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