Do you ever read something that confirms something you know, but spells it out better than you could ever articulate it? This recently occurred to me when I read the GolfWrx article “Pros vs. Amateurs: Shots from 100 and 150 yards” by Tom Stickney II.
In that article they show the range in actual distance of a tour pro, teaching pro, 10 handicap, and 15 handicap when faced with a 100 and 150 yard shot. As you can imagine the greatest variance in distance is held by the two higher handicap players. What’s even better insight is the club selection by the 10 and 15 handicap. In almost all cases they chose the club based on its maximum distance, and in some cases greater than its max distance.
This is definitely something I’ve seen for a long time, and commonly refer to that 1/10 mentality. I was having this discussion with one of my players and gave him a challenge. I asked him, on every approach shot, to choose his club and then pick the next club up from that. For example, if he would normally hit a 7 iron I told him to hit a 6 iron. He accepted my challenge and one day later I received the following text:
I really enjoyed this feedback, and it sparked a discussion with my Assistant Dennis Rysz. He theorized what would happen if we replaced the club numbers with (ie. 7 iron) with the the average carry distance for that club? His opinion was the number of greens hit for most players would increase, if the carry distance numbers were formed by finding the average distance of those clubs. My experience would tell me that this logic is pretty accurate.
Can it really be that easy to hit more greens? Absolutely, its a matter of taking ego out of the shot and executing to your ability. We’ve been brainwashed by watching the distance and consistency that elite players hit their shots. The research in the GolfWrx article is the proof that the variance is greater for amateur players than for a tour pro. It’s important that you stop hiding from that, and use this knowledge to your benefit. You now have the insight that some of your playing partners don’t have, CAPITALIZE ON IT!
Are you ready to give it a try?
I want you to take on the same challenge I gave my student earlier, and select one club more than you would normally hit. Record the number of greens hit, the number of times short of the green, and the number of times long of the green. Leave your results in the comments below. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion you’ll be happy with the results.
I’ve got more…
I feel insights like this are where I can really help improve your scores. The game of golf is more than just fundamental swing tips and techniques, but learning how to put the ball in the hole. This is why I’ve developed the JBPGA Learning Leagues. A combination of 3 unique programs that accelerate improvement and make it affordable to have your own coach. I urge you to look into these new offerings and enroll today. They’ll change your golf game forever!