"Putting A Score Together"
I don’t usually “call out” a reader who sends in a question, but this one from Chris was pretty timely as we enter a new golf season, I thought, so here it is:
“The part of my game I struggle with ‘putting a score together’. I forever look at my card after a round and go through the usual ifs & buts, and always say to myself..... “I played much better than that”. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and the OOB communities also.”
Well, Chris, I’m betting that you’ll get lots of feedback from the readers here, but let me kick this off by giving you my $0.02 worth. “Putting a score together”, as you state it, is the essence of the game, isn’t it? You have dozens of ways to evaluate a day on the golf course . . . fun, good company, nice course, hit driver/irons well, putted/scrambled well, certain shots that were just perfect . . . but the short answer is “What’d you shoot?” And that’s where a good round can get derailed by a few bad holes.

In order to put it all together, you have to be introspective as to where you’re “losing it.” And then focus your practice time on those areas that cause the derailment most often. It might be a wayward drive that puts you in trouble. Or how you elect to get out of that trouble that digs a deeper hole. It might be flubbed chips and pitches, or missed short putts, both of which can drive you crazy and impact your next tee shot.

One thing I see often is that golfers get away from playing the game “your way”. By that I mean letting yourself get out of your comfort zone and trying to hit it longer because the guy you’re playing with is a bomber. Or taking chances because the other guy pulled off a hero shot. Each of us has a style of play that suits our game and personality. And we should stick with it. That goes all the way down to a game plan for holes that give us particular trouble.

For example, if one hole seems to “have your number”, and you double-bogey it often, switch gears and play it for bogey. Turn a long par-four into a three shot hole for a while. Play that long water-guarded par three with a shorter club to the safe landing area and pitch or chip up for your chance at par and a sure-fire bogey, rather than trying to hit the green with your approach. Change it up and get back on the good side of these holes.

There are three big things I see golfers do that derail a round quickly:
  1. Trying to hit the ball too far off the tee, rather than placing it in the fairway. You can’t hit it as far as “that guy”, so don’t try. Play your game from the tee.

  2. Trying to hit a great shot after a poor one. You are already in trouble and this puts you in a much deeper hole more often than not. If you hit it into the junk, pitch it out on the safest route back to the fairway and give yourself a chance to save par, make bogey at the worst.

  3. Trying to hit tough pitch shots closer to the hole than you should. Be realistic. If you short-sided your approach and have a tough pitch or chip, give yourself room on the far/safe side of the hole. Put your putter in your hands, even if you have to leave it further from the hole than you’d like. Ensure your bogey, and take double or worse off the table.
So, there’s my input on the subject. Guys, chime in on Chris’ question.

How do you “put a score together”?
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 ]
jodonn says:
No matter what your handicapp; this is as solid of course management advice as you can get
BIG $exy says:
very good perspective on the game.....i realy enjoyed if i can just put it into practicle use to lower my scores
RichardSchram says:
Three weeks ago I decided to exactly what you mentioned in this article. I know my gap wedge is dead on at 100 yards. I play all par 4s and 5s to that exact distance because I know i can two putt from there 90% of the time. And, guess what? I went from dead last every tournament to my first second place finish this past weekend.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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