Strategy

There are three simple things golfers of all standards can do to improve their golf.

1. Make your bad shot better,

If your bad shot is a 30 meter slice with your driver and you can turn it into a 20 meter slice your score will definitely improve.

2. When you have a wedge of any description in your hands, get it on the green.

How many times have you found your self hitting a wedge into the green. You have the hole at your mercy and instead of getting the ball on to the green you leave it short in the bunker or blade it over the green. This is quite often compounded by a followup bad shot as you are steaming from missing the green the first time. You may even three putt for good good measure.

3. Stop 3 putting

Nothing ruins your golf score faster than 3 putting.

Look at my putting playlist and try to do the Distance Control Drill.

If you imagine a hula hoop around the hole on long putts. Try to get your ball to finish inside the hula hoop rather than trying to get the ball into the hole.

Alternatively place a club 1 club length behind the hole and try to get four balls between the hole and the club from different distances. Say 4 meters 8 meters and 12 meters. If you get your first putt close to the hole you will 3 putt less.

Interesting to see Golf Digest (USA) has released the worlds top 20 Golf Courses.

The good news is Australia have 3 courses in the Top 20. Kingston Heath Golf Club Melbourne is ranked Number 20.

Barnbougle Dunes Golf Course Bridport, Tasmania (The Original) is ranked Number 11.

Royal Melbourne West Course Melbourne is ranked Number Number 9.

The composite course at Royal Melbourne which is made up of 12 holes from the West course and 6 holes from the East course is not considered to be a golf course as it is only played in Tournaments such as the Australian Masters, Australian Open, Presidents Cup etc.

When it is considered (for rating criteria) as a complete course it is usually in the top 3 courses in the world.

I find it very interesting that courses like Royal Melbourne East, Royal Adelaide and Metropolitan are not featured on the list. I feel that all of these courses are better golf courses as a whole than Barnbougle Dunes.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Barnbougle and am a huge fan. It is a wonderful golf course and a great place to visit. I do and have done almost every year for the past 10 years.

Its just that when we are talking about the WORLD TOP 20 Golf Courses…..Barnbougle has too many ordinary holes to make that list. I think people get carried away with the beauty and majesty of the holes among the dunes, mostly on the front 9.

if I had the chance to play a round at Royal Melbourne East, Royal Adelaide or Metropolitan or Barnbougle Dunes I would choose the first 3 courses every day.

I often ask myself after playing a new course. “Could I play this course all of the time?” If my answer is yes I give it a big tick. When I ask myself this question after playing Barnbougle Dunes my answer is no. A handful of rounds per year would see me out.

Ranking golf courses is always full of conjecture. There is no right or wrong. Everyone has a different opinion and that is a great thing.

It is a great way to stimulate conversation at the 19th hole after your round.

I would be interested to know what you think.

I recently experienced a first. I went to see Golf Physiotherapist.

This came about as I have noticed (and you will have too no doubt) that my golf swing is very much on the short side these days.

I first noticed this when I started filming some of my golf videos. I felt I was using my normal swing (normal to me in my playing day was hands above my shoulders and the club to parallel). I couldn’t believe how short it was. I went out and hit balls every day for a week working on lengthening my swing. At the end of the week there was no change in length of swing. I felt as if I was over swinging and it was no longer than before.

I figured the answer is in one or a bit of all of the following reasons:

  1. I have just turned 50 and my body can’t do what it used to do in my 20’s and 30’s.
  2. I have averaged 8 to 12 games a year for the past 4 years. If you don’t use it you lose it.
  3. There are physical reasons why I can’t swing the club to my desired length.

I didn’t know the answer so I thought I would seek some professional.

While I was thinking of doing this I got a phone call from Physiotherapist  Jeremy Cross at Physio Health.

Jeremy had just had a visit from a client of mine and wanted to talk about what we could both do to help out this client.

In 30 years of coaching I have referred many people to physiotherapists and this is the only time I have ever received a phone call  back from them wanting to talk about a client.

I subsequently met Jeremey and was very impressed with his background. He went to college in the US on a golf scholarship and then went on to become a physio after deciding not to pursue a career in Professional Golf.

Jeremy is the first to point out he is not a golf coach but works hand in hand with golf coaches to get the best  performance for golfers of all standards, allowing them to achieve their potential both in terms of improved performance and in reduced pain and injury prevention.

I underwent a screening session with Jeremy at PhysioHealth Kew a few weeks ago. This took about an hour. I performed a series of movements and tests. Nothing too physical but just too see what my ranges of movement was.

A week later I went back to see Jeremy and he gave me a laminated report detailing my issues and the exercises I needed to perform daily to improve.

I must admit I have not been as studious (daily) with my exercises but I have been pretty regular with them. They take about 20 minutes a day to do and I am already seeing results. My swing has already lengthened noticeably and I know I am hitting the ball further.

I used FlightScope to gather data (Driver & 7 iron) before I underwent the screening. I will also do it on several occasions over the next few months.

Stay tuned for an upcoming video series of my experience.

The first can be found here Lengthening The Golf Doctors Golf Swing Part 1

Jeremy works at PhysioHealth Kew (03) 9853 2224 and Williamstown (03) 9397 4977

One of the best ways of lowering your golf score is to get your putter in your hands more often from off the green instead of chipping (if the conditions allow it).

You will find that your worst putt will finish much better than your worst chip.

When you see Tiger Woods with all of his skill mess up chip shots from a perfect lie what chance do normal every day golfers have?

Get the putter in your hands.

What should you think of over the ball.

That is a very common question.

When you are on the golf course (playing in a competition) where score matters (as opposed to a few holes after dinner in the evening) you should think of as little as possible.

The golf course is for scoring and as my golf coach Alec Mercer often said to me “The box on the scorecard is not big enough to paint a picture. Just put a number in it. Make it the lowest one you can”.

Improving your Inner Game is one of the keys to lowering your handicap or score. It’s what gives you consistency.

Let me paint a scenario for you.

A tour player Joe Schmo is playing the 72nd hole of a tournament and is 1 stroke behind. The 72nd is a par 5 and he has a 235 yard carry over water to the flag. Joe hits his 3 wood to 10 feet, cans the putt and wins by 1 shot.

At the Press Conference a journalist asks Joe “What were you thinking standing over the 3 wood on the 72nd Joe”?

Joe smiles and answers “I just pictured the shot and I hit it”.

On another occasion Joe might have had the following inner conversation ” Gee I have 235 over water. I hit my 3 wood 230. I better take the club back slow, stop at the top of my back swing, have a slight pause, rip my right hand through impact.” This results in a miss timed 3 wood that fails to carry the water, resulting in a bogey.

To help improve this part of your game I suggest you try the following:

  1. Stand behind your golf ball (about 3 meters back).
  2. Picture the shot you are trying to hit and have an inner conversation describing exactly the shot. Where it starts, how high it flies, which way it spins etc.
  3. Move into the ball and keep the picture fresh in your mind.
  4. Hit the shot.

This takes a bit of practice but is well worth it. If you still have trouble try saying the word “Back” in your mind as you take the club back and then say “Hit” when your club makes contact with the ball.

Try it on the range in practice and then put it in to play on the course socially (maybe 2 or 3 holes) and see how it goes. When you have confidence in it put it into play on the course.

Regards

Brian
Brian Fitzgerald – The Golf Doctor

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