How can we save two strokes in this less frequently used part of the game (ten shots per round for Mr. 18 vs. eight shots for Mr. 9). As always, please start with avoiding errors. In the short game, these are shots that miss the green AND require four or more strokes to hole out. My pro and mentor spent hours on the short game with me. First, valuable technique instruction. Then competitions @ $1 per shot—best lessons ever! His method was to break the short game shot opportunities into three categories, and this goes for the Sand game as well. Try it—it works.
- Green light: Good lie/position, no trouble–try to hole it.
- Yellow light: Difficult but doable–play conservatively and try to be left with an uphill, makable putt.
- Red light: Very difficult with looming downside–just get the ball on the green and avoid the error.
Next, practice the type of shots that you face the most and especially those that tend to give you problems. Bottom line, hit more shots closer to the hole and avoid costly errors. While this sounds like annoyingly obvious advice, maybe it will help to consider that Mr. 18 saves only 21% of these opportunities vs. 32% for Mr. 9.
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