I’ve written before about analyzing your round stroke by stroke in order to learn how to make better shot selection decisions, and to identify which strokes need work next time you go the range. Here’s my latest round analyzed, with par in parentheses.
1. (4) 2H, 9i, sand, putt, putt. Hit the 9i thin, first iron shot of the day is always difficult. Think about the destination, not the task.
2. (4) Driver, 8i, putt, putt.
3. (3) 8i, chip (30 yds.), putt, putt, putt. First putt went way past the hole. The greens are faster than they look.
4. (5) 4H, 4H, 7i, putt, putt. Par 5, no need to try for too much off the tee.
5. (5) 2H, 2H, 6i, chip (30 yds), putt. Hit both the 2H pretty poorly. 8i chip didn’t get in the air enough – clipped a mound. ~35-foot putt.
6. (3) 9i, chip (10 yds), putt, putt. Pin in front, eased off on the 9 too much. Get on the green, beyond the flag is OK. Hit the chip more firmly. As with the 9i, past the flag is OK.
7. (4) 6i (there’s a ravine you have to lay up to), 3i, chip, putt, putt.
8. (3) 7i right, putt, putt.
9. (5) 2H right, 4H (sand), 9i right, chip left (15 yds), putt, putt. 9i – alignment issue that would keep showing up for a few more holes; chip – align, align, align!
10. (4) Driver right, 9i, putt, putt.
11. (5) 2H right, 4H, PW, putt, putt.
12. (4) Driver, 4H, 4H, chip (30 yds), putt, putt. Hit the driver and the first 4H very thin. The chip was way to tentative.
13. (3) 6i, putt, putt, putt. First putt was downhill and to the right, played far too much break. Second putt from four feet played outside the hole and it stayed outside. Don’t give away the hole!
14. (5) 2H, 4H, PW, putt, putt.
15. (4) Driver (duck hook), 5H (sand), pitch, chip (20 yds), putt, putt. 5H – went for the green, should have played a 7i to the front of the green. Hit the pitch real fat – that happens.
16. (4) Driver, 3H right, sand, putt. I would have taken a bogey, but a ~30-foot putt went in.
17. (3) 7i, chip (6 yds), putt, putt. 7i was long, and a 6i chip out of the rough was tentative. Should have chipped with a PW, but should have hit an 8i off the tee, which I had thought of. Short would have still been on the green.
18. (4) Driver, 6i, putt, putt.
There are a normal amount of lucky shots and ones that I should have hit better, but the parts that stand out are the playing errors. On 1, I was worried about making clean contact. Just hit the ball. (More on that in a coming post.) On 6, I had enough club in my hand, but played it too fine. No. 9 -align the chip! This one finished hole high – exact distance, six feet to the left. On 13, I over-analyzed the first two putts. On 15, I chose the wrong shot out of the bunker. On 17, I chose a club to chip with that did not give me confidence.
Could you say that I gave away six shots because or poor thinking? Yes, you could. Also, those intermediate-length chips need work, too. They all ended up short. I might have gotten one stroke back, maybe two, by being better with that shot.
So you see that there are seven or eight shots that I could have saved, and there’s no reason why I can’t learn to get them. If this is a typical round for you as well, let’s both lower our score by thinking better so that all the work we do at the range finally pays off.
That chip on 16? I went to the range yesterday and figured out how to hit it with a gap wedge. Problem solved.
Perhaps, no, not perhaps, but really, your score could go down just by learning how to play the game and make better decisions. I’ve been writing these tips for two years now. If this is the only one you pay attention to, that would make me happy.