Monday, March 3, 2008
Four shots that will save you eight strokes
|All players like to pull out the driver and hit it hard, but it’s not a great way to lower your scores, particularly if you tend to slice. Instead, try choosing your 3-wood and teeing the ball down a bit. The greater loft will help you keep the ball in play.|
I call it The New Math, but you can think of it as a simple way to cut strokes from your scorecard quickly and easily. As an instructor, I like to teach my students the basic premise that by adding to their technical repertoire and eliminating incorrect moves, they can effectively lower their handicaps. In other words, I believe that a good instructor subtracts as much, if not more, than they add. By eliminating inefficient and wasted motion and streamlining your technique, you’ll be making a giant first step toward improving your swing and your scores.
Not everything in the “add and subtract” method is highly technical. In fact, many of the techniques are relatively basic but are elements that players often overlook or simply don’t understand. From course management to club selection to putting performance, every element of the game can be simplified to make it easier. Pay close attention to the drills I recommend, as well as the techniques I demonstrate for short-game performance. Take my advice and learn to add and subtract properly, and your scores will go down in no time.
Save 2 Strokes, Avoid Hazards With Your 3-Wood
|When there’s trouble up the right side of the fairway, leave the driver in the bag and choose your 3-wood instead. Tee the ball on the right side of the tee box and aim away from the trouble, and even if you do hit a slice, your ball will avoid the hazard.|
The first weapon I suggest adding to your arsenal that I guarantee will save you strokes immediately is a simple course-management strategy. Most recreational golfers share one common fault and that’s the tendency to slice, particularly off the tee with a driver. This is no surprise considering that the driver is the lowest-lofted and longest club in the bag, making it the most difficult to square through impact. I know today’s drivers are better than ever, featuring higher MOI and COR, as well as extremely large clubfaces. However, I strongly suggest playing the 3-wood (or your longest fairway wood) on just about any driving hole that features trouble on the right side of the fairway. The added loft of a 3-wood helps create more backspin, which effectively counteracts the sidespin that typically causes a slice. In addition, the significantly shorter length (most drivers are about 45 inches in length, while 3-woods are typically closer to 43.5 inches) makes it much easier to make a balanced swing and more solid contact. Avoid penalty strokes and get the ball in play more often, and you’ll probably save a lot more than two strokes per round.
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