Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A quick, consistent setup improves your game and speeds up play, but…

If you believe that quality golf shots can be executed without laborious preparation, but rather with a quick and efficient preshot routine, you will enjoy the following observations.

On Christmas Day the Arizona Republic published its usual golf section. Thursday is the day for an elongated golf portion and with its weekly information comes a tip or two from a local golf professional. This recent instructional subdivision focused on putting. Our instructor did very well until he got to the third part of his tip – Create a routine.

As part of our pre-putt routine he wants us to take “three to five practice strokes to help judge distance…”

THREE to FIVE practice strokes! Holy three-putt, Bat-Golfer! In the world of golf the time that takes equals eternity. Most of us will forget what we’re doing if we take that amount of time to putt. And can you imagine playing behind a foursome in which each player takes three to five practice strokes before each putt?

As a long time teacher of the game one factor I always stress with my students is a brief and consistent preshot routine. It is essential to a comfortable set up over the ball before you pull the trigger. A quick, consistent routine will improve your game and speed up play. And we all know that the greatest deterrent to the growth of the game is the massive amount of time required to play.

Here’s a sound recommendation for putting: Take just TWO practice strokes to get a feel for the distance, step up to the ball, take ONE look at the hole and hit the darn ball. It will either go in or it won’t.

It was George Duncan, the 1920 British Open champion who is credited with saying, “If you’re going to miss ‘em, miss ‘em quick.” He was right.

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