Golf perfection is impossible and not needed to play good golf

Hawaii Golf CourseYou ever get mad when you don’t pull off a shot, that realistically you had no business trying?  Happens to me too.  Just because we hit that shot once in our life we think we should be able to do it on command.

Of course, that’s not even close to reality.  Perfect golf is impossible even for the players at the very top of their game who are the best in the world.

But you don’t need to play perfect to score well.  When I look back on my best scoring rounds, I wasn’t playing perfectly.  I was leaving myself with good opportunities to score and was able to cash in on enough of them to end up with a good score.

Aside from perfection in golf being unattainable, the main problem with trying to get it is that it puts pressure on every part of your game.  That is the quickest way to score badly.

What you want to do is find ways to take pressure off your game.  Play to your strengths.  If you’re a good wedge player, don’t go for the par 5s in two, leave yourself a good wedge that you know you can get close instead of an awkward 40 yard pitch shot over trouble.  If you’re a good putter, you don’t need to be close to the hole on every approach shot, just get on the green and two putt, and you’ll occasionally one putt for birdie.  In fact just trying to get on the green, might leave you closer to the pin then trying to get it in tight.

As I said, good scoring doesn’t require perfect ball striking.  Good scoring requires you to make smart decisions that will take the pressure off and leave the best chance for success.  To increase your golf IQ and make smarter decisions on the course, check out Game Sense.  Play smarter golf and lower your scores.  Bill S. lowered his scores using game sense on his first round with it.

Getting the most out of your golf GPS rangefinder

SkyCaddie SGX GPS rangefinder

GPS rangefinders are wonderful things.  They give you the distances you need to make smart decisions.  They give you the distances to hazards, to carry over the hazards.  They give you distances to fairway targets, and of course the front, center and back of the green.

This information is vital if you want to make good decisions on the course.  What they don’t give you is the strategy based on the conditions of the day, how you’re striking the ball, and the pin placements.  They also don’t take any pressure into account if you’re playing a Nassau, a match against a buddy, or a tournament.

Some of you are lucky enough to play with caddies and if you to have a good caddy, he or she, can save you many strokes.  But for those who don’t have our own caddies or get to play routinely with caddies we need some help making those decisions.  If I’m playing a par 5, and I have 245 yards to the pin, 230 to the front, and 260 to the back I will know the distances I need to reach the green, but the rangefinder can’t tell me if it’s a smart decision.

Whether it is a smart decision depends on a number of variables.  What’s the wind doing?  If I’m playing into a 15 mph wind can I get there?  How am I hitting it that day.  Am I striping my fairway woods or hybrids?  Am I fading or drawing the ball?  Are there hazards near the green?  Where is the pin, and is it near any hazards?  How’s my wedge game that day?  If it’s really on, it may be worthwhile to lay up to my favorite full wedge.

All of these factors need to be considered because my main objective is to leave myself in the best position for the next shot and to take a high number out of the equation.

What the GPS rangefinder does, is that it gives you the numbers you need to make decisions about where your target should be.  Great course management combined with the data from the rangefinder will provide you with the best chance to shoot low scores.  Simply using the rangefinder without the course management won’t necessarily help you make good decisions.  And good decisions lead to low scores.  When you can consistently make good decisions you can play well anywhere and on any course.

Mickelson setting course management back for the average golfer

Phil Mickelson’s miracle shot on 13 on Sunday will go down as one of the great shots of Masters history.  It will also be a big setback for the average golfer.

There is no doubt that Phil Mickelson has an overload of talent.  He has shown that over years pulling off incredible shots.  But he has taken risks that have cost him tournaments, most notably the US Open at Winged Foot.

The problem isn’t that Phil tries those shots and sometimes pulls them off.  The problem is that he influences golfers and they begin to think they can do the same.  We’d all love to be able to strike the ball like Phil but even most golfers in the field at Augusta on Sunday would have laid up.  With Phil’s talent he would have scored a birdie 80% of the time laying up, and he in fact scored a birdie.

Was it a heroic shot?  Absolutely.  Was it smart?  Probably not.  The par 5 13th had been giving up lots of birdies.  Phil’s mistake is that he brought bogey into play.  Luckily for him it didn’t turn out that way, but pine straw is not easy to hit out off.  He could easily have ended up in the creek, pitching onto the green for an un-guaranteed par.  The conservative route wouldn’t have brought bogey into play unless something disastrous had happened.

If we take a look at the risk vs the reward, it wasn’t a smart play.

Now to the average golfer.  The average already has a hard enough time making smart decisions on the course.  Most golfers I play with are constantly making decisions that bring double bogey or worse routinely into play.  They could not only score much better, but take many headaches out of their rounds if they knew how to make better decisions, but they don’t know.  When faced with a choice like Phil’s, many golfers would try the hero shot because if they can just pull it off, they’ll get a nice ego boost.  More than likely though, they’ll end up with a big number and wonder why the can’t break 100, 90 or 80.  This is where Game Sense comes in.  It teaches you how to make the best decisions on the course.   Get that understanding and you can expertly avoid trouble and give yourself stress free pars.