Nothing turns a golfer’s stomach faster than stumbling into a two-over-par double bogey hole during a good round. I can’t say it’s unavoidable, but a few practical golf tips might change your thinking enough to improve your scores.
Everybody talks about practice, but some golfers just go through the motions. A lack of time and motivation stops them from honing the skills they need from practice. If that sounds like you, chose a few clubs and a few trouble spots and work on those exclusively. A tour pro has more experience and guile in their bag than we do, but we can still be sharp on common shots.
So, practice your drive (not your easy 7-iron), practice out of the sand, and practice your wedge shots before you go to the putting green. We can’t learn muscle memory if we don’t practice!
2. Course Management
Playing a golf course instead of having it play you will make a big difference in your handicap. River’s Edge is the best golf course in Central Oregon for several reasons. It’s got a breathtaking setting, wildlife, the layout is fantastic, and it’s challenging.
Yes, there are a few holes with some open fairways where you can hammer away with a wild driver and not get in trouble. But keep in mind that River’s Edge is 6,000+ from the whites, and it’s a tree-lined course. Reading the scorecard for fairways and advice will keep you out of the water and inbounds with good shot selection.
3. Being Realistic
Golf is challenging and a thrill to play but being realistic about our ability can be as important as our physical traits.Instead of trying to get over the water or a trap with a drive, it’s often better to pull-up short and take the practical approach with a chip and a short putt.
4. Keep Your Shots in Play
Driving 300-yards isn’t impossible for many players with the equipment we’ve got today. But it doesn’t help much if we slice or hook our shot 100-yards from the middle of the fairway. That’s just adding a stroke.Use good club selection to keep your shots in play to avoid the cost of two strokes for losing a ball. Often, a long iron or a hybrid is the correct choice.
5. Get Up and Down
It takes mental tenacity to excel at golf. We make a great tee shot, pull up 80-yards from the green, and then fail to get on in two. Then, we skull the wedge shot and find ourselves putting for bogey. It happens but learn to let it go.
If you struggle with this scenario, make that first wedge shot the best part of your game by practicing it, and then never missing it. Don’t try to get pin high and within five feet! Instead, get the ball on the green. So, you two-putt. Big deal.
The truth is that most of us have more double bogeys than birdies each round. Work to eliminate the doubles first!