Posted by Ric Coggins, May 13:
Mind the Gap
It’s been an up and down few weeks since my last post, mostly due to far too many swing thoughts getting in the way.
However, the rough patch got me looking into other areas of my game that I could control to help me score better.
The first thing I did (and recommend everyone does at some point) was record every aspect of my rounds, shot by shot... driver, pull left, 150 yds to go from medium rough etc.
My assumptions were that my short game was tight and it was my errant iron shots that were causing my higher scores. But when presented with the hard facts, I was leaking shots around the green faster than a holey bucket.
By drilling it down to the nth degree, it created patterns on certain holes, certain irons, and my short game in particular was not as good as I thought it was.
I’ve always been a fan of the Phil Mickelson style lob shots around the greens, favouring my 60 degree on most occasions. Throwing it pretty much all the way to the pin - the Hollywood shot I like to call it. It looks the business when it comes off but on the two in 10 occasions when it doesn’t, it means lost shots.
As a result I started to chat to the pro and we talked about having more control around the greens. This meant looking at a less lofted club for a lot of basic shots.
If there is green available, use it. Get it down and running as soon as you can and work with the green as you would with a putt to improve consistency.
This isn’t to say there isn’t a place in the bag for a 60, far from it, but the advice led me to practising a shot which I often chose to ignore because it seemed like a boring option. But in this case it meant safe and more importantly more consistent.
How I’d recommend to play it is like a putt, avoiding any wristy actions. Before going straight to the course, as with anything, practice it first. Put the hours in and I’m pretty sure it will bring rewards.
A trick I’ve been using when it comes to putting it into practice out on the course is visualising the different lengths of shot from my practice allowing me to then to transfer the same shots it into scoring.
The result has been a turn in the right direction, with me now having come down a full shot to 5.3 making me a cat 1 player.
So my advice is to make full use of the wedges you carry, and by practising the less flambouyant shots you’re sure to build a consistent repertoire of short game shots to add to your armoury.