Winning The Battle

“Winning in golf is winning the battle with yourself by producing the best game that your talent permits on the course you’re playing.”   – Dr. Bob Rotella, “The Unstoppable Golfer”

Golfers everywhere face two challenges when they play golf, the golf course and themselves.  The first is designed by course architects to test the skill of the player.  Length, bunkers, trees, water hazards, height of the rough, width of the fairways, speed of the greens are just a few factors that are taken into consideration to challenge the golfer.  As a player the only factor about the course that you can control is the distance that you play from, what set of tees are you are playing from.  The rest are the obstacles and challenges that must be ovecome.

What skills you bring to the course, and more importantly the attitude that you bring to the course will play a much larger role in your overall score than the course itself.  Not all of us are capable of hitting 300+ yard drives, but everyone has the physical ability to hit pitch, chips and putts.  If your short game improves, you can beat any course out there.

In my years of instructing golf, I seldom see the short game practice area filled with golfers trying to hone their skills.  I see several on the range, hitting driver after driver trying to fix that slice or gain a bit more distance.  While it is important to practice all areas of your golf game, look at the fact that if you are the average 14 handicap golfer, you are likely to only hit 4 greens in regulation during an 18 hole ground of golf.  This means you must rely on your short game for roughly 75% of your round.

If you want to lower your scores, start spending all of your available practice time hitting shots from inside 80 yards.  It is the quickest way to lower your scores by about 4 to 5 shots per round.  I’m sure that this isn’t the first time you’ve heard that you should spend more time improving your short game, but have you ever heeded the advice and actually practiced this way?

I know it’s exciting to watch a drive fly nice and straight down the fairway, but it will be more satisfying to hit a pitch shot to tap in distance or hole a chip shot from just off the green.  Put more emphasis on your short game, and you’ll not only start shooting lower scores, but you’ll start enjoying the game even more.  It a giant leap in defeating the golf course!