Now that a new year is here, it is time to set some goals for the golf game. My handicap has been creeping up over the last year or two, and my distance has been dropping. Just two years ago I was a 1 handicap and I finished this year at a 3.4. I crept up to a 5 early in 2011 and knocked it back down to the final 3.4.Goal 1: Improve Short Game – HIGHEST PRIORITY
My biggest blaring weakness is short game from about 50 yards in. When I miss a green, I’m getting up and down as low as 20% of the time. Around the greens can be pretty bad. If I haven’t played for a while, I almost have the chip yips. The thing I need most to do this year, is improve my chipping and pitching around the greens so I can get the ball closer to the hole.
Goal 2: Increase Greens In Regulation
My 2nd worst statistic this past year has been greens in regulation. I miss a lot of greens. Combine that with bad short game stats and you have a recipe for bleeding strokes.
I put some new KBS Tour 90 shafts in my Hogan irons toward the end of last season and my iron flight has straightened out quite a bit. I must increase greens in regulation.
Goal 3: Get Lost Distance Back
Driving accuracy has been fantastic this season, hovering around 80% (blows away most of the players on the PGA Tour). But I’ve lost some distance (PGA Tour blows me away). I suspect my recent separated shoulder may be one contributing factor, plus I think poor technique and releasing the club way too soon is another reason.
I haven’t just lost distance in driving, but my irons are all 1 to 1.5 clubs shorter. Here at altitude my 8 iron for the last 10 years has gone 160 yards. 2011’s yardage was 150. The whole iron set is the same story.
I suspect on the iron distance loss, I’ve subconsciously changed my technique a bit to prevent the damn golfer’s elbow. I used to play the ball back in the stance and pound down on it. I don’t do that as much. So the good is that I don’t suffer the golfer’s elbow pain, but I lose distance. At least that’s the theory.
What Will It Take?
What will it take to reach these goals and fix the issues mentioned above? First I’m going to get some short game lessons, perhaps from a few different instructors. When I’m satisfied that my coach and I have come up with the proper techniques, I’m going to try to practice them every week.
On the distance issue, I’m going to study my ball position, consult an instructor again etc. Then see what I can do to get some more club head speed. Definitely not ruling out a new driver, and I’ll surely test a bunch of them.
On the greens in regulation, I think once again it comes down to swing technique and distance control. Need to have properly set up gear as well.