Stop Trying To Make Birdies

By Chris Foley






This season my column in Tee Times is going to focus on playing the game of golf and on course strategy and approach to help you score better. 

Lou Stagner (@LouStagner on Twitter) who is a great follow about golf analytics and playing the game recently made a post that scratch players average 1.8 more birdies per round than 18 handicap. So, the scratch player is 18 shots better per round, but only average 1.8 birdies per round better!

The difference in a scratch and 18 handicap isn’t how many birdies they make in a round, the difference lies in the number of bogeys, doubles, and others!

Focus on these areas to help eliminate the big scores. 

Off the tee select an aim point that allows your mishits to stay in bounds and out of hazards. Hit driver whenever you can, but if your shot distribution with the driver is likely to cost you a shot hit a club that will put you in play.

When you are within 30 yards of the green you need to get every shot on the green. Missing the green within this range is an unforced error. Your priority is to hit the green and second, to hit it within 10 feet.  Inside of 10 feet you have a high probability of getting the ball up and down. 

Finally, focus on distance control when putting. By having great distance control, you will minimize three putts. Putting doesn’t require elite athleticism to be great and if you develop really good distance control you will have very few three puts and will make a lot more makeable putts.

To play great golf, minimize the big score. This will have a bigger impact on your handicap than playing aggressive to try and make more birdies!