Many golfers have a stretch goal of breaking a specific score for golf – maybe that’s breaking 100, 90 or 80. Over the next three weeks, we’ll explore hints to help you break your milestone score goal.
As we have discussed in the past, the best way to lower your score is to sharpen and own your short game. Take time to carve out practice time to focus on your short game. Perhaps that’s taking your wedge or putter and really practicing – not just hitting a few balls and hitting some lag putts – but spending 30 to 60-minutes practicing your short game. Get a bucket of balls and practice the fundamentals of a good chip or pitch shot. Doing this repetitive motion will help you develop a smooth, consistent chip or pitch shot. This easily transitions to the golf course as you will have increased confidence when faced with this shot.
The same holds true with your putter. If you struggle to break 100 on a regular basis, chances are you have more than 36 putts per round (meaning that nasty three-putt enters your game more than you’d like.) Since the majority of your shots are around the green, take time to really practice and work on that part of your game. Many of us have played with a golfer who doesn’t hit a long ball from the tee, but they still make par or bogey because they have a sharp short game and don’t take extra shots on or around the green.
Keep track of your putts on your scorecard when you play. Assuming you will two-putt every hole, only write down the one-putts and three-putts. Try to have fewer than 36 putts per round.
Make sure you are reviewing the basics of a good putting stroke when practicing. Your eyes should be right over the ball and your stroke should be a smooth back and through motion, creating a consistent stroke. My favorite putting drill is to practice making 10 putts from one putter length away (usually your putter is 33” to 36” inches long) so this is an easy three foot distance putt to practice. If you miss a putt, you have to start over until you can make seven, eight, nine or ten putts in a row. Once you do that you move to two putter lengths (or roughly six feet away) and try to make another seven, eight, nine or ten putts in a row from that distance. If you miss a putt, go back to the three foot putt until you hole consecutive putts from that range, before moving back to the six foot range. You will be amazed at how much confidence you have in making a three-foot putt after practicing this drill.
If your goal is to two-putt every green, you now have the confidence to stroke your first putt within a three foot circle of the hole, knowing you can make that three foot putt. Of course, the goal with chipping or pitching is to hit that ball within that same three foot circle, to set yourself up for some one-putt greens.
Practicing your short game with solid chips and putts will have you on your way to breaking 100.