How to Keep High Scores Off Your Card
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How to Keep High Scores Off Your Card

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How to Keep High Scores Off Your Card

How many times have you been having a steady round and, boom, from nowhere, a triple bogey or worse derails your round?

For me, the answer is weekly but my point is that we have all been there and there is nothing worse. Bad shots are inevitable but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be done.

Here are five tips to help minimize the card-busting high scores.

1. Know Your Tendencies

Knowing your tendencies and choosing targets around those tendencies can save you strokes immediately. Shot Scope, industry leaders in golf technology and performance tracking, recently launched the MyStrategy feature which allows golfers to create their own unique course strategy based on their personal performance data.

Cool, but what if I don’t track my shots?

Fair question.

Shot Scope users (that includes anyone with a Shot Scope rangefnider or GPS watch) can still input club distances and dispersion manually to create a hole-by-hole strategy. It’s not simply about club selection. The MyStrategy feature helps you choose the optimal target line based on your tendencies.

That’s the key. MyStrategy doesn’t just tell what to hit; it uses data-backed insights to tell you where to hit it.

Everyone’s game is different and while course guides provide generalized tips (“the ideal tee shot is down the left side of the fairway, blah blah blah”), they may be hindering rather than helping. In an ideal world, you can leverage the course guide in conjunction with your personal performance data to give yourself the best chance at lower scores.

Check out MyStrategy in this video!

2. Learn How Far You Actually Hit Your Clubs.

The word ‘actually’ is used on purpose here because most of us have only a rough idea of how far our clubs go. Many of us are wrong and some of us have absolutely no idea.

Still, it’s the kind of thing we should know.

Shot Scope performance tracking technology provides golfers with a Performance-Average club distance which is the yardage you can expect to hit that club consistently.

P-Avg. is a calculation that removes 10 percent of extreme outliers from the data, both long and short, to give a realistic club distance. Even if you’re not using a shot-tracking app, if you’re tracking your distances at all, it’s a bit of simple math that can help you make better decisions on the course.

Knowing accurate club distances will directly benefit every shot you hit. It’s the basic information that will allow you to choose the correct club for tee shots and approach shots. 

If you have a GPS device that measures to hazards, layup points or doglegs, knowing your distances will help you to avoid penalty strokes or put yourself out of position.

One of the worst shots to give away is the one that doesn’t make it far enough around a dogleg and forces you to pitch an extra 20 yards to hit your next shot. 

3. Take An Extra Club When Playing Into the Green

Building on our previous point, data provided by Shot Scope highlights that the majority of amateur golfers leave their approach shots short.

Think about your own misses. Excluding those unfortunate times you blade it, how often do you really end up off the back of a green?

And where is most of the danger around the green typically found? At the front! When we look at the courses we usually play, there is far more trouble short of the green than long of it. So the easy solution is to take an extra club.

We have two further suggestions:

  • Play to the “back” GPS distance on your distance measuring device.
  • Track your performance and get highly accurate club distances on every club you hit. 

The key is to trust the averages and not choose clubs based on where that rare perfect shot might go.

Even if the pin is at the front of the green, you are far better off having a long putt from the middle to back of the green than you are trying to get up and down.

Hitting more greens in regulation will transform your game!

4. Lag Putt for Lower Scores

Building on the previous point, lag putting is a crucial skill in the quest to lower scores. Why? Well, it can take a lot of pressure off the rest of your game. 

If you lack confidence in your putter, you may be tricked into aiming at flags, which puts even greater pressure on your approach play. 

They’re called “sucker pins” for a reason.

Golf is easier when you have the confidence to lag the ball close and tap it in.

Unless your approach shot finishes inside six feet, there is a reasonably high chance you will two-putt or worse.

The last thing you should do if your round has gone pear-shaped is fire at flagsticks. This almost always leads to more missed greens. That will force you to get up and down more often. That often leads to greater frustration and higher scores.

Golf is hard enough without putting yourself in tricky positions!

5. Get longer! (or Go Long!?)

This one is easier said than done but hitting it longer leads to lower scores. Every company that collates performance data, including Shot Scope, can confirm that being longer off the tee, and with your other clubs as well, will lead to lower scores.

This is not revolutionary information but the difference between hitting a 7-iron into a green versus a 5-iron is substantial. A 15-handicap player is twice as likely to hit the green with a 7-iron compared to a 5-iron. 

You have a couple of options here.

  • Getting properly fitted for your gear will often lead to an uptick in distance.
  • Another option is to hit the gym, get to work with a speed training program or both.

Leveraging these five tips will help keep high scores off your card and make inroads to achieving lower scores.

Data insights powered by Shot Scope, the Official On-Course Data Provider of MyGolfSpy.

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Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy's data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what's real and what's not, and that means MyGolfSpy's equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey





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      Yaaqob

      2 months ago

      “And where is most of the danger around the green typically found? At the front!”

      Don’t play a lot of Ohio courses, eh? In general this is probably a 50/50 thing. Look at Memorial Park this week. Lots of bunkers to the sides of the green, and trouble both long and short depending on the hole. August National is the same thing, unless you’re talking about only counting bunkers as danger but not trees and pine straw. Its more important to know your miss, individual strengths, and courses. When I play Sleepy Hollow in Cleveland one of the best strategies is to play it short because there is a lot of down hill, large greens with minimal trouble in front but a lot of it on the sides and behind. You’d rather be in bump and run territory from the fairway in front of the green than in that rough 10 yards past the green down a 15 foot hill surrounded by trees.

      Reply

      Mike

      2 months ago

      I bet if you did a survey of golf courses (even in the Ohio), most of the “trouble spots” fall between the 3: 00-9:00 arc. But then your own eyes should tell you where the trouble is so you can avoid it.

      Reply

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