Re: Golfers of RedsZone (aka War Stories from the Rough)
All righty, then.
The short game. By far, the most important piece of the puzzle. Until you realize that, you're just pounding balls out there. A thrower, not a pitcher, in baseball terms.
Spend no less than half your time on the short game and you'll be knocking on 80's door very soon.
But the only way to get there is to find a way to make practice fun. It has to be engaging. You have to make it interesting. If all you do is chip a few and putt a few with no purpose, no plan, you'll never keep it up. You'll be back on the range pounding drivers and three and four putting every green.
My best advice.... get yourself a putting mat and put it in a place in your home or office where you have easy access to it. And that alone won't do it. You have to have a plan.
I learned to putt on a putting mat. I was the worst putter you ever saw when I started. But I would get up from the desk many times a day and putt 5 or 6 balls at a time and go back to my work. Make it easy to do, nothing you would ever put off because it seems like a big deal. There's no way you can tell me you don't have one or two minutes every hour or two to roll a few putts. If you think you have to spend 20 minutes on it, you'll always be able to put it off and not do it. But the laziest cretin on earth can spare one or two minutes every hour or two.
Do it, and you'll have putted 20 to 50 balls a day and hardly know you did it. Putt the same speed every time for a long time until you have established a BENCHMARK stroke. It doesn't matter how far it will go on a regular green. You need to establish a BENCHMARK which you can take to the putting green of whatever course you're playing. Roll a few with that stroke you've grooved and see how far they go. Pace them off. Then you have a benchmark for the speed of the greens that day.
There are many technical points about putting, i.e. accelerating blow, pendulum, whatever style you settle on as natural to you. But groove a benchmark stroke in a way that never seems like a lot to do.
I can't overestimate the value of this approach. It seems too simplistic. It isn't.
The best lesson on any athletic endeavor I ever got was in skiing many years ago in Vail. I asked a grizzled veteran instructor "what's the secret to learning how to ski?". He smiled, and simply said "mileage".
Same thing with the short game. Mileage. Repetitions. And like music, not just practice, perfect practice.
Learn proper form, setup, stance, grip and alignment. Take a lesson from a pro or just talk golf the way we loved to talk hitting when we played baseball. Learn the fundamentals, then commit to "mileage".
Find a way to make practice fun, not tedium. Otherwise, you simply won't do it.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~ Mark Twain