11 ways you ruin your golf round before it even starts
It’s a tough realization. You just three-putted the 18th to close your round, and your scorecard suggests maybe you should have just stayed home and mowed the lawn.
And while you spend most of the 19th hole explaining to your buddies where and how your round went so terribly wrong, the truth is it didn’t happen with your three OB drives, two shanks or dreaded four-putt. Your round likely went south before you even teed off on the opening hole.
Here are 11 ways you can ruin your round before it even starts. Avoid these and maybe you’ll start finding more circles on your scorecard.
You show up too late
This is the biggest no-no. When you are late, everything is rushed — check in, driving range, putting practice (if you even have time for that). The round starts well before you hit your first tee shot. So don’t be late!
You didn’t get enough sleep
Late night working or watching Netflix? Arriving to the course groggy will make your game sluggish, too. Speaking of not getting enough sleep…
You are hungover
It happens to the best of ’em, but aching after a bachelor party or night out on the town isn’t going to improve your contact. It also might make the day pretty miserable overall.
You don’t warm up the right way
Think of your time at the course prior to your tee time as an extension of your round. You think Tiger and Brooks and Dustin and the fellas just show up and practice without a plan? Know how long you want to hit range balls for (and which clubs), and give yourself the time you need to stretch or putt or get your bag and gear ready. Give yourself minimums for each so you can check them all off, but leave some extra time to play with in case something like, say, your putting stroke, needs a few extra reps.
You have too many swing thoughts
By all means, head toand steal a swing thought or work on that tip your local pro has helped you with, but don’t overthink it. Too many thoughts are not good for the average golfer. Keep it simple, focus on one key element and go from there.
You hit only drivers on the range
Wow, that’s awesome watching you scare the range netting with your 14th straight blast with the Big Dog, but you’re still only hitting that club maybe 15 times, max, when you get to the course. Mix in a couple of wedges, will ya? You might need them.
You don’t practice lag putts
You never want to three-putt, and one of the best ways to avoid this is improve your lag putting. This doesn’t mean launching a dozen 90-footers aimlessly across the putting green, but you could benefit from rolling two or three 30-footers, just to get a nice feel for the speed of the greens. More often than not they’ll roll at a similar speed once you get on the course.
You don’t practice the important putts
Lag putting is key, but so is canning the putts that will make or break your round. Those putts are the ones right outside gimme range but inside about 8 feet. It’s the distance where you stand over a putt and aren’t intimidated by the look, and it’s close enough where if you miss you’d be annoyed. Putts from 4-8 feet are crucial, but not that easy to make. Ian Poulter leads the PGA Tour in conversation rate from 4-8 feet at 86 percent, but only 14 players on Tour make 3/4s of those putts. The worst player in that category, Paul Casey, makes 1/2 from the range. So focus on that tricky distance. Once you see one drop the hole will start to look bigger, and a strong putting day from that range — like making 7 of 12 instead of 2 of 12 — can shave five strokes in a heartbeat.
You didn’t eat or hydrate
Plan ahead! Grab a bottle of water. Eat at home, on the go or make sure you have enough time when you get to the course. But don’t jeopardize a promising round due to a lack of food fuel. (Here are some ideas for what to pack in your bag.)
You don’t know anything about the course
You may think you did everything right to get ready for a course you’ve never seen — hit balls, roll putts, etc. — but did you know the first four holes have tight fairways and doglegs and your best bet might be hitting a hybrid? Now you probably wish you would have striped that 17-degree more than twice on the range, huh?
You are too focused on other things
Stop worrying so much about your foursome’s betting game, what tees you are playing or that epic playlist you’ve been cooking up since the car ride over. Put the phone away and check out Twitter later or respond to that work email when you get home. None of it’s going anywhere. And plus, making sure your game is ready for a par-birdie-par start is way more important.
Cutter CTR-1 wedge takes a different approach to solve the same old problems with our short games
Charlie Sifford: The Man Who Never Quit
One all-time champion pauses to recognize the incredible courage in another.
The most intriguing grips in pro golf
A substantial subsection of the golf canon is devoted to romanticizing Ben Hogan and his technique. And that includes his grip, which is shown in the photograph shown above for Life Magazine in 1947—before he weakened it to stop hooking and went on to dominate golf through the mid-1950s.
PGA Championship, minus fans, gets green light at Harding Park
The first major championship to be contested in 2020, the PGA Championship, will be played at San Francisco’s Harding Park but without spectators.
