Picking points up is an absolute must if you want to reduce your golf handicap. Shots off the tee and from the fairway are obviously an essential element any would-be golfer must be proficient in, but it is how the golfer performs on the green that will, inevitably, be where he/she wins or loses the game.
Approach play is just that – the shots that lead a golfer up to the stroke that is the objective of the game, which is putting that golf ball into the hole in fewer strokes than your opponent.
In any given round of golf, in a similar fashion to when we looked at reducing the amount of golf swing practise you dedicate to perfecting your game with your driver, percentage wise, so should you increase the amount of time you spend with that flattest of golf clubs (well, they always used to be flat, anyway), the putter.
If you’ve got an hour set aside for golf practise and you want to make it count, don’t spend an inordinate amount of time on the tee, just whacking shot after shot as far as it will go. Okay, dedicate a half an hour if you have to off the box, but get out onto the golf course to practise bunker shots, lobbing the ball onto the green and putting with the other half a hour.
One thing you often see with golfers is, when they’re practising their putting, if they miss, they will line up a golf ball to follow the trajectory of the former. But ask yourself this: how often do you have the opportunity to take a practise shot in a real match? Never. So why try to repeat the same shot over and over until you sink it? Greens roll differently and, in order to understand each of the lies and where the spines break, try putting from different places on the green.
If any golfer is true to themselves they will know where their game is at fault – it is the aspects that you need to improve that are more worthy of your time. In any round of golf, you may rarely have to use the range of shots in which you feel comfortable, so it’s at least worth while warming up using the shots you detest, taking it slowly to gradually get your muscles up to speed and flexible. This will help not only with your golf but also as a preventative to ligament strain, if they’re warmed up and ready.
The driving range is an excellent facility to help iron out the creases as we approach spring – make sure you do it – and your game of golf for 2012 – justice.