2017 Round 3 – The $21 Short Game Lesson

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, March 27th, 2017
Categories: GolfHackers

Pop quiz: Is it possible to lose $21 playing golf with a $2.00 bet?
Answer: Yes, when you’re me and playing against the guy with the best short game in the world.

Yesterday was round 3 of the 2017 season for me. I have low expectations since I have now logged 3 rounds in 3 weeks and 3 rounds since November. It doesn’t even bother me that my rounds are getting worse. I know through many years of experience that it takes me a while to get my game back in the spring. That’s a great reason to move somewhere I can golf all year, but that’s a blog post for another day.

Yesterday’s round featured a match between the team of me and my buddy Arnie, and Dalton and Al. Al is a senior player closing in on 70 years old who I’ve played 100’s of times with. He has the best short game of any amateur golfer I’ve ever seen, and better than most pros. Man was that short game on display yesterday.

Al is not a long player, so he often misses greens he’s unable to reach in regulation. If he misses any green in regulation by 70 yards or less, I’d put his lifetime up and down percentage at around 75%. It was so amazing yesterday that I was hoping my putt from the fringe would be closer than his shot from 60 yards. By my calculations yesterday he failed to get up and down once out of around 14 times. That was on the 18th hole when the match was already closed out and it didn’t matter. Hehe.

At the end of the day Al had taken all the cash I had on me, $21. Nothing more fun than leaving the course with an empty wallet.  But it was the cheapest short game lesson I’ve ever had and I learned a lot from him. He hit almost every shot low. Low runners. And unlike what a lot of short game experts tell you (to land the ball just on the green and have it release) he would land the ball short of the green and the ball would roll to the hole like a putt… to 1-2 feet. His release on those shots is pretty low and short too.

Inspired by Al’s short game I was able to get up and down three consecutive times on the back nine, probably a world record for me.

The Takeaway

I must resist the lob wedge and go low and run my short games unless the situation forces a high shot. That’s a goal for this season.


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