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New Way To Better Scores?

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Here's an idea for new golfers wanting to see better scores, quicker. Learn the game backwards. No, you won't hear any very many (if any) accomplished swing gurus say this, but it does have it's merits. I know it has merits because I have taught some of my family members the game using this method. Plus, they had fun while learning. However, those same swing gurus who do not think learning the game backwards is a viable way to quicker, better scores, will tell you that the short game is where you save the most strokes. Myself I play for the fun of it. I learned this backwards method by accident, because I had non golfing family members who wanted to go to the golf course with me. The competition was them dropping the ball on the green at spot farthest from the cup, then putting the ball in the hole with a putter in less strokes than it took me from the tee box. Once I could not beat them with them just putting, I made them add chipping to our family competition. Eventually some had to add pitching, and graduated farther back from there. I have grand kids who now shoot in mid/low 80s from the tee box, after only a year's worth of occasional golf outings with me.

By backwards here's what I mean. Start with putting, and work your way back to the tee box from there. What you do is drop balls on various parts of the green. Long, short or in between, from the cup, it does not matter. When you get to a point where you can average 2.50 putts or less from any distance to the cup, you are a proficient putter. Something less than a 2.0 average putts is great.

Now you move off the green to chipping distances. Again you drop balls from various chipping distances to the cup. To me a chipping stroke is just a longer putting stroke 99% of the time. Again, once you can chip, and putt the ball into the cup in 2.5 strokes or less, you are a proficient chipper of the ball.  Chipping distances will vary for each golfer, but the 2.5 stroke average will stay the same. Anything less than a 2 is tremendous.

Now you move to pitch shots to the cup. A pitch shot to me is just a longer chip shot where the golfer adds a little more body turn, and a little more wrist cock for more distance as needed. Again 2.5 stroke average to hole out is the golfer's goal, although any thing 3 or less is still pretty good. Again, pitch yardage will vary for each golfer. By the time a golfer has a good grasp of pitch shots into the green, the golfer already has all facets of their short game working well for them.

Once the golfer has a good grasp of pitch shots, it's time to move to full approach shots. Again, full approach shot distance is relative to the individual golfer. My full approach distance is 150 yards with a 5 iron. A full approach shot swing is just a longer pitch shot, and basically the same as tee shot swing. A good goal for an approach shot to hole out is a 3.5 hole average So if you can aver 3.5 shots from 150 yards you have accuracy. Add that accuracy to a full tee shot, and you are at 4.5+/- shots per hole. 5 shots per hole is a 90, and 4 is 72.

The fun part is that everyone likes to practice chipping and putting. It's easy to learn with out having to deal with hooks, slices, shanks, and what ever other bad shots that come with the longer swings. Learning the easier shots first is less time consuming. Plus when you do hit a bad approach, or tee shot, (we all do) the golfer already has a decent stroke saving, recovery shot in his bag.

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Here's an idea for new golfers wanting to see better scores, quicker. Learn the game backwards. No, you won't hear any very many (if any) accomplished swing gurus say this, but it does have it's merits. I know it has merits because I have taught some of my family members the game using this method. Plus, they had fun while learning. However, those same swing gurus who do not think learning the game backwards is a viable way to quicker, better scores, will tell you that the short game is where you save the most strokes.

They'd be wrong. :-)


That's not to say your idea of introducing a player to the game is bad at all, though. It's quite a good way to learn golf.

The Dan Plan took your approach, too. I believe he spent the first few days hitting no putts over about five feet. Maybe even a week or two?

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I like the 'hole-to-tee' method as well.  Putting and chipping really teaches a beginner the concept of how far do I have to swing the putter to make the ball go x distance.  Same thing with chipping and pitching.

This method also provides a beginner with the understand that wailing away as hard as you can with a driver is only a small part of the game.

OTOH, Jack Nicklaus might disagree.  I believe the basic premise of one of his books was to first learn how to hit a ball as far as you can, THEN, learn how to hit it where you want it to go.

Like anything else, more than one way to skin a cat!

dave

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