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Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Importance of the Short Game

Virtually every single time you open up a golf magazine all they talk about is hitting the ball longer off the tee.  But does that really affect your ability to put the ball in the hole in the least amount of shots possible?  No doubt, it does have some positive effects to scoring, but it’s not everything as some magazines would like you to believe.

Let’s look at the current No. 3 player in the world, Luke Donald. Specifically, let’s examine Luke’s driving distance, or better yet, lack thereof.

Had he won at Harbour Town, he would have been the new No. 1 player in the world.  He didn’t get that close to being number one from bombing 300+ yard drives. Believe it or not, Luke only averaged 261.5 yards off the tee and hit 64 percent of fairways atHarbourTown.

So far for the 2011 season, Luke’s listed at No. 166 on tour with a mere 275.5 yards average off the tee for the year and hits 65 percent of fairways.  That puts him 39.5 yards behind the 62nd ranked player in the world, J.B. Holmes, who happens to be No. 1 on the PGA Tour in driving distance.

While his short game is tremendous and arguably second to none, there’s nothing flashy about Luke’s game that the average golfer can’t come close to duplicating. Especially in the percentage of fairways-hit department.

Let’s look at the stats around the green that clearly have affected Luke’s scoring and exactly where amateur golfers should be looking to improve if they want to shoot lower scores.

PGA Tour Averages (as of April 24th, 2011):

Putting Average – 1st @ 1.69 per hole

Putts Per Round – 2nd @ 27.28 per round

Scrambling – 2nd @ 68.6%

These are some very interesting numbers that most amateurs are completely unaware of.  What’s startling to me is that most amateurs don’t know exactly where they stand.  How can a golfer improve if he or she doesn’t know what skill they need to improve?

I don’t personally know Luke, but I’m sure he didn’t get those averages from not practicing it or knowing that certain aspects of his game needed improvement.  The short game has certainly helped him – and it helps everyone else — from throwing away shots on and around the green.

Luke is a prime example of that old adage: You drive for show and you putt for dough.

Putting may not be as sexy as hitting booming drives, but if you’re looking to maximize your potential on the course, spend some serious time with the flat-stick.

Simplest Way to Lowering Your Scores!

One thing most golf infomercials do is entice you to purchase a new driver by promoting increased distance of the tee.  These new drivers don’t necessarily come with shooting lower scores.  How can it, since that’s only a small percentage of the game?  I’m here to talk about the part of the game that takes up 40 percent of golf shots, used twice as much as any other club during the round and is never discussed on TV — PUTTING!

Improving your putting can easily lower your scores if you really think about it.  How many times could you have broken 90 or even 80 if you had made one more putt?  How about that putt you missed that cost you lunch against your buddies?  I’m sure you would want to have that one back because we all would.  Use this link to see how much more money tour players would have earned if they just made one more putt per round.  http://aimpointgolf.com/howmuchisoneputtworth.html

Now that I’ve got your attention let’s get down to business.  Improving your putting is rather easy once you understand exactly what it takes.  First thing — you must have is a properly fitter putter.  This is the BIGGEST factor that requires attention!  If the putter doesn’t fit you, you produce a compensated stroke that yields very little results.  A properly fitted putter allows you to:

  1. Get into the correct posture
  2. Create better aim and path
  3. Minimize excess body movement
  4. Improve distance control

Now that the putter is custom-fitted to your specifications, we have a better chance to hit what we are aiming at.

The next factor to becoming a better putter:

Getting you to read the greens better so that you can aim properly.  One thing is for certain, there are way too many myths in green reading and without getting the facts it’s almost impossible to improve.  I highly suggest looking into AimPoint green reading clinics.

This Emmy-award winning technology, which is used on the Golf Channel during PGA Tour events, is amazingly accurate and easy to learn.  These clinics teach you to understand certain features that affect your ball.  After understanding these features you won’t be standing behind the ball guessing where to aim it.  Use this link to learn more about AimPoint Golf green reading http://johngrahamgolf.com/blog/aimpoint-golf/