If you have been extremely busy In Raleigh or unmotivated to watch golf this season then you missed one of the more impressive golf seasons in years. No, there wasn’t a player who won 10 times or 3 major championships, but Luke Donald dominated. Putting a stamp on the #1 player in the world tag for many more months and maybe years to come depending on what the field does in 2012. Luke won both the PGA Tour and European order of Merit title this past year which is something unprecedented in the world of golf. The fact that this is the first time the feat has ever been achieved goes to show the true consistency of Luke’s game.
So what could the average player learn?
You could learn that being flashy and bombing the ball isn’t necessarily the key ingredients to shooting low scores. I see if far to often on the practice tee. Players pumping up their swing to bomb their driver. Then, they get on the course and pull out the driver on the 350 yard par 4 and hit it right through the dogleg. One of the reasons are a lot of new players have not taken the time to study the game and understand that a key ingredient to consistent low scores or no high numbers is ball placement, short game shots, and putting. If you can get a handle on these three areas you are going to be so far advancement you won’t believe it yourself.
Think of how many times the ball travels into a hazard, whether it be bunker or water hazard. How many times do you hit it out of bounds? These shots normally happen from hitting your driver and normally because you have swung too hard and lost control.
Try this next time you’re playing. Do not hit your driver at all. Maybe limit your 3-wood play. You would be amazed how much lower your stress is if you hit most of the fairways and set yourself up for a 2nd shot into the green to actually hit the green. And it doesn’t matter if you miss the green either. This is where sound short game fundamentals and feel come into play. You could miss all 18 greens and still have a great shot to break 90 if you had just a decent short game.
Think outside the box on this. Forget the ego in the parking lot and hit smart decisions. Play golf the way it was intended to be played with plotting your way around the course and making good decisions. People want it to be a bomber’s paradise but that fantasy rarely comes true for the average player. Get your mind right and you’re going to play a better game of golf.
Brian Ondrako is a PGA Certified Professional and teaches golf at Wildwood Green Golf Club in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information on golf lessons or to contact Brian please click here