Scoring shots, those little less-than-full-swings from under 100-yards and around the green. Putting, sand shots, they all are important and when well executed they improve your score and your disposition.
In doing research for an article about scoring shots I talked with a number of amateur golfers and found some viewpoints that certainly fall in the rationalization of reality category. First was along the lines of "I can hit these short shots just fine." Unfortunately, more often than not, a scorecard audit would find rather than getting into the hole taking no more than three strokes and occasionally two it was most often four and sometimes five.
Second was "I’m not good enough to use a soft cover ball ’cause I can’t spin it" which at virtually every skill level is demonstrably untrue and the best advice for someone saying this is, "Clean the grooves on your wedge" and "Go see your friendly PGA Professional."
And finally, the one I personally love to hear (and have profited from with winning wagers), "I never practice short shots or pitches and chips or putting, just my full swing." Reminds me of the old saying about a fast backswing and a fat wallet.
I had also been talking with some short game instructors when Cleveland Golf enlightened me with some statistics they are using to illustrate a new promotional effort.
Item one: 65 percent of shots are made from 125-yards or less. Think about that–and the disadvantage it is for players who never practice putting or bunker shots or – well, you get the idea.
Item two: more than half of bunker shots don’t finish on the green. This one speaks for itself acknowledging there are few things more frustrating than leaving a ball in the sand unless it’s launching a rocket across the green into the next zip code.
Item three: Putting – amateurs make half of their five-footers while pros make 86 percent. From eight feet pros jar 58 percent, ams 27 percent and from 15-feet the stats are 32 and 11 percent respectively. This, for us non-Tour golfers, is pitiful since it doesn’t take Phil’s or Bubba’s or Jordan’s swing to make a putt… just proper practice.
Cleveland’s program is tagged #Own125 and based on a simple idea. To get more enjoyment from this sometimes impossible game by taking fewer strokes you have to "own" those short shots from 125-yards and in, which of course includes full and part wedges, pitches, chips, bunker shots and putting.
Cleveland staff player Pete Jacobson put it succinctly, "Everyone wants to hit the long ball, I get that. But amateurs need to understand and pros do too, that 65% of the game is played from 125 yards and in. If you want to lower your scores, that’s where you have to practice."
Of course, Cleveland is in the business of selling golf clubs and well known as making some of the best wedges in the business, but their point is unassailable–have more fun and score lower when you "#Own125." For some excellent Dave Pelz how-to-score videos and to learn more about Cleveland wedges visit their microsite ClevelandGolf.com/own125/.
And it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, visit a PGA Professional for the instruction to help you learn how to do it plus advice and fitting of the correct clubs.