ALL ABOUT THE SCORE
If you are reading this page, then I am assuming you are serious about making a living playing golf and are already a Professional or are thinking about turning Professional. Anyone looking to compete with the best players in the world need to understand the numbers:
• In 2016 177 players on the PGA Tour had a stroke average of less than 72. You needed to average less than 71 to have a realistic chance of keeping your card.
• 128 players on the European Tour averaged less than 72 with only 42 players beating 71.
• Across the world there are only around 300 players who average better than 71 and about 80% of all prize money is won by them!
• The other 20% of prize money is shared by the next 500 players who all average below 73.
When you bear in mind that the courses on the main tours are some of the hardest in the world,
anyone averaging more than 72 on the mini tours still has a lot of work to do to be competitive. The ability to shoot in the mid 60’s on a regular basis without your bad round being more than 74 will do it.
Every good player will roughly have a 10-shot difference between a good and bad round; if your good round is 68 then your bad round is likely to be 78, the top players will typically be working with a 64 to 74 range.
MAKE BIRDIES, LIMIT BOGIES, IT REALLY IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT!
What can you do to help make more birdies:
• Hole more putts from inside 20ft
• Improve distance control with wedges
• Hit it closer from inside 150yds
• Hit more fairways off the tee
• Improve course management
What will help to reduce bogies:
• No penalty shots
• Hole out better from inside 6ft
• A sharper short game
• Aim away from flag sometimes
• Improve club selection
WILL THIS HELP TO REDUCE MY SCORES?
This question needs to be asked before and during any practice session to ensure you do not waste any precious practice time. Every minute of every practice session should be targeting areas that will
help you reduce your scores. For each player this will mean focussing on different things. Do you know what aspects of your game contribute the most to your overall score??
Be world class at something, What is the best aspect of your game?
Are you a long hitter, a short game wizard, an excellent wedge player or a great putter? Whatever it is that makes you stand out from others my suggestion is that you do everything possible to become as good as you can at it. Look at the statistics of the
best in the world and compare yourself to them:
• Compare your driving to Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson
• Compare your iron play to Henrik Stenson or Sergio Garcia
• Compare your short game to Phil Mickelson
• Compare your putting to Jordan Spieth
Get up to date with stats
Mark Broadie has revolutionised the world of statistics, I would very much encourage you to read his book Every Shot Counts and become familiar with his Strokes Gained concept. You should be keeping relevant stats for your game to accurately identify your strengths and weaknesses.
It is though that we can only really fully concentrate for around 20mins at a time, so I suggest that you take a short break every 20mins during a practice session. This gives your brain a break and allows you to reflect on how the session is going and whether you need to change anything.
Reflection can be done in a formal way by completing a form with pre-determined questions or very informally by just having a think about things. Either way can be effective, the key thing being that it happens regularly and is acted upon. The best players in the world are never satisfied and are constantly working out ways to improve.
Recommended Pro Programme
Identifying and establishing a plan followed by regular contact and communication, are the most important factors here. For someone this serious about their game it is really important to have an open and honest relationship between player and coach; both sides should respect and look to learn from each other, always with the goal of reducing scores. I have an established Performance Coaching/Mentoring Programme and very much enjoy the challenge of assisting professional players to understand their game and reduce their scores.
If you are currently competing full time and in need of some guidance or are thinking about playing professionally soon, then
please contact me for a FREE 60min Consultation to discuss the most effective ways of you achieving your goals!
THE RIGHT START WILL PAY DIVIDENDS LATER
I completely understand that someone would want to have a go at golf before committing to some lessons, but please don’t leave it too long before contacting me. It is a very common scenario for me to be giving a lesson to someone who has “had a few goes on
the driving range”, has ‘benefitted’ from their friend’s advice and is now thinking that they could see themselves becoming hooked.
The first few pieces of advice you hear when starting anything new can easily become entrenched in your belief system. Unfortunately, in golf these ‘pearls of wisdom’ from a friend, colleague or family member can create more problems than answers.
By having a few lessons early, you will benefit hugely in the future and your enjoyment of this wonderful game will last a lifetime.
During their first few golf lessons a beginner should:
• Have fun and enjoy their first experiences of golf
• Get to play on the golf course
• Understand how a golf club ‘works’
• Experiment with different clubs
• Coordinate simple physical movements
• Ask questions
During the same lessons, I as coach will:
• Keep the session light hearted
• Expect to see some bad shots, they are part of the learning journey
• Introduce you to different learning environments
• Explain simply how the club and body work together
• Answer any relevant questions
Recommended Beginner Programme:
A 6hr Programme works really well for a beginner. The 6 hours can be delivered over a period of 2-3 months during which all aspects of the game will be covered including at least two sessions being on the golf course.
The cost of a 6hr Programme is £250 for an individual although it is a common option for two or more friends to start and learn together.
10% (£25) will be added per extra person to the cost:
• Individual 6hr Programme £250
• Two people sharing £275
• Three people sharing £300
Contact me below to make a booking.
