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Why You Canít Break 100 - Why You Can't Break 90

Sat Jan 11, 2003 - By Bob Dougherty

 

The main reason you canít break 90 or 100 is that you havenít consistently mastered, to a reasonable degree, four clubs; the driver, the two wedges (pitching and sand wedge) and the putter. If you can consistently hit a tee shot and then hit the green from fifty or sixty yards away into the pin, you can break 90 or 100.

Iíve heard that old Scottish saying for many years ďDrive for show ó putt for the dough.Ē Well, listen up, Bunkie; if you donít hit it well and consistent off the tee, you never have a chance to putt for the dough. Tell Tiger Woods, Ernie Els or David Duval that they can hit it anywhere and short off the tee and they will still be among the best players in the world. I donít think so.

These guys hit it long and put it in play. This gives them the opportunity to hit that second shot in close. Iíd like to play Tiger any day his is hitting it in the woods or deep rough and me playing it from the middle of the fairway and fifty yards further towards the pin. Iíll eat his lunch day in and day out. That driver in your hands is your attack club. Thatís what your best offensive club is. You need to have that idea in your mind every time you step on the tee with it in your hands.

Usually when I have a student on the lesson tee and I tell him the above, he or she says ďYeah thatís all well and good. You can do it ó I canít. All Iím trying to do is hit it in the fairway.Ē Then they proceed to try and steer the ball down the middle. They take it halfway back and halfway through. Thereís no turn on the back swing and no release of the body and forearms on the follow through. They hit it out there about 150 yards with a big slice. ďThatís my shot,Ē they say. In five minutes I teach them to release and turn it over so they draw the ball. This usually equals about fifty more yards. They may be in the left rough, but theyíre fifty yards further down towards the hole. All good players learn first to draw the ball.

The second reason most players canít break 90 or 100 is that they canít pitch the ball to the green from sixty yards on into the pin. Theyíve got no feel for it. In our clinics we try to equate pitching the golf ball to making an underhand pitch in softball. In softball, you swing your pitching arm back as you transfer weight to your back foot and then transfer it back to your lead foot with your pitching arm extending forward to the plate. Same in golf: you swing your pitching arm forward and face the target. Most people are afraid theyíre going to hit it too hard and then they stop their follow through with their weight transfer and follow through. (?) As a result, they skull it and chunk it, hitting the ground six inches behind the ball.

The third reason you canít break 90 or 100 is youíre particularly lousy at chipping the ball close from the edge of the green. This is the stroke that turns bogies into birdies or at least pars. How many times have you gotten the ball close to the green on a par four in two shots and then made six or seven? I saw Jose

Maria Olazabal hit six green in regulation and shot three under par 69. He upped and downed it twelve times for par. An average tour pro only hits twelve green in regulation. Where does that leave you? If I hit ten greens, I shoot par or better. If you donít hit many greens, you better be a whiz at the short game, especially chipping. 3

Now letís get to that flat stick. Forty percent of your shots are going to be putts. If youíre three or four putting every green, this will surly add up that final number. Think about it. If you average three puffs a hole, thatís 54 shots. I canít tell you the number of people who come to see me who just want a lesson on the swing, never a putting lesson. Remember, you usually hit a driver around 14 times a round, but you use that flat stick every hole and usually at least twice, thatís thirty six times. Needless to say, you better learn to use it well.

I had a bunch of kids in my Junior Program when they were about ten to twelve years old. Our focus was on the short game. By the time two of these kids got to high school they could hit it 240 yards or better. The rest were about 200 yards off the tee. In their senior year those kids beat the number one team in the state twice in one week. They werenít long, but they could get it up and down out of the ball washer. They were the best short game players in the state.

I havenít had but one player who ever came to our school who couldnít break 90 or 100 after three days. The one who couldnít, refused to work on his short game. All he wanted to do was hit his driver and long irons. He got pretty good at those, but still couldnít score. Even Tiger Woods couldnít win out there if he didnít have a great short game. Heíd just be another so-so player.

To sum it up, learn how to hit four clubs ó the driver, the two wedges and the putter. Youíll break 100 or 90 easily.

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