G'day sports fans!
I'm Paul Williamson, PGA Member and RGX Scoring Method Coach.
I'm here to give you key number two in the 10 Keys to Lower Golf Scores series.
Rule number one was to make all your short putts. Suppose you haven't seen that one; go and look at that post here.
Key number two is to avoid penalty shots at all costs!
That might sound obvious, and it is pretty self-evident. But I've played too much golf with people who make terrible decisions about avoiding penalty shots. It is also evident that what people know and do are usually two separate things on the golf course.
So what needs to change?
The number one thing to focus on to reduce penalties is not to try and hit more fairways. Your focus just needs to be on getting your golf ball in play. This means yes, don't hit it out of bounds, don't hit in a water hazard but it also means avoid places where you're likely to lose your ball in some thick bush or long rough, all those things that course architects put in the way to get you to make a mistake. I also consider it a penalty shot if you have to chip the ball out sideways because you're in so much trouble you can't advance it forwards. These are the areas that you've got to avoid.
Now, there are two things that you can do to help you get better at avoiding penalty shots.
1. You've got to have an in-play, go-to shot off the tee.
An in-play tee shot is a shot that you can rely on at least 9/10 times just to get it into the fairway and at least 150m
How do you get an in-play tee shot if you don't have one?
You go to the practice fairway, pick out a target, an imaginary fairway about 40m wide and hit ten balls and find the club that you can hit in this area at least 9/10 times and at least 150m distance to begin. Now, that might mean the driver's not your in-play club anymore. It might not be three-wood or hybrid either. It may mean that if you can only hit seven iron into a 40 m wide target, 9/10 times, then that is your in-play go-to club. I'm not telling you to hit seven iron off every tee, but I'm telling you that's what you have to hit when you get to those holes where there's a lot of penalties around until you can safely hit the same target with a longer club.
2. Lay up short of the penalties.
Laying up means not hitting driver to try and split those two bunkers when the one on the right is a real significant penalty, and you have to hit out sideways. It means that you keep your shot well short of trouble by taking a club that, no matter how good you hit it, will never reach it.
The two tips above are a couple of effortless ways of avoiding penalty shots through better decision-making and becoming more aware of your go-to shot. Hopefully, they'll help you.
If you enjoyed this post, please like have a look at my other ones, and I look forward to giving you rule number three next time.
➔ Watch it all here!
Rule 1 - Hole all your short putts: 🎥 Watch | 📖 Read
Rule 2 - Avoid penalty shots at all costs: 🎥 Watch | 📖 Read
Rule 3 - Get out of trouble in one shot: 🎥 Watch | 📖 Read
Rule 4 - Get rid of your 3-putts: 🎥 Watch | 📖 Read
Rule 5 - Stop under clubbing: 🎥 Watch | 📖 Read
Rule 6 - Stop playing risky shots: 🎥 Watch | 📖 Read
Rule 7 - Stop short-siding yourself: 🎥 Watch | 📖 Read
Rule 8 - Read the lie: 🎥 Watch | 📖 Read
Rule 9 - Start your first round of golf in 1st gear: 🎥 Watch | 📖 Read
Rule 10 - Let go of BAD shots: 🎥 Watch | 📖 Read