How Bad Are Bad Shots?
How many bad shots can you expect to hit during a round of golf? How many bad shots can you hit and still play your best round of golf ever?
Have you ever thought about this?
Is it one, two, ten, twenty, fifty?
It all really depends on what level of Golfer you are, but it also depends what you consider a bad shot.
For example I was on the Golf Course the other day with 2 Golfers that were at similar talent levels at this point of time.
Golfer One who has been playing for less than a year, but who has made great strides in that time, hit their first Drive down the right side of the first hole and the ball end up in the right rough – this Golfer says “Alright, I’ll have to see what I can do from there.”
Golfer Two who has been playing for about seven years, who also had made great strides in their first couple of years playing, but has not improved their scores since that time – meaning they’ve been shooting in the same range of scores for the past 5 years. Their ball lands on the right side of the fairway about the same distance as Golfer One – this Golfer says “That’s not where I aimed. I wanted to be more in the middle of the fairway.”
And then I got up and bombed my drive about 325 yards down the left side, hit a tree and bounced back in the fairway – but enough about me.
Golfer One gets to their golf ball which is about 165 yards to the front of the green and surveys the situation, takes out their 5 iron, catches a little grass behind the golf ball and hits it about 150 yards – 15 yards short of the green. Golfer One looks at us and says – “That didn’t come out as well as I wanted, but I can live with it.”
Golfer Two, who has the same distance, but in the fairway, also selects their 5 iron and hits a solid shot that lands on the left side of the green, leaving them with about a 45 foot putt. Golfer Two looks at us and says – “I don’t know why I pulled that shot, I must’ve come over the top. It looks as if my divot is pointing a little to the left. I can’t seem to stop doing that.”
Then I took out my sand wedge, pushed the golf ball to the right side of the green, but it caught the slope and rolled to two feet from the flag – but enough about me.
Golfer One gets to their golf ball that’s fifteen yards short of the green – surveys the situation, makes their PLAN and hits their sand wedge pretty well, the golf ball is rolling towards the hole, almost goes in, but goes about 20 feet past the hole. Golfer One looks at us and says – “Oh, that was close. I thought it could’ve gone in.”
Golfer Two, reads their putt, plumb bobs the break and says “Birdie would be nice here, but I don’t want to be too aggressive and run the ball past the hole like Golfer One.” And proceeds to leave their 45 foot putt, 10 feet short of the hole. Golfer Two looks at us and says – “Geeze, I can’t believe I left that short. I thought I hit that pretty hard. I needed that one.”
Golfer One putts from 20 feet past the hole, misses it by about 4 inches to the left, but only a foot by the hole and then taps in for a 5. Golfer One looks at us and says “What a great day to play golf. It sure beats being in the office looking at the four walls. I wish I could this everyday!”
Golfer Two reads their putt, plumb bobs the break, putts the ball directly on line to the hole, but leaves it about 2 inches short and picks it up. Golfer Two looks at us and says – “I can’t believe I three putted this hole for bogey. That’s not how I wanted to start this round. I could’ve been one under par and now I’m already one over.”
And then I just barely catch the edge of the hole to make my two foot putt for birdie – but enough about me.
I’ll spare you the details about the next 8 holes because I bet you can see where this is leading – yes, you guessed it – I shot 33. But enough about me! Seriously, What’s going to be the trend for Golfer One and Golfer Two over the next 8 holes?
The stats – On the Front Nine: Golfer One – 43; Golfer Two – 45
As we’re walking over to the 10th Tee, Golfer Two adds up their score and sees that it was a 45 – “I’m right there – I just need to get a little more distance on my drives and I’ll be able to break 45 on the back. I haven’t broken 90 in so long! I just need to get rid of all those bad swings!”
On the tenth tee, Golfer One again hits an OK drive that lands in the right rough and says “I’m just keeping it in play today.”
Golfer Two again hits another golf ball on the fairway, this time on the left side about the same distance as Golfer One and says – “I’m just so inconsistent – I can’t hit the ball where I’m aiming – I wanted to be in the middle of the fairway. This is really starting to get me mad!”
And then I got up and just hit it on the screws about 330 yards down the right side, the golf ball bounces off the cart path giving me an additional 30 yards and as it lands on the ground it rolls left and onto the fairway – but enough about me.
The stats – On the Back Nine: Golfer One – 44; Golfer Two – 49
My question to you – based on reading how Golfer One and Golfer Two played on holes One and Ten and then continued to play in a similar manner on the other 16 holes – How much better of a ball striker is Golfer One than Golfer Two? How much better of a putter is Golfer One than Golfer Two?
The answer – Not much that I could see and I do this for a living!
So what’s the difference between 87 and 94 – for many Golfers it’s the understanding that every shot doesn’t need to be perfect and that you can hit 69 bad shots and shoot 87 or you can hit 69 bad shots and shoot 94. The choice is yours.
The Monkey hits many bad shots, doesn’t score as well as they’d like to and this leads to their scores plateauing after a couple of years
The Player also hits many bad shots – but enough about me
Go ahead, be a Player
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life
Golf Made Simple!