“Golf is not a game of good shots. It’s a game of bad shots” – Ben Hogan
By Ian Hardie
If you search the internet for ‘the average golfers score’ the most common answer you get is 100 but I think that’s a little high – in my experience it’s more like the early 90’s.
To get into the top 10% of golfers worldwide – you effectively need to break 80 consistently – which apart from quickly figuring out that 40% of golfers score between 80 and the early 90’s.
Means that 90% of golfers scores will be higher than 80 each time they play.
Read that again – does it surprise you?
So, for most golfers a slice or hook is the standard shot.
As Mr. Hogan says above ’It’s a game of bad shots’
It’s time to accept that most golfers’ shots will seldom – if ever, go straight but that doesn’t mean that golfers should stop playing the game – it means that you need to stop expecting straight shots.
As about 90 million golfers don’t hit them!
I began the post ‘My golf shots don’t go straight’ with the following statement;
‘This is probably the most common complaint amongst golfers and the simple answer is – no, they probably won’t.’
Then went on to explain the basic physics of what is happening when you hit a golf shot.
Which according to comments I had about the post from golfers.
‘Helped them to easily understand why their golf shots don’t go straight’
I even included the following advice;
‘So don’t give up golf because your shots curve – it’s what the pros do!’
Which was also well received – one golfer though – asked the most useful question of all.
‘Ian, can you tell me something that I can do to immediately score better with my curved shots?
I think I can do better than that Pete – here are two things you can do to immediately score better by thinking differently about and using your curved shots;
Firstly – as I briefly talked about in ‘My golf shots don’t go straight’
Good players use their curves to their advantage.
I don’t know how many golfers I have played with over the years who complain during the round that they always slice or hook.
Yet when they stand on the tee they aim for a straight shot – only to get upset when their ball starts heading down the fairway – then curves away into the rough, the trees, over the out of bounds fence or into a water hazard.
I’m not sure about you but if I was offered a sure thing on the golf course – I’d take it.
So, if you consistently curve the ball one way.
Use your curves to your advantage!
Aim at a point that will allow for the slice or hook to start out wherever it needs to – so that as it flies it will come back to land in the middle of the fairway.
Take no notice of how bad you think it looks or whether the other players you are with do the same thing.
Better golf scores are a direct result of using whatever shot you have on the golf course effectively.
If at that point in time, all you have is a big slice – then hit a big slice that finishes on the fairway!
You’ll not only score better but you will be less frustrated at the end of the game – guaranteed.
Aiming at a point that will allow plenty of room for your slice or hook to come back to the fairway becomes even more important on a windy day.
We’ll talk about that another time though.
Secondly, this is going to sound a bit weird.
Go down a club or two – consider hitting a #3 wood or a hybrid off the tee – or at least something that isn’t your driver.
A #3 wood will hit the ball around 20 yards shorter than a driver but for most players is far more accurate.
This is because the extra loft of the #3 wood creates a lot more backspin (approx 30% more) on the ball than a driver.
All that extra backspin helps negate whatever sidespin you have put on the ball when you strike it.
Which basically means it will go straighter!
This translates into better distance, as in reality a #3 wood that has been hit with a slight curve will go basically the same distance as a big curving driver.
More importantly, it should allow you to finish in the fairway.
Which will make golf a whole lot simpler for you.
The same concept can be transferred to your irons – taking one club less and getting less of a curve because of the greater loft – can be just as effective as taking the ‘right’ club for the distance but hitting a big curve with it.
So, consider taking ‘a club less’ and hitting it harder.
Yes, you read that right!
For more on that see the post ‘Stuck between clubs’