Why You Need Drills and Games
How do you practice trying to improve your game? And when you do practice, how do you track if you’re getting better? Do you rely on if you’re feeling like you’re improving? Or do you track your results?
Sure, I know that’s a loaded question because they’re might be 1 out of every 255 Golfers reading this that does track their results when practicing. And that’s a problem!
Because when you go on the golf course you’re tracking your results every hole by keeping your score. Your score is a result of how you played a hole. How else can you track how well you’ve played over 18 holes? Yet, if the game on the golf course is about tracking results and we all know that you should “practice like you play” – then why aren’t you tracking your Practice Results?
Let me put it this way – How many Truly Great Players (TGP’s) do you know? Truly Great Player (TGP) meaning that they’re a Plus Handicap – for people that don’t know what a Plus Handicap is, it means someone who has a Handicap below 0 – that’s a Truly Great Player (TGP). OK, how many Over 90 Golfers (O90G’s) do you know? Do you know more or less Truly Great Players (TGP’s) than Over 90 Golfers O90G’s?
My bet is that you know more O90G’s than you know TGP’s. What percentage of O90G’s do you think track their practice results? What percentage of TGP’s do you think track their practice results?
Yes, there are some Over 90 Golfer’s that track Fairways, Greens and Putts on the golf course, but they don’t track these stats when they practice – and you should.
But the most mind blowing stat I see by Over 90 Golfers is that when they’re asked what the two strongest parts of their game is – 7 out of every 8 O90G’s said: Short Game and Putting. Why do this blow my mind? Because it’s not true!
Now before anybody who believes that their short game is the strongest aspect of their game starts throwing their sand wedge at me – let me explain. Below is a game to track how well skilled you are with your “short game”. Try it, track your results and compare it to the 5 categories of Golfers I have listed below the description of The Median Length of Your 1st Putt Game.
What’s the importance of this for you? Well if you want to eventually score an 85 on the golf course, yet your 8th closest ball in the first game is more than 17 feet – you’re not going to see 85 regardless of how well you hit your Tee Shots! And don’t take that comment to mean that I don’t believe hitting your Tee Shot in play and far isn’t important. It is –
I rank the importance of a good Tee Shot right up there with oxygen!
Though, you’re not going to hit 18 Greens in Regulation and 8 out of 8 Over 90 Golfers aren’t going to hit 6 Greens in Regulation every 18 holes – so what that means is you have a lot of shots that aren’t on the green, but are within 30 yards of the flag. And there are more shots wasted from this distance than there are penalty strokes taken by errant Tee Shots!
You don’t believe me? You want proof? Play the game below to see –
The Median Length of Your 1st Putt
Meaning – if you miss a green, how long is your putt for par going to be? And how realistic are the chances you make it?
Find 2 holes (or if you can’t find holes, place 2 tees) on a practice green that are in different directions and are different distances (though have one target being at least 10 yards onto the green and the other target being 15 yards onto the green)
Use 15 balls from 3 yards off the green and alternately hit to each target (1st ball to short target, 2nd ball to far target, 3rd ball short, 4th ball far, etc.)
Select the 7 balls that are closest to the 2 targets and throw them off the green
The 8th closest ball is your median shot or we could say – the average distance of your first putt when you’re playing on the golf course and have a shot from 3 yards off the green.
Find the corresponding distance below to see what skill level you are around the green from a shot that is 3 yards off the green:
105 Golfer – 23 feet (8th closest ball to your targets)
95 Golfer – 17 feet
85 Golfer – 10 feet
75 Golfer – 4 feet
PGA Tour Pro – 2 feet
Why is this game so good? Because many Over 90 Golfer’s only remember those one or two great wedge shots they hit to 2 feet from the flag. Yet they forget the others that rolled way past or didn’t even make it to the green! This Game find’s where your average shot most likely is ending up.
To put this drill in perspective think about how many times out of 10 is the 95 Golfer going to make that 17 foot downhill right to left breaking putt? Is it going to be more or less than the 85 Golfer putting from 10 feet? How about the 75 Golfer putting from 4 feet?
Do the same from 10 yards off the green to one flag that is 10 yards onto the green (so basically it’s a 10 yard plus 10 yard equals a 20 yard shot to the flag) and one flag that is 15 yards onto the green (so basically it’s a 25 yard shot). These are the distance each groups 8th farthest ball will be from the flag.
105 Golfer – 44 feet from the flag (basically 15 yards)
95 Golfer – 35 feet (basically 12 yards away from the flag on a 20 and 25 yard shot)
85 Golfer – 23 feet (basically 8 yards)
75 Golfer – 12 feet (4 yards)
PGA Tour Pro – 5 feet (basically a tap-in)
To put this drill in perspective think about how many times out of 10 is the 95 Golfer going to make that 35 foot (12 yard) putt? Is it going to be more or less than the 85 Golfer putting from 23 feet? Are you going to make as many Pars as the 75 Golfer putting from 12 feet?
While the 75 Golfer will make 3 out of 10 putts from 12 feet – the odds of the 95 Golfer making 1 putt from 35 feet is small.
Or how about this eye opener? The 75 Golfer is closer to the hole in the second game from 20 yards away than the 95 Golfer is in the first game from 13 yards.
I wonder if that’s a major contributer to the 20 stroke difference in your games?
What makes this game so good is that you’re not hitting 15 balls to the same hole. If you did do that, the distance of your 8th ball from the hole would be a lot closer since you would be able to calibrate your distance after 4 or 5 balls. By going back and forth between the 2 holes makes it much more difficult.
But, it’s closer to what you’ll be experiencing on the golf course where you don’t get the opportunity to hit more than one shot to the hole.
The Monkey will look at these stats and scoff – “My short game is much better than Marc gives me credit for!”
The Player will play the game and send me his or her results.
Go ahead – Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life
Golf Made Simple!