PLAN YOUR WAY TO BREAKING THE 100 BARRIER
There is no shame is scoring over 100 for 18 holes, it is a difficult game to get to grips with and a golf course has a habit of being a harsh opponent! But with the right mindset and a bit of practice on the right things a score in the 90’s becomes possible. Let’s break it down in a couple of ways:
99 is equal to an average of 5.5 shots per hole.
This means that in 18 holes you need:
• 1 hole with a score of 3
• 4 holes with a score of 4
• 4 holes with a score of 5
• 4 holes with a score of 6
• 4 holes with a score of 7
• 1 hole with a score of 8
= 18 holes with a score of 99
Or you could look at it slightly differently:
• 1 x par
• 9 x bogeys
• 6 x double bogeys
• 2 x triple bogeys
18 holes 27over par
= 18 holes with a score of 99
I’m hoping that the above breakdowns are helping you to think that a score in the 90s is possible? Consistency and how you react to poor shots are both very important at this level.
MY KEY TIPS FOR BREAKING 100:
• Try to be on the green or fringe in one shot more than regulation as often as possible (2 shots on a Par 3, 3 shots on a Par 4, 4 shots on a Par 5). With a little bit of planning and forward thinking there should be quite a few holes where you are confident of achieving this.
• Go 18 holes without incurring any penalty shots. Don’t hit it Out of Bounds and keep the ball
away from ditches, water hazards etc.
• There is no need for you to be too aggressive off the tee. Your aim should be to consistently keep the ball in play. Find a reliable driver you feel comfortable with, this could well be slightly shorter than standard with at least 12 degrees of loft and maybe offset.
• Give yourself big targets ie. Aim at centre of green, not the flag.
• Don’t keep coming up short with approach shots, take enough club to reach the back of the green.
• Practice lag putting, you will face a lot of putts over 30ft. If you can start to limit the 3-puttsfrom that range then your scores can tumble!
RECOMMENDED 100+ SHOOTER PROGRAMME
This player will probably need a little bit of work on various areas such as:
• A more consistent swing technique
• More reliability with a driver
• Basic short game skills
• Good distance control with long putts
And also, a couple of Playing Lessons on the golf course to highlight the improvements and to help make good course management decisions.
In this instance 3 x 60min lessons would be a good starting point with more lessons to follow in the
• 60mins on the driving range
• 60mins on the short game area
• 60mins on the golf course
A 3hr Programme costs £130 or a bespoke Programme can be designed to suit your available time
THREE KEY SHOTS TO BREAK 90
Anyone scoring in the 90s is averaging somewhere between 5.0 and 5.5 per hole. To do this you must have the ability to hit some good shots and make plenty of pars and bogeys. The key shots I will talk about here will definitely help you maintain a level of consistency in the 90s (if you are a high 90s shooter) and greatly enhance your chances to move into the 80s (if you are a low 90s shooter).
To break 90 your aim should be to average below 5 per hole. A good way of doing it is to play against 5’s during the round; assume every hole is a par 5 and keep score accordingly. In this scenario, the par 3’s represent an excellent chance to pick up a shot or two and the shorter par 4’s are another good opportunity. The longer par4’s and the par 5’s should be played with caution, trying not to make a big score.
Remember 89 (assuming par of 72) can be made up of:
• 1 par and 17 bogeys
• 3 pars, 13 bogeys and 2 double bogeys
• 5 pars, 9 bogeys, 4 double bogeys
Three key shots for breaking 90:
1. Driver – reliability is more important than distance at this level.
Consistent contact and a predictable shot shape will ensure you
keep the ball in play.
2. 150yd approach shot – need a club that you are confident in
hitting the green or fringe from this distance more often than
not. A higher lofted (25 degrees) hybrid can be ideal for this.
3. Pitch shot – can consistently hit the middle of the green from
30-100yds with a choice of at least two wedges.
It also goes without saying that you should be trying your best to avoid having any penalty shots and also working hard on your putting to avoid 3-putting. To break 90 and average less than 5 shots per hole requires you to execute the key shots well combined with a good consistent mental approach. If things start to go wrong don’t panic, don’t force things, stick to the plan, relax and trust yourself to hit the key shots nicely.
Recommended 90s shooter Programme
A player at this level has various options:
• A condensed programme of 4 or 5 lessons within 6-8 weeks. This will iron out any specific
issues and get them ‘back on track’.
• For sustainable and guaranteed longer term improvement most of my clients at this level
will have a 60min lesson every month with communication via text or email in between.
• If you are consistently hitting the ball well, but still not seeing your scores come down, then a Playing Lesson on the golf course every couple of months can make a big difference.
Contact me below to make a booking or discuss a bespoke Programme.
