How To Score!
What’s happening on the golf course around the greens? It’s getting scary out there! When I go out on the golf course I see golfers walking up to play their short game shots with 4-different clubs in their hands and then having a brain meltdown trying to decide which club to use. You ever see anyone do that? It’s like time just stops and their standing over their ball in this purple haze trying to decide what to do.
Here’s the scenario: Your ball is about 7-yards off the green and you walk up to it with your 8-iron, 9-iron, pitching wedge and sand wedge. Then you look at the situation and try to decide which club Dave Pelz would tell you to use. After about 25-seconds of going over 25 different ways you might play your shot, you finally select your 9-iron, stand over the ball (while you’re still thinking if it‘s the correct club to use; thinking about if your aim is good; thinking that you better hurry because the rest of the group is waiting for you; and on top of all those thoughts, you’re thinking about that the last time you tried this shot you chunked it), then you finally swing and you end up topping it over the green. You then proceed to look up at the heavens and say “I knew I should’ve used my …… instead!”
Too Much Thinking Encourages A Lot Of Stinking!
Next hole, same guy, similar shot – You walk up to the green with your same 4-golf clubs, look at the situation and try to decide what Johnny Miller would say – So you stand there for another 25-seconds looking like a “Deer in headlights” and then you finally select your pitching wedge, stand over the ball thinking if this is really the best club for the shot because you really don’t like your pitching wedge, you think about the guys waiting for you to hit, then you think about how inconsistent you are with your wedge, then you aim while standing over the ball, and then you finally swing and while you’re swinging – the image of your last shot that you bladed across the green appears in your mind, so you declerate and chunk behind the ball where the ball just barely makes the green. Then looking up at the heavens you say “I hate this game – this game …….s!”
What do you do the next time you have that shot and what are the chances you hit it well?
Why is this situation repeated so often? Because you might be a “Jack of all clubs, Master of none!” How many clubs in your bag can you honestly say you’re Master of? Think about it, how many? I’m sure if you went up to Tiger and said “Tiger, do you have a Go-to-Club? A club that you know that if you need a shot, this club will give it to you.” I’m positive he’d say “Of course I do!”
Some Monkeys might try to act cool, like they’ve got all the answers and say “I don’t have one favorite club, every club is my favorite club. You need to have confidence in all your clubs.” And that’s like the coach of a basketball team saying I have confidence in all my players. But, when the clock is winding down and you’re losing by 1-point, who are you going to give the ball too if you have Michael Jordan on your team? You have 5 players that you have confidence in, but who’s getting the ball? Your best player is getting the ball! The Master Player! Who are you “giving the ball” to – on those critical shots around the green. Your 2nd best club? Your 3rd best club? For some people, it might even be their 4th best club.
Go with your superstar club. It may let you down once in a while – Jordan missed a couple of last second shots – but he made more important shots than anyone else! And I’d give him the ball every time!
Which Club Is Your Superstar?
Just about every Player I know has a favorite club. Their Go-to-Club! If they need to hit a great shot, this is their club. They can basically do anything with it. For example: I know a golfer who’s favorite club is his 5-iron. He can do anything he wants with this club. If he needs to get the ball in the fairway on a narrow Par 4, he drives it 175-yards. If he has an awkward yardage he has to hit to, he’ll use it to drop the ball on the green. If he has to hit a low shot out of the trees, he’ll use it there to get back on the fairway. It’s like his Ginsu Knife club – it does everything he needs it to do.
So if you have a Go-to-Club that you use for your long game – why not have a Go-to-Club for around the green? Wouldn’t it be nice to know you have a club you can have 100% confidence in? Why not use this Go-to-Club around the green and become a Master of it?
Master short game Players make a lot of 1-putts!
But the Monkey will say – “Yeah, but I’ve always played with different clubs around the green. That’s what my Pro always told me to do.”
To which it could be answered – Yes, I agree, you probably have always played with different clubs around the green – but just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean you always have to do it that same way, especially if you haven‘t been getting the results you desire. And maybe your Pro told you to do it that way because that is the way he plays and he plays that way because that is how he was taught by his Pro and that Pro was taught by his Pro and so and so on and so on.
And in a sarcastic way, just think how good Phil Mickelson could be if he was ever told that he needed to use different clubs around the green. I’m surprised no one has ever mentioned to him that he should use all these different clubs. Or do you think he might have found out that he plays better being a Master of one club!
As Nancy from Senegal, Africa said when she was here in October – “If you always do, what you’ve always done, you will always get, what you’ve always gotten!” Which can be read 2-ways – If you always have played an assortment of clubs around the green, yet complain about your lack of 1-putts, and you continue using all those clubs, you’ll continue to complain. It can also tell you that if you’re a Master of 1-club, you’ll always be a Master of that club and that will always translate into good shots and more 1-putts.
Find a club that you’re good with around the green and get better at it! Especially if it’s a club with over 45 degrees of loft because with that much loft, there is so much magic you can perform with that club. You can hit high shots that stop, you can hit low shots that bounce and check-up (stop) or any imaginable shot in-between. People will marvel at your skill around the greens!
Now you’ll know everything this club can do for you and how the golf ball will react every time you hit it. As opposed to saying – “OK, I think I’m going to chip with my 8-iron instead of my 9-iron because I think it’ll give me more roll.” And then because you don’t know how much more roll the 8-iron will give you because you’re always changing clubs and never get a 100% feel for your 8-iron – you hit an OK shot, 13-feet past the hole and end up with another 2-putt, when getting it close enough for a 1-putt should’ve been a sure thing.
Then next hole you say “I need less roll this time, so I’ll use my 9-iron.” But because your 9-iron is a ½ inch shorter than your 8-iron, and you don’t think of making that adjustment, you hit a ½ inch too high on the golf ball and it goes rolling off the back of the green. Forcing you to chip again and then hopefully 1-putting before your round is completely ruined.
Has that scenario happened to anyone you know?
So, now you decide, “Marc, I don’t want to be a Monkey anymore!” – So you go out and find that you are pretty good with your 56 degree sand wedge. And you practice hitting high, medium and low shots. You develop a feel for what this club will do. You start to develop your PLAN based on:
What height shot you want to play
Where you’re going to land the golf ball based on how much roll you’re intending to play
Then you simply look at your target, feel the swing you just visualized and then you do it!
You’ve now started the process of becoming a MASTER!
All my Golf Made Simple golfers that’ve been here to see us – What do we say?
SEE IT, FEEL IT, DO IT!
So you basically have a choice – Be OK with a few different clubs or become a Master of One. If you’re OK with a few clubs, you’ll always have a lot of 2-putts which is good compared to 3-putts. Though if you become a Master of One and you’re able to See it, Feel it and Do it, you’ll have a lot more 1-putts.
Monkey of all clubs, Master of none – Become a Master of One!
Yes – This is a repeat article from December 13, 2004. If you remembered it – you’ve probably already become a Master of One Club. If you have forgotten about it – you’re probably still struggling around the greens.
Though the reason we have repeated this article is two-fold –
The See It, Feel It, Do It! – message needs repeating
To announce a new feature to the Golf Made Simple website that has an archive of every Golf Improvement Weekly from the last year. Go to www.default/pastnewsletters.html and you have the last 31 Issues of Golf Improvement Weekly at your disposal. Each week is listed by date and the subject of the feature article.
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life
Golf Made Simple!