I miss the late night TV commercials of my youth. The best was the Ginsu knives. I always wanted to cut a can and then slice a tomato like it was paper. It made it sound to good to be true and my mom warned me it was. Statements like that set high expectations but for the price you should expect less. The title of this article is just like a set of Ginsu knives and I am not even throwing in a free set of kitchen shears for the first 100 people who read this article. Does saving strokes sounds like something you are interested in?
I am offering free advice but it can be worth a lot if you really listen to it. Here is the advice that will change your golf game and your life. Get your pencil out. Call the kids over. Ready?
Stop loosing golf balls!!!
I know it sounds simple to save save strokes by not losing golf balls and you have thought of that before. But when did you think it? In the car ride home from the course, right? You grip the steering wheel doing the math in your head. “If I hadn’t lost the driver on 3 and the water shot on 6 and 2 on 11 and the drive on 17, I could have broken 90.”
I do it myself after every round as I debrief myself. I look at the scorecard and look out the outliers that drag the final score up. Each snowman is melted down to figure out why I let 8 strokes happen on a single hole. Penalty shots are a killer and a true kick to the shins.
Take a deep breath and a step back and ask yourself why did a take those penalty shots?
- On #3, your drive sliced into the woods resulting in a stroke and distance penalty. Were your drives on #1 and #2 in the fairway? What about your other drives for the rest of the day?
- #6 went into the water to the left of the green. Did you pull it left of did you land it on the green and it slid off the green due to the slope? Should you have laid up and hit a bump and run to the pin instead?
- On the 17th, your ball bounced into the rough on the right side of the fairway. You assumed you could find it but as you walked away from the tee box you were doing mental math on how your round would finish up and did not mark you balls landing zone. You looked and looked and the grass had eaten it up.
Where do penalty strokes commonly appear?
Try to find common threads to your penalty strokes.
- Do your drives start leaking right more and more as the round goes (mine do)?
- Does a particular hole at the course have your number?
- Does water freak you out?
- Are you over estimating your distance for your clubs?
Once a source of woe is identified, either seek professional help or devise a realistic strategy. If you seek wisdom from those better than you, do not spend a night on YouTube researching “Stop slicing your driver.” Go find a local pro and take multiple lessons.
I began to develop a well oiled slice with my driver. I told my friend I am going to find a pro and get it exercised. His reply, “I think you exercised it enough today.” (smart ass! LOL) I watched YouTube videos night after night and tried these cookie cutter solutions that always started with “Many people try this….” In the end, my swing was complicated by shifting my balance grip and swing path out of their natural balance and the fixes did not last long either.
I swallowed my pride and called a pro for a lesson. She took one look at my swing and gave me a unique solution to concentrate on for each drive. She told me to concentrate on the follow through since I spent all my mental capacity on the backswing and downswing instead.
Solutions for you may vary from never hitting your driver again to accepting 20 to 50 yards less on your drive but you will be in the fairway and hitting 2. Change your game to avoid the pitfall of sending your golf ball out of play.
Save your golf balls and your sanity
If you keep your ball in play, you will also feel better. The mental pain of a penalty shot hurts worse to the psyche than the stroke hurts your scorecard. How long does that anger/disappointment hang around? The rest of the hole? The next tee box? The rest of the round? Let it go and stay in the game. There is only the now.
There is also a financial element of not loosing golf balls. If we say an average golf ball cost $2 and you lost 9 a round, you spend $18 per round on top of greens fees, beers, and food. After a few rounds, you will be able to pay for another rounds with all the money you don’t spend on replacement golf balls.