It’s often said that success as a golfer depends on how good the bad shots are and it’s so true. Let’s say you’re trying to break the 100 barrier – only around half of golfers have ever scored better than this so if you shoot in the 90s you’re better than average! On the par 70 championship course at Redbourn that means shooting 29 over par, or another way of looking at it is that you could make double-bogey on the hardest eleven holes (stroke index 1-11) and bogey the easiest seven (stroke index 12-18).
Two of the par 3s on the course – the 7th and the 11th – are among the hardest eleven holes on the course so they effectively become par 5s for any golfer wanting to shoot in double figures. The problem with golf is that players want to try and achieve par and anything over than is seen as a bit of a failure. And in taking undue risks to try to make pars, often the scorecard is ruined by a few really big numbers even though the rest of the round was okay.
On each shot once you’ve committed fully to your decision, selected your club and you’re ready to hit the shot there should only be one thing on your mind – go through the process that gives you the best chance of a good result.
Make good fluent practice swings and then swing through the ball. Ideally of course you strike the ball out of the sweetspot or slightly to the side (heel or toe) and it sails onto the green but if that doesn’t happen here are the next best strikes in order of how good the result will be:
Thinned shot (ball comes off the bottom of the club and goes low but a fair distance – sometimes even on the green!)
Fat/heavy shot (club strikes the ground first and the ball goes nowhere near far enough but straightish most of the time)
Complete mishit (stone cold top, shank or toe end – this is a waste of a shot and may cost you more if you end up in a trouble spot like heavy rough or a hazard!)
So how good you bad ‘uns are makes a big difference to your final total. Swing through, mis-hit straight down the fairway and you’re scores should be good, even if the shot’s aren’t always as intended.
Avoid striking the ground first and the destructive mishit as much as possible and your task just got a lot easier. It’s amazing how often I get players to try and thin the ball and they middle it straight down the middle!
Make good course management decisions too and you’ll lower your scores in no time!