I was given an excellent piece of advice from a European Tour player a while back.
“Realise that your strengths will always be your strengths and weaknesses your weaknesses.”
This advice resonated with me, and after some contemplation I realised why. The fact of the matter is most players spend the majority of their time and effort trying to improve the areas they are the least skilled at.
While there is definitely a point in working on your flaws (and please make sure you do try improve these areas), I’m here to give you a different point of view. To improve your golf game, I want you to analyse your game and discover which areas are your strong points and which ones are the weaker areas. From there, spend a large portion of your practice time on improving your stronger areas and use the other portion to gradually fix your weaknesses over time.
To begin this process, you need to first find out which areas are your strengths and which are your weaknesses, and the best way to do this is by tracking your statistics. If you don’t track your stats, you should start with taking down just the basics.
Fairways, greens, up and downs, sands saves and putts.
Fairways - How many fairways hit and which side you missed them on.
Greens in Regulation (GIR) - How many greens you hit in handicap regulation. I.e.. If you're a scratch handicapper, if you hit a par 4 in 2 shots and are putting for birdie, that's a tick for GIR.
Up and Downs - When you miss a green do you chip and 1 putt. If so, this is a Up and Down.
Sand Saves - This is the same as Up and Downs but just from a bunker shot.
Putts Per Round - How many putts per round when you're on the green.
To make this process easier, you can use a notepad, a variety of different golf apps or even clubs tools such as Arccos Golf.
After 10-15 rounds you should start getting a very clear picture on the areas of your game that you would consider your strengths.
Now it’s time to practice.
For an example, if you have found that your wedge shots from 100m are one of the stronger parts of your game, then invest some time honing in your wedge play. Learn the distances of all of your shorter irons with full, ¾ and ½ swings. Practice different ball flights and hit shots into and with the wind.
Even though this was already one of your stronger areas, you’ll end up having the added knowledge and confidence that for every round you play, you’ll have something to fall back on if your longer game is off. If you ever need to punch out from the trees or lay up on a par 5, you’ll be able to play to a certain distance and trust your wedge play will keep your score ticking along nicely.
This isn’t to say that you should ignore the weaker areas of your golf game. It is more than likely that technique issues are causing your inconsistent and erratic shots and letting you down. Instead of losing your temper making the same mistakes, speak to your local PGA Professional and sort out a plan to improve, not perfect, your flaws.
To book a lesson with one of our PGA Professionals, head to the link below.