Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An Iron Sufficiency
On a par 72 course, you should have 36 putts: 18 holes times 2 putts. Which means half your score should be from the green area. You've heard the saying, "Drive for show, putt for dough." It makes sense.
I've always been a good putter, and I've gotten chipping and pitching in a little better shape this year by playing on the league at Emerald Greens near Hastings, Minn.
So last night, I decided to try and use a little course management. I would only use my 2-iron for driving (I hit it about 185 when I connect), and hit at about 75% throttle (which actually helps me hit it longer).
I have to say it worked. If I hadn't had one putt stop on the lip; if I hadn't lost one ball in the middle of the fairway; if I hadn't blown onto a sloping water hazard; if I hadn't been so impatient to finish I reached across the hole to tap it back into the cup--and missed! Without those ifs, I'd have beaten my best score on the Bronze, instead of being one stroke over (because of the missed tap on the last hole).
On the plus side of the ledger, I chipped in from the fringe twice, once with a 6-iron and once with a 7; blasted out of the sand within 5 feet; pitched within 10 feet from longer than 50 yards twice; and just doggedly kept advancing the ball, even while my teammates were blasting gorgeous 250 yard drives.
So, yes, I will continue to avoid the woods, because that strategy helps me avoid the woods.

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