The Importance of Ball-Striking

So often you hear touring professionals say that your score is made from 100 yards in, so that’s where you (the amateurs they’re taking to) should spend most of your time practicing. The trouble is, they’re projecting the way they score onto your game. That doesn’t make sense.

The professional game is built around getting the ball in the hole as quickly as possible once it gets to the green. That’s how you make birdies, and save pars if you miss. But the pros are taking for granted that they’re already getting the ball up to the green as quickly as it is possible to do, and we aren’t.

If you count on hitting 12-14 greens per round, then the short game is what will make you stand out. But if you generally hit just three or four greens, how is your short game going to help you break 80? or even 90?

If you want to get your score down, you have to stop wasting shots getting the ball up to and onto the green. Ball-striking, hitting more fairways and more greens, is the key. That means getting swing lessons and diligently practicing what you were taught.

I’m not saying you should neglect your work around the green, but all you need to be for now is to be adequate. The quickest way for you to get into the 70s is to have a swing that reliably hits the ball straight. Once you’re there, you can become a short game and putting wizard if you want to start chasing par. But get that swing straightened out first.

One last way to look at this. Which would led to a lower score? For a touring professional to hit all your full swings shots, or to hit all your short shots and putts?

I thought so.

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