The PGA of America announced the decision on Monday after spending months considering other scenarios, including moving the tournament to another venue such as Valhalla in Kentucky or Quail Hollow in North Carolina. It was also waiting on state health officials, who determined the event could go on but without fans.
The organization decided to stick with its original site for the rescheduled tournament to be played Aug. 6-9. The PGA had been originally scheduled for May 14-17 but was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Is your equipment putting a Wedge between you and low scores?
Are you unsure of what wedge to use for different shots around the green?
Should you have 3 wedges or 4 wedges in the bag?
Are your wedges properly spaced by loft?
Unsure, then you need to be here for Wedge Fitting Friday!
Come out to the wedge fitting on Friday July 10th
6:00 pm to 7:15 pm – Cost: $130 per player – Limited class size first 10 players to register
The wedge fitting class here at Makefield will offer and include:
- Your choice of an in stock wedge: Titleist, Callaway, Ping fitted to your compliment your set
- One hour of short game instruction with our PGA Staff Howard Hirsch and David Smith
- Individual Wedge Fit and Evaluation of Current Wedge Equipment
- Short Game Management
- Learn what shots to hit
- When to hit those shots
- What wedges to use to optimize you scoring potential
Online class registration:
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND CURBSIDE TAKE OUT
PLACE ORDER UP TO 2 hrs prior to pick up. Pickup times between 4 pm – 7pm
M A I N C O U R S E · $12
BBQ Braised Beef Short Rib Sandwich
Classic Chicken Salad Sandwich
both served with local spring green salad
E X T R A S
Potato Salad · Pint $2.50 | Quart $5 | 1/2 gallon $7.50
Chicken Wings · 10 for $11 | 20 for $21 | 30 for $32
D E S S E R T S
Classic Cannolis | Three Cheese Cheesecake | Flourless Chocolate Torte
6 P A C K S T O G O
9 ways to pretend like it’s actually still Masters week
This is a sad, sad week for golf fans everywhere. But with the announcement of new Masters dates, we can take comfort in the fact that a 2020 Masters Tournament will likely still happen— sans azaleas. In the meantime, reruns and simulations can only get us so far, so check out this list of other ways to pretend like it’s still Masters week.
1. Pick a day to fully unplug from all your devices and strictly watch a rerun from your favorite Masters year.
2. Begin all of your Zoom calls and Facetimes with the phrase “Hello Friends.”
3. Make your own champions dinner with Tiger’s would-be selections. Since we didn’t get the final verdict on the milkshakes, I’d just go ahead and assume they’re included—we deserve that at leas
4. Go on a drive and when you pull back into your driveway, pretend it’s Magnolia Lane. It might be easier to use your imagination if you’re simultaneously playing the Masters theme song.
5. Make a mini-golf course around your house to mimic the Masters Par-3 Contest. If you have kids, dress them in all white outfits with green hats.
6. Wear whatever Masters stuff you have. Hat, polo, t-shirt, etc.—now is the time to deck yourself out in all of the gear.
7. Make an egg salad sandwich for lunch. I got this from Trader Joe’s, and while it’s not Augusta’s finest, it’s still pretty good. Pair with a chocolate chip cookie for good measure.
8. Own a green blazer? Maybe break that out over your everyday WFH hoodie this week.
9. Lucky enough to have any Masters cups? Drink exclusively from them all week.
Avoid this common mistake to create more power
Look at old videos of the best swings of yesteryear, and you’ll likely see the golfer’s lead knee move toward the ball during the backswing. At the same time, the lead leg’s foot would roll inward and the heel would come off the ground. For the most part, it’s become a thing of the past. With more emphasis now on fitness and strength and swinging the club from a solid base, the best players really stabilize their lead knee (left for right-handers). They use it as an anchor to wind against as they load into their trail side. Even for amateur golfers of limited physical ability, consistency and power immediately improve when that knee is relatively still during the backswing.
My associate J.J. Rivet, one of the world’s leading biomechanists, says his testing has shown that the lead knee of a modern tour player moves toward the ball no more than 8 degrees. In many cases it barely shifts. Amateurs, however, let the knee move as much as 35 degrees during the backswing. You can’t coil properly with a power bleed like that.
A drill to train better stabilization of this knee is to make one- handed rehearsal backswings while preventing the knee from moving with your other hand (above). You should feel pressure in the toes of your lead leg and the heel of your trail leg as you reach the top of the swing. It’s perfectly acceptable for the lead heel to raise as long as the knee moves slightly toward the target, not inward. —WITH RON KASPRISKE
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