Tired of going to the course and being frustrated by the same results? Let’s mix it up with a few challenges to help you have more fun and learn something about your game.
Recently coach Will Robins was on the Golf Science Lab podcast and shared 3 strategies you can go test this week.
DAY 1: Minimize the BLOW UP HOLES
We have to stop watching golf on a Sunday, and thinking that all professional golfers make birdies, and that’s what we need to do more of.
Really what it’s all about, is keeping the big numbers off of the score card. Just plain and simple.
Look at Tiger, he just won the Masters by having no double bogeys, and another gentleman had two double bogeys on the back nine, and lost the Masters.
People don’t want to hear it, but the fact is that, if you can get rid of the big numbers, then it’s not that hard to keep on making pars + bogeys, and keep yourself around the scores you want to shoot.
I think that most of us have been just programmed, to say par four, par five… driver. We grab a driver and don’t think about, “Okay, how has the driver been going that day?” Or, “How tight is this hole?” Or, “Where’s the trouble?”
We just assume that because it’s a long hole, we need to go out there and hit driver.
The number one rule is at all costs keep the ball in play.
If your driver is your straightest club, hit it. But if you can’t, if you’re worried about keeping the ball in play with that club, I’d prefer to be 200 yards out then taking three off the tee.
Some people might think of Mark Broadie’s research that says get the ball as close to the green as possible on every hole. And Will has actually been able to ask Mark this exact question.
“No, you have to get the ball as close as you can safely to the green, without losing your golf ball or without getting a penalty.”
The mindset shift that we need to make is, “Okay. Yes, we obviously want to hit it as far as we possibly can, as close to the green as we possibly can. But we can’t do that if we’re risking hitting it in the woods, in the water, et cetera, et cetera. Choose smarter clubs, choose smarter aiming points.”
“Look. This is just first gear.” I’m not this coach that’s going to tell you, “Hey, listen you’ve gotta hit six iron off the tee for the rest of your life.”
It’s learning how to play the game of golf in first gear, and then develop second gear and third gear.
DAY 1 HOMEWORK:
Play golf for 18 holes, and see if you can just keep it in play for 18 holes no matter what.
That means no chipping out sideways, no penalty shots.
Make a challenge out of it, so it’s something worthwhile, or you’ll buy yourself a nice beer. I’m sure you’d all prefer to get $100 off of me.
Then do it for 72 holes.
The crazy thing is, every single time I do it, they say to me, “I thought you were stupid. I thought it didn’t make any sense. I went out there. I played the most relaxed, simple, stress free four rounds. I shot the scores that I normally shoot, but I didn’t shoot any high scores.”
Yeah, because you took off the pressure. You took out the blow-up holes. When you take off the pressure, then you actually start to execute the shots better because you’re not stressing out, trying to hit a driver on a hole that you shouldn’t.
DAY 2: Track this 1 stat… Proximity
Once you look at the length of your first putt, it just gives you clarity on how you’re shooting the scores you are.
People say, ” I’m a terrible putter. I had three three-putts today.”
The next question needs to be, “what was the length of your first putt?”
If the answer is 60, 70, 80 feet the problem isn’t your putting! No one can two putt every time from those distances.
You’re most likely struggling with your chipping and pitching, not being able to get the ball close enough to the hole or one or two putt.
When you’re 150 yards away from the green, even as a single digit golfer, if you’re 30 to 40 feet from the hole, you actually hit a fantastic shot. But if you are 25 yards off of the green, and you chip it to 12 to 15 feet, you’ve just shot yourself in the foot because the likelihood of making that putt is low.
This is debunking that myth of… we’ve all walked in and said “man, I would have had a great score if I wouldn’t have putted so bad today”. This is an attempt to bring clarity to that statement that we’ve all said.
My belief is that you have the potential inside you, but you don’t have the patience or the understanding.
Once you get that “ah-ha” moment, you literally can go from 92 to 82.
But you see these breakthroughs because most people’s technique is actually way better than it needs to be, but their ability to put the ball in the hole, to play the game, is very very weak.
They scratch the surface a bit, rather than, dive into it and realize “okay, I’ve got to keep the ball in play”, and the next thing you know, no more double bogeys, proximity, no more 3 putts. “My god I just broke 80 for the first time, I haven’t been to a range in a week.”
If you’re super frustrated with your golf game, maybe it’s time to try something different and not go to the range, not go to another swing lesson, not go and buy another driver, and actually do what the best are doing in the world, and all the statisticians are doing, and realize this is how you get better.
DAY 2 HOMEWORK:
Play 9, or 18 holes and on each hole, you’re scoring your putts, but on the next line I want what was the length of your first putt.
Then, where did you hit it from? Was it a chip, inside 25 yards? A pitch, inside 50? A wedge shot inside of 100? And an iron shot 150? Outside 150, it’s hard to hit the green, right?
At the end of the round, total them up, divide by how many times you were in that zone, and what is your average distance from the hole when you’re chipping, pitching, and wedging?
DAY 3: Mindset for Scoring
We all need to get better at accessing the skill that we already have.
What I tend to see is that our thoughts lead to emotions. If you’re a better player, you are very loose at, one, two, or three over par. But you start to tighten up when you get one or two under.
You start to tighten up and think a little bit more.
Those thoughts, usually lead to some anxiety and that anxiety leads to struggling to commit to the shots.
That can lead to a bad shot. And then so often I’ll hear a player say it was a “swing” or technique problem that lead to the bad shot.
But was that a technique problem or was that a commitment problem?
What I see from most good players is that they’re not getting fully committed on a golf shot. And that’s why they struggle to hit the shot they desire, not because their technique is wrong.
DAY 3 HOMEWORK:
At the end of every shot track, how committed were you on that shot?
Did you visualize it? Did you actually see it’s a nine iron off of the left edge of the green, 145 yards and it’s a soft cut.
To often we doubt the decision we’ve made, maybe it’s an 8 or a 9 iron. Have a rehearsal swing, try to decide if this is a draw or fade… Then rush the shot, duck hook it into the water and think we have a technique problem.
Start tracking that for every shot for a round of golf and see your scores on a 1-10 scale.
ABOUT WILL ROBINS: THE SCORING METHOD
When Will began teaching in 2008, most of his students were asking for him to fix their swing so they could hit the ball farther. But he knew that wasn’t what they really wanted. What they really wanted was to shoot lower scores!
The results were phenomenal! His players drop an average of 11 strokes in 10 weeks.
As most pro’s know, the key to scoring well isn’t hitting the long ball. It’s learning the REAL game of golf with one simple idea…get the ball in the hole in less tries than the other players. Will took a group of players on the golf course, observed each player’s game, developed a specific improvement plan for them and taught them how to practice.