Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Plan Conservatively, Swing Aggressively

"Plan Conservatively, Swing Aggressively"
By Sean & Stef Mysel

Probably one of the easiest, if not the easiest ways to lower your golf scores is to plan out your rounds of golf with a conservative slant to them.  What do I mean?  Inevitably when I play a round of golf with other golfers or by myself behind others, I notice this phenomenon where golfers automatically take out driver on just about every hole.  In fact, I suspect that if they could, many golfers would take out a driver on par 3s if there was a justification for it.  The driver is by far for the vast majority of people the toughest club to hit in the bag.  Why?  It's the longest, flattest (face) and lowest lofted club.  In other words, you're swinging something over three feet long that doesn't produce much back spin but can produce a tremendous amount of side spin.

So getting back to playing conservatively.  Take my home course of Roddy Ranch in Antioch, CA.  The second hole is a tempting layout that measures only 300 yards from the back tees.  You have bunkers on the left about 150 out, out of bounds on the left which for most righties never comes into play and bunkers off on the right near the green.  Problem is, if you want to drive this hole you have maybe a 10-15 yard wide landing area with a green that lays our perpendicular to the tee box.  And yet......people still try to drive it and start cussing to the golf gods when the ball is in some ugly place.  One might ask, doesn't this take the fun out of the game?

My answer is an emphatic....NO!  Ask yourself a question, is it more fun to hit a solid iron or hybrid with a short chip onto the green and come away with par or birdie?  Or is it more fun to slap a drive 250 yards into a bunker and spend a couple shots trying to get it out of said bunker?  I tried this approach myself and will admit that I was a habitual risk taker.  I played driver twice on the widest fairways and shot.....drumroll please.....two under.  My best shots are mid-iron shots which I can hit around 200 yards.  For most golf courses if you can find a club that is consistent at 200 yards of the tee, you'll be amazed at how you can shave strokes off.