We believe that more strokes are lost with bad drives than are lost with bad putts. And although you have been brainwashed to believe that putting is the most important part of your score – your Driver wields even more influence than your putter.
At first glance, it would appear that your putter is more important since you use your putter for 30 to 40 of your shots on the golf course and that you use your Driver on only 14 shots. But as the Monkey just looks at the surface … the Player looks deeper.
The way par is set-up for each hole, it’s taking into account the potential of you hitting the green in regulation and having two putts. Obviously, there are other ways to make par … but when selecting whether the hole is a Par 3, Par 4, or Par 5 … it’s based on how many strokes it should take to reach the green, along with two putts.
So you can’t say that the 30 to 40 times you use your putter is more than twice as valuable as the 14 drives you hit.
Because if you’re inconsistent off the tee … your Driver affects your score more than your putter
Here’s a question for you: If you had to choose whether to hit 10 bad drives or have 10 three putts during a round of golf … which would be your choice?
I would absolutely take the three putts and stick with the good drives. Why?
Let’s say you average 2 putts per hole. If you had a round where you had 10 three putts, your score would be 10 strokes higher.
Yet, if you had a round with 10 bad drives … it would probably cost you a lot more than 10 strokes:
Each golf ball that was hit in the water is 1 extra stroke. And it could mean even more wasted strokes because you could now be hitting your next shot from a tough sidehill lie where you had to drop the ball
Each shot that had to be chipped out of the woods is worth 1 extra stroke. And that’s assuming you don’t hit a tree and bounce back into the woods or punch the ball across the fairway into the trees or sand bunker on the other side … but that probably never happened to you
Each lost ball or out of bounds is worth 2 extra strokes as you get 1 penalty stroke and you’re supposed to go back to the spot you had hit from
So the 10 bad drives do the same damage (or worse) score-wise than the 10 three putts.
Each 3 putt is one extra stroke … with each bad drive, you’re fortunate to limit it to only one extra stroke.
On a long Par 4, you hit a low liner that gets stuck in the rough before the fairway. Now you would be lucky to advance the golf ball 100 yards on your second shot. How many strokes is that bad drive going to cost you? At least one extra stroke and hopefully you keep that 3 wood you’re going to use (to make up for the short drive) from going into the trees for additional extra strokes!
And this doesn’t even take into account the mental issues you go through with bad drives. Yes, three putting is bothersome; however it doesn’t cause the same anxiety as having to hurry yourself when playing with other people when you’re the one constantly in the trees.
Do you know any Golfers that enjoy having to constantly wait for us to search for our golf ball in the woods or bushes? That extra time of having to search for our golf ball in the trees, then punching the golf ball out of the trees, then running to the ball in the fairway and scurrying to find the yardage marker to the hole, then selecting a club and finally hitting your shot … which often isn’t too good because you’re rushing so fast that there is no way to make a smooth golf swing.
On the other hand, with three putting on the green: if you miss your first 2 putts – you’re usually within a foot or two of the hole where someone will give you the next putt or you can just tap it in. So someone that three putts doesn’t have the concern about holding up other Golfers to the same degree as the poor Driver.
The “hurry up, I don’t want to have everyone waiting for me” syndrome is going to cause you to hit even more bad shots as you try to get to the green. Because if you’re like 9 out of 10 Golfers … you’re self conscious about constantly making the other Golfers wait for you.
This is not to say that putting isn’t important. It is very important! And you need to practice putting.
However, based on spending more hours at the golf course than most people, as I watch Golfers practice … I have found that less than 1 of every 1,000 Golfers actually practices their putting. Yes, there are many Golfers that go to the putting green to hit putts. But less than .1% of Golfers are actually practicing anything that will help them.
Sure, there are many Golfers that go to the putting green and drop 3 golf balls and putt to the different holes. But that isn’t practice. And in fact, besides watching the Golfers attending GMS that learn how to practice … I have only seen 2 people over the last 5 years that were practicing as opposed to just putting around.
Saying that, I have seen an even smaller percentage of Golfers that actually practice on the driving range. Again, I have seen thousands and thousands of people hitting golf balls. But almost no one, besides the Golfers attending GMS, is actually practicing their golf swing in a way that will help them. What Golfers think of as practice … is not anywhere close to what we believe is practice.
I guess that’s why most Golfers have rarely improved before they found GMS
So what is the point of this article:
First – you should learn how to practice (so you’re not just banging golf balls and fiddleing with your golf swing like the frustrated Golfer or just wasting time putting from hole to hole on the green)
Second – when you do learn how to really practice, spend a lot of time becoming consistent with your Driver because each bad drive could cost you more than 1 extra stroke.
But remember — going to the driving range and hitting a bucket of golf balls can not be considered practice, because it really isn’t an effective Practice PLAN. However, if that currently is your Practice PLAN … you’re probably the Golfer that often sees those 10 bad drives per round.
The Monkey believes that you ‘Drive for show and putt for dough’
The Player knows how to practice both their Driver and their putter
Go ahead, Be a Player!