As it typical happens, the Golfer that hit the golf ball the best, won the Masters. Adam Scott led the field in hitting the most Greens in Regulation by hitting 55 out of the 72 greens … including 30 of 36 for the last two rounds!
This is a significant stat for all Golfers to look at when trying to improve your game because hitting Greens also goes beyond how well you’re swinging … it also involves your PLAN for each shot. Plus, as most Golfers spend very little time practicing their putting – you will probably improve your score faster by learning to hit more Greens in Regulation.
And although once you’re on the green … putting helps to determine your score … the hardest part of the game for most Golfers is getting to the green in the least amount of strokes. So if you’re averaging more shots to get to the green than you are with your putting on the green … you need to practice your golf swing and your PLAN.
Adam Scott was not the best putter this past weekend … as he finished tied as the 48th best. This is not to say he didn’t putt well … he putted very well. Well enough to be wearing a Green Jacket. However, he hit 3 more Greens in Regulation than Angel Cabrera and 8 more greens than Jason Day and Tiger Woods.
What does hitting more Greens in Regulation signify about your game?
It shows that you’re hitting the golf ball well, however it equally says that you have a PLAN to play shots based on your abilities. The term, Green in Regulation, doesn’t mean “Closest to the Pin” … it means getting the golf ball on the green … even if it’s across the green from the flag.
This past weekend, you could see it constantly on television … the best Players in the world going for the biggest, most accessible part of the green (with the least area of trouble) and not always going after the flag. Again – biggest, most accessible part of the green … not middle of the green or flag.
Now contrast that to the strategy of the people you often play golf with. The first place the normal Golfer looks at is the flag. They then find the yardage to that flag, select a golf club based on distance to that flag and then attempt to hit towards it.
Using that strategy of aiming at the flag … how many Greens in Regulation do you average per round? 7 greens? 8 greens? 9 greens? Or more like the average Golfer that hits 1 to 3 greens per round.
Yet, when you watched the best Players in the world play the #11 hole … many of them were aiming for the front right portion of the green. Even though the flag was more towards the back left.
What? Why didn’t they select a club based on the distance to the flag? These are the best Players in the world … why didn’t they aim at the flag?
Well, even though they have the best, most consistent golf swings in the world … they also play to their PLAN. They want to know the distance to the front of the green as well as the back of the green – they also want to know the distance to the “Danger Zones” or to carry the “Danger Zones”.
Most Golfers you see on your local golf courses want to know the distance to the flag.
How about this: after scoring a 71 in the first round on Thursday, Phil Mickelson told a reporter that he needed to come out on Friday and “start firing at the flags”. What did Phil do the next day? He took himself out of the tournament by shooting 4 over par 76 and then came back the next day to shoot 5 over par 77. Once he started playing smart on Sunday … he again shot under Par.
Adam Scott, on the other hand, said this after his 3rd round: “by about the fourth hole, I had an understanding of how the greens were playing for the day and what that would mean for certain pin positions as we made our way around the course. So you just kind of have to roll with it a little bit and see what it offers up and pick your spots where you can actually be a little bit aggressive.”
He continued: “You have to pick your moments and that’s what will be the difference between the guy who wins and the guys who don’t.”
And if you watched him play … or get to see a replay of the tournament … you see a Player that picked his spots of when to be aggressive and when to just go for the biggest, most accessible part of the green.
Yet many Golfers who don’t understand the importance of having a PLAN will say: “if you’re not hitting the golf ball well, it doesn’t matter where you aim (or how you PLAN).” Unfortunately that type of thinking is totally off base. It most definitely matters.
The key about making your PLAN for your shot to the green is the desire to hit the green … but, if you do not hit the golf ball as well as planned … your PLAN should also be based on where the golf ball will end up so that it’s in a spot that allows you to attack the green on your next shot.
Yet, what often happens is a Golfer just aims at the flag, hits a bad shot … and ends up in an area that makes the next shot difficult. So instead of being on the green with your putter or just next to the green with your wedge in an area that will allow you to attack the flag … you’re in a sand bunker or short of a sand bunker where you need to skillfully hit over it onto the green and stop it before rolling over the back or “short-siding” yourself with a delicate downhill shot off an uneven lie.
In other words – you’re putting yourself in positions where you’re just hoping to survive and not ruin your score. Whereas the Player is putting him/herself in a position that allows them to score.
The Player that understands their strengths and weaknesses can make a PLAN to hit more Greens in Regulation even though they might not hit the golf ball as well as they wanted
The Monkey is too consumed with finding the distance to the flag, selecting the club for that distance and then hitting to that flag
Go ahead … be a Player and hit more Greens in Regulation
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life