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Want more consistent scoring on the golf course?


“A shot that goes in the cup is pure luck, but a shot to within two feet of the flag is skill.”Ben Hogan

By Ian Hardie

When I was a young golfer

I was what could be best labeled as

‘Long and aggressive’ on the golf course

A bit like the dude in the photo above

Although at that point I actually had purple spots painted all over my driver’s pink painted head

And graphite shafts hadn’t been invented yet

But that’s a story for another day

Every time I stood on a par 4 or par 5 tee

I would have had my driver in my hands

Then I would have proceeded to attempt to hit the ball

As far as I possibly could off the tee

When I was approaching green with an iron in my hands

The only thing I was ever looking at was the flag

Actually thinking about it a bit more now

‘Aggressive’ was probably an understatement

So as you might imagine

With a game based on power and aggression

And at that point in time having a pretty good short game

On the days when I was really ‘on’

I could shoot some pretty low numbers

Which if you haven’t already read about – you can check out here

However the flip side of all that was that on the days when I wasn’t exactly ‘on’

Then the word ‘off’ hardly described my performance

It was probably more like ‘he stinks at golf’

I have to admit I carried that mindset of playing all the way through my amateur years

But very early into my apprenticeship as a golf professional

I had one of those ‘moments of clarity’ that people talk about

Which was provided by the same experienced golf pro that I talked about in the post ‘What was your score’

A post that has been extremely helpful for a lot of golfers who have read it on Golf habits

As well of course as helping me to enjoy my golf more ever since that day

If you haven’t ever read it – I urge you to check it out here

So anyway the moment of clarity came after a round that I had played at the course he was the professional at

I hadn’t played with him

In fact I never had that privilege, which is a regret I will always have

I had been playing with a couple of other young pros

And had the worst score

Luckily though the pro had joined us in the clubhouse for a drink afterwards

And as we all went through the normal post round analysis

(That I am sure is not confined to just golfers)

I was making the odd statement or two

About how even though I was able to hit the golf ball further than the other guys I played with

And on some of the holes I was able to hit more aggressive shots that allowed easy birdies

I still had the worst score

At that point the experienced golf pro made a statement

A statement that I will never forget

“Instead of thinking about how far you can hit the ball off the tee and how close you can occasionally hit the ball to the flag – try focusing on hitting the ball onto the middle of every fairway and then onto the middle of every green”

“Then let your putter do the talking instead of your driver”

Having never had a lot of professional guidance as a young golfer

I have to admit that I had never considered playing golf in that way

But when I thought about what was said

By a club pro that had competed with distinction many times in the British Open

Before he had moved to New Zealand

I decided to adjust my thinking

And look to stand on each tee

With the intention of hitting the ball into the middle of the fairway

Then stand up to every approach shot played to a green

And aim at the middle of the green

Ignoring the flag

And then letting my putting make my scores

It was a pretty effective way to play

As at that point in time I was an exceptionally good putter

(Luckily I was modest as well)

But I’ll have to admit that over the past few years

After returning to the game from a long break

I had initially returned to my old ‘aggressive’ ways

Without having either the distance off the tee

The sparkling short game to back it up

Or the good putting that I used to have

So my suggestion is that if you want more consistent scoring on the golf course

Then going for the middle of every fairway

And the middle of every green

Will give it to you

Try it for the next few games you play

You will most definitely score more consistently

Which of course means you will

Play well 


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