Got what it takes to be a scratch player? Hmmm, hmmmm, Danny? Or even just a tremendous slouch of a golfer?
Would it be easier to go from a higher handicap “bogey” golfer to a mid-handicap player or from a mid-to-low handicap player to a scratch player?
There has been some fantastic documentation of the general trends of players of various abilities. While this data was procured a few years back, there likely hasn’t been much change in the overall take home message(s):
- Scores: scratch (75), single digit (85), bogey golfer (95) [Average - 91]
- FIR: scratch (62%), single digit (51%), bogey golfer (45%) [Average - 48%]
- GIR: scratch (57%), single digit (37%), bogey golfer (21%) [Average - 29%]
- Putts: scratch (31.5), single digit (34), bogey golfer (36) [Average - 35]
Improving on average by a single shot over a four hole stretch would make a huge difference.
If you play bogey golf and clean up half a shot on half the holes, you’re knocking 4.5 shots off your score...just like that. While there are more shot for a bogey golfer to clean up compared with their lower handicap brother and sisters, the concept is still the same:
- It is abundantly clear that hitting greens and putting are critical to better scores
- Improve chipping and putting (lag and short putts, especially) -> quick improvement
- Distance always helps, however, keeping your ball in play is critical to lowering scores
Another aspect of the game that will certainly assist in your improvement is to play from the proper tees.
- Too often, golfers’ egos get in the way of making a wise choice on tees to be used
- Many courses now offer up suggestions for tees to use based solely on handicap
- Using proper tees minimizes the overemphasis on distance required for longer setups
There aren’t any really earth shattering tidbits of information here.
The not-so-secret secret to getting better is first realizing that a 300 yard drive, a hosel rocket into the woods, a chip-in or a ball left in a bunker all count the same...one stroke. The key is to figure out where you piss away strokes and get a plan together to start cleaning the mess off your face.