I believe many golfers make golf more complicated than it is.
I'm not saying golf is an easy game, on the contrary!
However, many golfers have the wrong idea about what is needed to play good golf.
Do you need 300 yards distance with the driver? NO
Do you need to be perfect at chipping and putting? NO
Do you need perfect control over all the clubs in your bag? NO
So what do you need?
Well, pure mathematically and theoretically, here's what you do need.
1) you need to be able to hit your driver and irons (6 through 9) straight, consistently.
This might be a little more difficult for the driver, but not so much for the irons.
Keep in mind that accuracy (direction) is more important than distance. Your practice should ALWAYS focus on accuracy,
until your accuracy has reached +80%
2) you need to know the normal distance range for your clubs, and the possible deviation for your irons should not be more
than about 10 yards (see required distances below)
3) Required clubs to play par on a medium distance course: Driver - irons (6-7-8-9) - SW - PW - putter
Notice the absence of fairway woods. They are more difficult to master than irons and not necessary on
medium distance courses.
4) required distances: Driver 240 yards
I-9 110-125 yards
I-8 125-135 yards
I-7 140-150 yards
I-6 155-165 yards
PW 70-90 yards full swing
SW 60 yards full swing
Most male golfers (-60) should be able to reach these distances. If you're a little shorter, just add the 5-iron!
Just do the math: on a medium distance course, the longest par 5 will be around 560 yards.
if you're able to hit your driver and irons straight you need a 240 yards drive, 2 shots with your 6-iron
(160+160) and you're on the green in 3. Any hole on this course could give you a birdie possibility.
All you need is ACCURACY.
5) for PW and SW, you must be able to hit 3 different distances consistently: 20-30 yards, 40-50 yards and
your full swing distance.
when you master these 3 distances, any other required distance (10yds, 15 yds,...) is within your capability.
Mastering these 3 distances is easier than it seems. It took me only 2 lessons and about 4 hours of practice!
Here too, accuracy (direction) is of the highest priority off course.
6) For the putter, you should focus your practice on these distances: 3 feet, 6 feet, 9 feet, 12 feet.
Once you're on the green and more than 6 feet from the hole, your primary goal is NOT to make the put, but to bring the ball
as close as possible to the hole, at least within 6 feet, so you can 2-put.
3 feet: +85% should be made
6 feet: +70% should be made
Always focus on 2-putting!!!
If you focus your practice on acquiring these 6 abilities, you should be able to play par (or very near) on most medium distance courses.
General strategy: avoid bunkers at all cost!
when faced with a bunker in front of the green, you have 2 options: aim for the back of the green
(know the distance for each club!!!), or put it just
in front of the bunker and chip it as close as possible to the pin. You may loose 1 stroke, but ending up in the
bunker will probably cost you 2 strokes or more!