For many golfers, shooting under par or playing scratch golf is a lifetime goal. For most of us, it’s a worthy one too, because as Ringo Starr sang, “you know it don’t come easy.”
No matter how much you play, golf is tough. If you are playing on the best golf course in Central Oregon, River’s Edge, you already know the challenge. So take advantage of your course knowledge and plan each shot, not just each hole, to save a stroke.
We aren’t machines, and as handy as muscle memory is to our golf swing, weather conditions like moisture and wind can turn your game sideways. You just might find yourself with a lie you weren’t planning to defend (that’s where your ball sits, not the score you tell your brother you shot).
To take advantage of this tip, zero-in on a specific spot on the course to aim for, even if you must hold back a little, to set up your final approach to the green. Doing so takes some discipline and honesty. Be true to how you can hit and save strokes!
Another tip is being honest about your score. It’s a good idea to track your scores, even if you aren’t part of a golf group or using an app. I prefer saving every scorecard. Why? Because after several rounds, you’ll see which holes you are struggling with by the predominance of over-par scores. Then you can shoot under par by understanding and fixing the problem: lack of driving distance or poor chipping. Also, don’t be a lazy putter. Don’t just lag-up close to the hole. You’ve got to use your memory and precision to get close, if not in. Eliminate those three-putts!
When you’re a pro and hit a bad shot, you can get back to the fairway or back to the green in regulation because you’ve got the skills and the years of experience. Most of us can’t shoot under par when scrambling. So, don’t scramble. Play smarter.
A good tip for avoiding the scramble is to stop trying to kill the ball. Put your drive in the middle of the fairway and work from there. You can finesse a fade around the water to drop on the green if you have the skill. If not, save the strokes that kill your game by putting your skill into percentages.
The tip on percentages means if you can bend around that big dogleg accurately 85% of the time to pick up fifty yards, maybe it’s worth the risk. But if you’re playing the top golf course in Bend, remember the name is River’s Edge, and missing might cost you two-strokes for a water-soaked ball.
Your final tip is to know when the risk is worth a try. If you gain those 50-yards, will that save you a stroke or just make your approach shorter and still shy of the green? Only risk the shots that save you a stroke to make or break par!