“Golf is not a game of good shots. It’s a game of bad shots” – Ben Hogan
Post written 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
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.
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’
Look out for ‘My golf shots don’t go straight – part three’ in it I am going to talk about the role equipment can have in changing that for you
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