Assessing Your Game
By Chris Foley, PGA Master Professional
Over the course of the golf season, each month in this column we will be sharing ideas to help improve your golf game without changing your golf swing. We will talk about things like efficient practice methods, equipment, course management and new technology. By implementing our advice each month, you will see improvement in your game and lower scores.
A good friend of mine always says, “A goal without a plan is nothing but a dream!” As we approach the golf season, what are your goals? If you want to play better golf and shoot lower scores, creating that plan needs to start with an assessment of your current game. You need to look at the areas that you have the opportunity to make the biggest impact.
The areas to consider are the long game, the short game, mental game/course management, equipment and golf fitness.
The Long Game
How is your driving and approach play impacting your scores? What can you do to eliminate penalty shots off of the tee? How many greens in regulation are you hitting a round? Each additional green in regulation will lower your total score by 2-3 shots.
Are you getting all of your short game shots that are within 30 yards of the hole on the green? Are your chip shots finishing with in five feet of the hole? How many times are you three putting each round? How are your green reading skills?
Mental Game/Course Management
Do you have an awareness of your self-talk and do you have mechanisms in place to redirect your negative thinking? Do you have a pre-shot routine that helps eliminate anxiety and creates a positive mindset? How is your target selection? Does it help eliminate hazards, out-of-bounds, and trouble? Do you have a realistic idea of the carry distance and total distance of all of your clubs?
Is the make-up of your clubs optimal so that the gaps of your clubs are proper and all of the clubs in your bag you can hit reasonably well? Is the loft and shaft of your driver set up so that it allows you to launch and spin the ball optimally to maximize potential distance? Does the lie angle of your irons and putter fit you? Do the shafts of your clubs fit your swing speed and the way you load the shaft? Do your wedges have the correct loft and bounce angles?
Are your strength, balance, and flexibility negatively impacting your swing? Do you have a level of fitness that allows you to play 18 holes without becoming overly tired? What can you do to increase clubhead speed and increase distance? Do you have injuries that prevent you from making an efficient golf swing?
As you look at these five areas of your game, think about the things that have the biggest negative impact on your scores. As you create your plan for playing better golf, focus on these areas.
Make 2019 your best season of golf ever!