Driving and Putting

A few years ago, The Golf Channel spent the winter broadcasting the old TV golf shows. You have to have a few rounds under your belt to remember Challenge Golf, Big Three Golf, All-Star Golf, and the Wonderful World of Golf (the original show). I recorded quite a few of them.

When I was growing up, I watched these shows all the time. All the biggest stars were on them, and why not? Prize money was $3,000 to the winner and $1,000 to the loser. This was in an era when a tournament win was worth about $5,000. All-Star Golf was a pretty nice day’s work, win or lose.

One of the shows had Byron Nelson on it. He had long before stopped competing, but he still played a mean game of golf and had to be taken seriously when he teed it up.

He made a comment during the match. He said, “If you can drive and you can putt, you can play this game.”

That stuck.

Because he’s right.

Get the ball in the fairway, and you’re on offense. Get the ball in the hole, and you score. It’s that simple.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working only on putting and driving. Not that the other shots aren’t important, but if you can’t hit these two, the other shots shots don’t matter.

As far as driving goes, I’ve just been working with the two adjustments I talked about in my earlier post, Two Swing Things. With putting, I put a little looseness in my wrists, so the stroke isn’t so rigid and mechanical. Also, since a putt is a delicate stroke, and when we do delicate things we use our thumb and forefinger, I spend a few moments looking the putt and getting the feeling of how to hit the ball into the hole, into the thumb and forefinger of my right hand. Works great.

It’s April. Golf season has begun in earnest. If you want to play better this season, start looking for some little things. If they’re the right ones, they make a big difference. And while you’re at it,

My new book, The Golfing Self, is now available at www.therecreationalgolfer.com. It will change everything about the way you play.

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