Thanks, my biggest weakness these days continues to be off the tee. Although I've been able to keep the number of penalty strokes down (ie. out of bounds or lost balls), still too many of my second shots consist of me having to pitch back in play due to a wayward drive. Fortunately the irons have helped me keep the scores in the low 90s for the most part. The number of true blow-up holes are down, but my scorecard usually consists of a lot of bogey's with the occassional par and/or double bogey thrown in there. Not a lot of realistic looks at many pars since my shots into the green are usually my third shot.
Needless to say I've been working more with the driver/3w at the range these days. At my last lesson, my instructor pointed out how open the club face was in my backswing so I've been working on keeping the club face a litte more closed on my takeaways so I don't have to work so hard to get it back square at impact. For whatever reason I don't seem to have the same problem with my irons (or at least not to the same degree). Feels very awkward, but the results (at least at the range) seem to be promissing so far.
Believe it or not, there are lots of people who can get par with their third shot onto the green (on par 4 of course).
I have been playing weekday mornings for a little less than 2 weeks now, and watched many senior golfers (man or woman) play near par golf. They do it by hitting straight shots off the tee. Short and controlled, and it looks like they could hit a little farther if needed. I also got partnered with two semi-retired women golfers today, and they played exactly by this strategy. They did not hit far, but they got to the green in three shots. In the cases where they left themselves a 5 foot putt, they would par the hole. The senior guys I have been playing are the same way. Yesterday I played the front 9 with a man who could only drive 160 yards and hit his 5i 150. He was deadly accurate from 150 yards. If he was within 150, he was assured a bogey or par. He barely missed a birdie on a 280 yard par 4 hole. I can give about 5 more examples of either a senior golfer or a lady golfer who employs this strategy very successfully. I am even getting to know some of them, as I have a monthly pass.
So, I've decided that I want to adopt this strategy. Keep the ball short and in play on any hole less than 350 yards. There are always the forced carries that you need to make, so I save those shots for only those holes, which are usually more wide open. Of course, I need to become more accurate from 150 and in to be successful with this strategy.