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Senior Golfer - On The Green

ON THE GREEN is courtesy of the Senior Connection Newspaper, visit their web site. The author is Jerry Koncel, a free-lance writer who lives in Schaumburg, IL.

Measure your golf game to improve it

The Putting Green

It's not very often that I come away with some words of wisdom after watching a golf television show, reading a book or a magazine article, or just talking to some golf buddies about the game Recently, however, I came across some insights about the game, some tips that I believe you'll find helpful in improving your golf games in 2008.

Resolve that in 2008 you'll spend more time and effort on the short game than on the long game. The reason for this is quite simple: The vast majority of golf shots you hit during a typical round of golf take place within 100 yards of the green and on the green.

Here's another tip that is bound to help you "You need to practice with a purpose." To determine what you need to practice on, learn from your work experience. In business, if you don't measure everything in your operation, you'll never know whether you're improving or regressing. Well, the same thing holds true in golf. You've got to measure each one of your golf rounds to identify those areas that need practice. You need to measure each round and then add them up collectively to see some major trends.

You need to put down whether you hit your drives in the fairway or rough, and how far did you hit them. You should also put an asterisk if you hit the ball either behind a tree, out of bounds, or in a hazard because this will cost you at least one stroke a hole. If you find that bad drives cost you strokes, work on the driver.

You need to know whether or not you hit the green in regulation (GIR). If you didn't, you need to know whether the shot ended short or long, right or left of the green. Again, put an asterisk here is the ball ends up in a hazard or a sand trap as opposed to the fairway or rough. These results will tell you how you are hitting your irons so that you can practice hitting them better.

If you don't hit the greens in regulation, how well did you scramble, that is, get the ball up and down? If you make 40% of the ups and downs, that's great. How about 25%? That's not so great and you've discovered something you need to practice on during the year.

You should put down how many putts you took on a GIR. Write down how far away from the hole you were on your first putts, whether they ended up short or long, right or left of the hole and how far away. For example, you may find that all your lag putts from 30 feet came up short and right. This usually indicates that you are not striking the putts in the middle of the clubface because you are looking up or coming out of the stroke.

Here's another thing I found when I reviewed my rounds of golf in 2007. This doesn't apply to everyone, but I found that nearly three quarters of my birdie putts from inside 20 feet came up short of the hole. After discovering this fact, I realized that I was not concentrating on making the birdie putts, but rather trying not to three-putt and ruin my score. This negative thought, this lack of confidence was a result of having the "Yips" for three previous years. Based on this analysis, I will concentrate ever more on hitting birdie putts 17 inches beyond the hole, for which I can thank Dave Pelz and his scientific studies of the putting game.

Finally, I've been told by many golfers to try some training aids to help improve my golf swing and golf game. I'd like to hear from you if you have a favorite training aid, such as Medicus driver or an automatic putting cup or whatever it may be. I'm not a big fan of training aids, but I'm trying to have an open mind. So, please email me with your favorite training aids, be sure to tell me what they've done to help your golf game, and I'll try to include them in a future column.

Until next month, think spring!

ON THE GREEN is courtesy of the Senior Connection Newspaper, visit their web site. The author is Jerry Koncel, a free-lance writer who lives in Schaumburg, IL.

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