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Tips For Improving Your Golf Scores

Jan 3, 2008
Almost every hole in golf requires some kind of an iron shot. If you can consistently hit the greens with your approach irons and position your ball near the pins, you are going to get your share of birdies and pars.

It stands to reason that a good iron player who can direct his ball to within the 15-foot circle around the flag is going to shoot lower scores than the player who is 50 feet away, chipping from off the green or blasting from a trap. It is rather difficult to three-putt from 15 feet, but the odds against parring a hole go higher when a player is trying to get down in two from 50 feet, whether he is on or off the green.

Iron play vs. The drive and the putt

There may be some disagreement with what I have said here, because some golfers believe the drive to be the most important shot in golf, others believe it is the putt, while still others consider the iron shot to be most crucial. One golfer contends that you can't get the ball on the green with an iron shot if you are always playing out of the rough or behind trees.

However, I wish to point out that, no matter where a player happens to be, a second shot, usually an iron shot, is still required to reach the green, whether you are in trouble or not. If you are, and your second, or maybe your third, shot is off line or misjudged, you are in further trouble. A good iron player can often salvage a par, or even gain a birdie, from out of the rough. A poor iron player has no such chance. It is well to remember that you measure drives in yards but accuracy with your irons in feet.

Another golfer maintains the premium should be on putting. I grant that ability with a putter is a great asset, but it can't compensate for poor iron play indefinitely. Great players like Bill Casper and Arnold Palmer do not rely entirely on driving or putting to bring them championships and regular paychecks.

Naturally, they excel in those phases of the game, but it is their skill with their iron clubs that puts them on the offensive as soon as they drive off the first tee. By the same token, a faulty iron player must play defensive golf, steer clear of trouble, and rely on his short game to help salvage a respectable score.

The Six Basic "Feel" Positions

I urge you to pay heed to the six basic "feel" positions of the swing. They are: (1) the grip, (2) the stance and address over the ball, (3) the position halfway on the backswing, (4) the top of the swing, (5) the most crucial of all the feel positions - the start of the downswing to a point where the hands are about hip-high, and (6) the position of the hands, arms, and body through the hitting area to a point where the arms parallel the ground on the follow-through.

Study these positions closely, then try to get into them yourself. This will help you piece your swing together as one would fit the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle into their natural places.

Slowly, but surely, the mold of your swing will take form, and it will create a repeating pattern that will make your golfing shots go straighter and truer than you ever before believed possible.
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