REALLY GET TO KNOW YOUR GAME
Well done for consistently scoring in the 80’s, you clearly have the ability to hit a lot of good shots and are relatively competent at most parts of the game. But, you and I both know how much you would love to reduce your scores to being in the 70’s, right? To consistently score in the 70’s you really need to know your own game:
• How far do you hit each club on average? Maximum?
• How often can you hit it within certain tolerances of distance
• What range of short game shots can you play consistently well?
• How is your putting under pressure?
TOP TIP FOR BREAKING 80
Par the Par 3’s and keep a six off your card.
Typically, on a Par 72 golf course, you will play four Par 3’s and four Par 5’s in 18 holes. If you can get
through those eight holes without dropping a shot, then you only have to make three pars on the ten remaining Par 4’s. If you consistently drop shots on the Par 3’s and Par 5’s then you are putting a
lot of pressure on yourself to play the Par 4’s well.
To shoot scores in the low 80’s or high 70’s you probably don’t need to make any major changes to your swing technique. I would suggest an improvement in how you practice is more important:
Know your yardages:
To be able to successfully plot your way around the course, you need to have a good understanding of how far you hit each club. These yardages will need to be checked and tested a few times a year
as weather and course conditions will affect results.
Ideally every practice session should include an equal amount of time spent on blocked, random and competitive elements. Supervised practice lessons can really help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Test yourself with your putting and short game:
Saving shots on and around the green rather than wasting them is vital to producing your lowest scores. This area of your game should be practised under true test conditions to ensure progress is consistently made.
TIME TO GET SERIOUS
It is thought that anyone consistently scoring in the 70’s is in the top 5% of golfers on the planet, so Congratulations!
Some of you reading this will be young and quickly improving, so may be starting to consider a future career playing golf? If that is your desire, then you really need to start playing aggressively and breaking 70 as often as you can; you must not fear ‘going low’. A combination of the information on this page and the PRO page will benefit you in your quest to earn a living playing golf.
Or you may be a club player who can occasionally score in the 70’s, but would like to achieve it more consistently? In this case the information and tips on this page will definitely help you.
PLAY AGGRESSIVE OR SAFE?
Good course management will result in you giving yourself the best chance of shooting the best score. Sometimes this will mean you playing an aggressive shot and ‘going for it’, other times the safe play will prove more prudent.
Your ability to assess the potential risk is important and will be determined by a combination of:
• knowing your game
• your current confidence level
• the features of the hole you are playing.
Any aggressive decision should greatly enhance your chance of making a birdie. My suggestion is to think about a course you regularly play and plan what would be the most aggressive play for each hole. Then think about the safest way for each hole to be played and consider which plan you would feel most comfortable with standing on the tee. Ideally your Game Plan will combine some of each;
anyone erring on the side of caution will limit how high their score will be, but probably won’t ever shoot very low. The more aggressive player at this level might not be considered as consistent, but their good days will be a few shots lower.
Playing good golf requires a lot of different skills to be performed during 18 holes. Anyone shooting in the 70’s will have a reasonably good technique that will need monitoring and maintaining, but I strongly feel that more players at this level would benefit from acquiring skills rather than constantly
looking to be ‘fixed’, such as:
• shaping shots with a draw or fade
• hitting high and low shots
• trajectory and spin control with wedges
• distance control with iron shots
The development of these skills will affect the course management decisions you make and whether or not you can be aggressive.
ASSESS THE CONDITIONS TO CHOOSE THE CORRECT CLUB
You probably have a good idea of how far you hit each club (if not then make that a priority right now), but that is only the first stage of choosing the correct club for a shot. You will also need to assess the:
• lie of the ball
• elevation uphill or downhill
• softness or firmness of the ground
• wind strength and direction
• air temperature
• hole location on the green
• hazards around the target area
• state of the match
All can make a difference to the club required, the better the player the better they are at judging and assessing the conditions.
STATS TO KEEP
The more serious you are about improving your game the more important it becomes to keep a few records and statistics about your play. There are many websites and apps that can help with this, but
I think it is best to have a bespoke set of stats to keep that are tailored to your game. For example, if you are a shorter hitter then it will be very important to hit a high percentage of fairways whereas
the longer hitter should be more concerned with minimising their ‘miss’. Both will give each player their best chance of scoring. Many other aspects can be recorded depending on the player’s strengths, weaknesses and priorities. These should be kept for every round and shared with the coach to ensure both parties are clear about the future development.
Contact me below to make a booking or discuss a bespoke Programme.
Any player at this level should have a pretty reliable swing technique, so any changes should be to help limit their bad shots. Regular check-ups should be booked in throughout the year to monitor
any necessary adjustments. Supervised practice sessions to encourage the acquisition of more advanced skills would also be recommended along with a couple of Playing Lessons to discuss
different course management decisions.
Each 70’s shooter is different, but I think that over a 12-month period I would expect them to invest £400-£500 in a variety of sessions. This would ensure that improvement and progress can be achieved and maintained. Without a good relationship with their coach their performance will plateau or start to deteriorate and they could easily find themselves back in the 80’s again.