Ask yourself, what is the most important element of your golf game? What area do you spend the most time practicing and trying to improve, both on and off the course? I would venture to say that more than half of our readers will say either driver or mid-irons. You see this same scenario at golf facilities all over America every day... You arrive at the course, check in and head to the practice facility where you hit a couple short wedges to loosen up, then a few 7 irons before teeing up the driver which you proceed to hit 20 balls with. Whew, okay now you’re loose and ready to go hit 2 putts on the practice green before heading to the 1st tee.
Now, be honest, I am pretty accurate aren’t I? We have conditioned ourselves to believe that the most important club in our bag is the Driver. We spend the most money and the most time on this one club. And while I will NOT disagree about its importance and value, there is another part of the game that often goes ignored, the short game. Most days the average golfer will hit their driver 12-14 times per round. While in contrast, you use your putter an average of 34 times per round. Factor in the shots from 100 yards and in, you are now looking at almost 50 strokes. If you average in the 80-90’s, more than half your score comes from the short game, putting and chipping.
So next time, you arrive for a friendly round of golf with your buddies, let them pound drivers on the practice facility while you head over to the putting and chipping green. You may be surprised by the outcome and your friends may be buying the drinks after the round!
Rick Hileman, PGA
Director of Golf