How can you improve your golf game, utilizing a Yardage Book in 2018?
Below are several options that golfers and coaches have tried in the past (I’m especially guilty of #3).
1.) Take a Lesson from a seasoned PGA Professional – (This is probably the best option for 95% of most golfers, price and availability is a big factor however)
2.) Browse youtube videos and learn hints and tips from guys like Mark Crossfield, Peter Finch, Rick Shiels, Me & My Golf, etc…
3.) Search golfwrx.com Buy, Sell, & Trade forum and buy that new driver shaft, because the one you currently have obviously doesn’t fit your swing now
4.) Watch the Golf Channel and receive tips, tricks, and devices that can "cure your slice today" from personalties like Hank Haney, Cameron McCormick, and Paige Spiranac…
As I began to play more golf and my competitive juices began to salivate at the chance of beating my buddies in our weekend deathmatch, I decided to take a hard look at my game and figure out how to translate my golf swing/swing thoughts at the range (I’m a range rat) to the course.
I have a decent enough swing, athletic background, and a BS in Sport Psychology, that in my mind, should translate to consistent rounds in the 70’s (don’t we wish).
I began to do a little soul searching in 2016 after spending countless hours researching online, spending money on new clubs, and trying to learn from the guys at my local club who had handicaps in the single digits on how to score while on the course or in a tournament.
Consistency with your swing, your mental fortitude, and the decisions you make while out on the course play a huge role in how and why you shoot the scores you do. How often do you go out to the driving range and hit ball after ball with no real rhyme or reason, other than to get through the bucket and hope to improve?
I was at fault of this and I needed to change my habitual range session to improve my scoring and translate a “good” range session to the course.
Picture your last range session...
Did you hit your 9 iron fifteen times in a row and then switch to your 8 iron and hit that twenty times in a row, and then pull out your SW and hit that twelve times...?
Do you EVER hit the same club while out on the course back to back to back?
Want to score better on the course? Try this next time you head to the range:
Bring along the yardage books that you are making for the handful of courses that you consistently play. After getting properly warmed up, pull out the course that you expect to play next, and beginning on Hole 1, go through your pre-shot routine and mentally hit the club and distance that specific hole demands. Pick an aim point and mentally visualize yourself on the course.
Wherever your “tee shot” ends up, pull out the next club in your bag and looking at your yardage book, hit the next shot with a realistic distance that you expect based on your previous shot.
What happens if you “duff” one? Follow it up with what you would do on the course. Pull out the club you use to chip it back in the fairway and keep score (either mentally or even better, writing it down on a scorecard if you have one, as this helps you slow down and simulates what you do on the course).
If you hit a good “approach shot” reward yourself with a mental “one putt”, but be realistic of your capabilities as you know your tendencies better than anyone else with your flat stick. After your simulated round, what did you shoot? Did you “score” better or worse than the last time you played the course?
If you try this exercise, you will begin to notice that:
1.) Your time at the range will be more valuable as you are specifically working on course management, instead of just hitting ball after ball after ball.
2.) Your pre-shot routine will become second nature and the next time you’re on the course you will slow yourself down, remember your simulated round and visualize that “good shot” you hit on this hole.
3.) You may begin to lower your scores and handicap in the meantime.
Using a yardage book while at the practice grounds may seem out of place, but I encourage you to try and see the results for yourself.
If you ever wanted to Make Your Own Yardage Book, you can, with our brand new video tutorial series available at flaghunting.com
Thanks and Happy #Flaghunting