Golf: Where do you need the most practice? | Steve Wozeniak

First of all, can you really “beat the course” from tee to green? Most golfers spend the bulk of their practice time on long shots . . . full swings.

First of all, can you really “beat the course” from tee to green? Most golfers spend the bulk of their practice time on long shots . . . full swings.

I always offer that you should allocate a significant portion of that time to your short game and putting. Compare your objectives to the best players in the world.

The No. 10 PGA Tour player hits 73 percent of the fairways. That’s 10 times in the 14 holes that are not par threes. On the Champions Tour, the No. 10 spot is also right at 73 percent, with the LPGA Tour the No. 10 spot at 78 percent.

So, if the best players in the world only hit it in the fairway 7 out of 10 times, what should your expectations be? Fifty percent? Thirty-five percent?

In the Greens in Regulation category, the no. 10 PGA Tour player is at 68 percent. Just over 12 greens per round! So, these guys can hit 11-12 greens per round and shoot scores that average 70 or so – what does that tell you about their short games? On the Champions Tour and LPGA Tour, the GIR numbers are almost identical, but look at the scores these players are shooting!

Maybe the Sand Saves category is most revealing as to where they spend a great amount of their practice time. Up-and-down percentage from the bunker of the no. 10 spot is 61 percent on the PGA Tour, 54 percent on the LPGA Tour and Champions Tour. What’s your percentage?

I challenge all of you to keep track of your rounds for a few weeks — analyze them. Of key importance are your fairways and greens stats, but really focus on your short game performance.

Analyze your average putt length after a chip or pitch of 50 yards or less, and how many times you took more than three shots to get up and down from that range. Those are completely thrown away shots that you can get back quickly with just a little short game practice.

Be smart and have fun out there.

If you would like to get all of the information you need to play great golf in one lesson, call, e-mail or come in any time for an appointment.

Steve Wozeniak is PGA Director of Instruction Bellevue/Lake Spanaway Golf Courses. He has taught more than 50 tour players and over 100 PGA and LPGA teaching professionals, including Jim Colbert, Rocco Mediate, Emily Klein, Jim Dent, Marco Dawson, Jim Mclean and Leonard Thompson. With his easy-to-understand, rid-yourself-of-the-nonsense approach to the golf swing, he is one of the top instructors in the country. Readers can contact him at swayne@premiergc.com or www.bellevuepgc.com.

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