Column: Jennifer Greggain’s tips to break 80

Putting is the key to moving your golfing average into the 70s, especially making shots within six feet of the hole.

Jennifer played professionally on tour for over 10 years, including two seasons on the LPGA.

She is the 2015 Pepsi Norhwest Open Champion and 2015 PGA of BC Women’s Champion, and is now the lead instructor of the Sardis Golf Academy.

She can be contacted at 604-798-9805, chilliwackgolfacademy.com, or at Jennifer@chilliwackgolf.com

 

 

If you are a golfer looking to move your scoring average into the 70s, you know already that this is no easy feat. The lower your scores get, the more difficult it is to find improvement.

Here are some areas to focus your game to consistently break 80.

First of all, as you begin honing the technical skills of your full swing, be sure to set some practice time aside to address basic distance control inside of 100 yards. Spend a generous amount of your practice time on hitting wedge shots of various distances.

A great way to practice this is to use a 100 yard practice hole.

Set several piles of practice balls at 10 yard increments from 30, up to 100 yards. Spend half of your time getting a feel for the size of swing needed for each distance, as well as the club used.

The last half of your practice time should be done by randomly hitting from each pile without hitting the same shot twice in a row. This helps simulate an actual round of golf, and is proven to be the most effective way to practice any skill.

Next, you will find that breaking 80 will come much easier if you make more putts inside of six feet. A great way to practice this is to spend no more than half of your time working on the technique of your putting stroke.

Putting down a yardstick or using a chalk line works well.

But then using the other half of your putting practice time on random practice is a must.

A great drill for this is what I call the ‘windmill’ drill. Place six markers around a hole, three feet away each. Putt one ball from each marker, and be sure not to hit the same putt twice in a row, even if you miss. Start by setting a goal on how many putts you can make in a row, then once completed, move the markers back to six feet from the hole and repeat.

Finally, acquiring some basic mental skills is a must. I see many students who have very good basic technical skills, but their scores still aren’t coming down. Preparing the mind to execute a shot to the best of a player’s technical ability is key. And remember that these are skills to be practiced, and are just as important as practicing your technical skills.

Mental distractions come in all shapes and sizes, and seem to effect players more under pressure situations. The best way to deal with distractions when they come up is to replace them.

And remember your brain doesn’t hear the word don’t.

So make sure what you replace your distractions with are positively worded.

For example, if you have the mental distraction of ‘don’t hit it in the water on the right like you did last time,’ replace that thought with something like ‘hit this drive down the left side of the fairway.’

Or another replacement I like is thinking about the best shot that you’ve ever hit with that club. What would it be like to hit this 8 iron just like that time when I hit it perfectly?

What did it feel like?

What did it look like?

What did the other players in my group say?

What do you think would happen if you recreated these senses before you hit a shot?

If you felt the feeling in your hands when your hit it well, or visualize the line of a perfectly struck shot? You’d be surprised how well your mind responds to mentally putting yourself in those situations.