In Ben Hogan’s Power Golf, Ben closes the book with 8 tips to lower your score. The book was copyrighted in 1948. Let’s take a look if they still hold up 70 years later. I understand that I will be contesting one of the greats in golf and I still play bogey golf.
Lower Your Golf Score Tip #1: Practice
I would say practice is important as long as you focus your practice. Smashing through four large buckets a week on the week gets you no where but sore. Focus on what you need work on and get drills that will correct these tendencies.
Lower Your Golf Score Tip #2: Common Sense
Know yourself and play your game. It is great to be confident but don’t be arrogant. If a shot doesn’t feel right or you have not been consistent all day, don’t go for. Choose a safer shot and save a stroke or two. Here is an example:
Option A is the obvious better choice since there are many trees and a sand trap guarding the green. But how enticing is the Option B? Resist and play the safe shot, Option A.
Lower Your Golf Score Tip #3: Use a Club with Enough Loft
Ben is talking about lofting a ball at the green and getting it to stick. This ties in with Tip #6. Understand what each club will do in relation to what you need. I tend to play with my irons/hybrids and swing like wedges. This means sometimes the distance is there but the loft is too shallow to hold the green.
Lower Your Golf Score Tip #4: Play Safe if You Can’t Get a Clean Shot
This is easily the hardest thing to teach a new player who believes they are behind on the scorecard. A 90 degree safe punch shot will result in a lower score compared to trying to thread the needles between five trees to get 50 feet from the green.
Lower Your Golf Score Tip #5: Learn to Play the Sand Wedge
Just because the club’s name has SAND in it doesn’t mean you cannot use it elsewhere. I still don’t have a confident in my touch with my sand wedge and I want to have it. It would save putts if I could flop it within three feet of the pin and stop it dead. Just watch videos of Phil Mickelson with his flop shots. Just watch a master:
Lower Your Golf Score Tip #6: Let Your Clubs Do the Job
This tips applies to brand new golfers who feel the need to help the ball up despite the club face being designed to do just that. The lesson to be learned is to make the ball go up, hit down on the ball. Divot after the ball good. Divot behind the ball bad. If you top the ball, you are trying to help the ball. Let the club do the work.
Lower Your Golf Score Tip #7: Play for the Green, Not the Pin
If the pin is tucked in a corner guarded by a sand trap, you improve your odds to score better if you hit the meatier part of the green and putt for the pin. This applies mainly to iron shots 120 to 180 yards out. As you get closer, your wedges are more precise and can attack.
Lower Your Golf Score Tip #8: Don’t be Afraid
See our post on Fear is Mind Killer.
These are great tips and do not require a great shift in approaching the game of golf. Each tip might lower your golf score a stroke per round. Used all together, you can drop your score by 10 strokes.