Tour players don’t hit every shot well…

(thanks for all the well wishes)

…actually, they hit just as many bad ones on a regular basis as anyone else who plays golf. Most are not as bad as your average 15 handicap, but many of them are. The difference is they know what their misses are going to be, how to play for them and their short games help them recover better.

The perception that all PGA Tour players hit every shot well, needs to be shot down for one reason. It is a killer for mid-high handicappers to think that is the only way to score…and it just isn’t reality. Amateurs try and perfect their swing so they can hot every shot perfect. I have seen 8 handicaps go ballistic for hitting a drive 3 yards into the rough, or a wedge shot 30 feet. You essentially only need to hit one good shot on a hole to make par, as long as the rest are not terrible.

Basically hit a tee shot that is in play with nothing in the way, a second shot somewhere around the green, a chip in the same zip code as the hole and a putt. That is four different chances to hit a good shot and make a par.

Some of Tiger’s best rounds are when he sprays driver into adjoining fairways, over lags wedges over the greens and misses short putts all day only to shoot a 70. How many times have you seen a tour player whiff a drive in the trees, try and hook a ball on the green, chunk it into the rough 20 yards short, blade one on the green 15 feet, and make that for par. YOU CAN DO THAT TOO.

You need to hit exactly ZERO perfect shots in a day to shoot par. THE OBJECT OF GOLF IS NOT TO HIT GOOD/PERFECT SHOTS, IT IS TO MINIMIZE AND MANAGE YOUR BAD ONES! If you want to get better at golf, simplify your swing and swing thoughts and comprehend the previous sentence. That is why my method of teaching is superior. I minimize swing thoughts, so the thinking can go toward managing your game.

The perception that PGA Tour players hit every shot well comes from network golf telecasts where you are watching the best players in the world who are playing their best golf.

Then the commentators pass off every bad shot as a mental error of some kind.

There is never much mention of former major winners hitting 40% of the fairways and 50% GIR that week and shooting a nice 78-75.

How many bad shots must a former major winner be hitting to shoot those numbers?…A LOT!!!!!!!!

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  1. gwlee7

    Here’s a typical par 5 for me. Hit a semi-decent drive. Flub the second to about 100 yards away. Hit a fat wedge that goes about 35 yards. Hit a “perfect” knock down that goes just past the hole a bit and then trickles back to leave a 5 foot, sidehill lie putt. Sink it and go on to the next hole.

  2. S.

    For us, the point is well taken. For pros, they won’t be out there for long if they’re always needing 6 footers for pars.

    “You need to hit exactly ZERO perfect shots in a day to shoot par.” But, if none of the other shots are better than average, then the putts will have to be perfect.

    • banchiline

      Probably one of the best post ever written Monte . It’ the difference between playing golf & playing swing.

      • Bob34

        And gwlee7 does that pretty well 🙂 I WILL be doing that this year. I’ve already set a record for myself; in the 4 or 5 range sessions I’ve had since Jan 15. I haven’t ‘tinkered’ with my swing once. I’ve also changed the way I practice; hit a few warm up shots, then imagine a hole and play that sometimes giving myself good lies and bad… I do the same thing at the short game area; give myself different lie’s and bunker shots to see how many times I can get up and down never playing the same shot. Same with putting. The way I figure it, I wont be able to actually play for another couple of weeks so that’ll give me time totally to purge all the crap in my head from my previous life of overly complicated instruction and then a get a lesson from Monte to see if there is one thing I might need to work on…


    • carrera

      Things that don’t last long….dogs chasing cars and pro’s putting for pars.

      I think Trevino said that.

  3. shoot54today

    Without touching a club, you guys are bringing out the best in me from my inner sanctum. Ah, true Repentence is good and cleansing. One of the best golf books I ever read was Pia Nillson’s, Every Shot Must Have a Purpose. Practice like you play. Don’t stand there and beat 50 straight 8-irons. Play imaginary holes. Driver, 7-iron., etc. Take about a 30-60 second break between “shots”. Practice the short game much as bob34 already stated. Hit a chip shot and go putt out. Then a bunker shot and go putt out. “Practice” less and “Play” more.

    Snow could be gone this week. After a very long layoff, I am looking forward to getting back to some fun golf again. This time I will stay committed to Tinkerer’s Anonymous. What I was doing wasn’t fun.

  4. meateater

    Maybe they don’t hit every short perfectly, but what was Ricky Fowler thinking about yesterday? He had a second shot on that par 5 that most 15’s could have handled and he laid up. Of course, it was almost worth seeing him blow the tournament after hearing the announcers go on for a good 15 minutes about how fearless he was, never going to lay up, etc.

  5. Cal

    So, Monte, are you saying that Hunter Mahan’s drive on 18 yesterday which finished two yards from the water was not “a brave line” like the commentators said?

  6. suddy

    I heard Fred Couples say in an interview,that at one point in his career he went for a period of 5yrs. hitting every shot solid.


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