Sometimes you hear talk about scoring clubs. They are best defined as clubs that, if played well, will have the greatest impact in maintaining your score. However, there is no thin line between scoring clubs and shots. Let’s talk about both.
Probably the most important stick is your putter. The difference between a good and a bad putter is about six strokes per round. If you take more than 36 putts per turn, you are a bad putter. A few wandering lessons and more wandering training will bring you those six strokes.
The exercise puts are four feet in and 25 feet out. You just can’t drop the shots by omitting the short ones, and the three-put greens are the result of leaving the long putts too far away from the hole.
Some people might say that the next most important scoring stick is the wedge (or family of wedges), but I’m going to go with short irons – 8-iron, 9-iron and pitch wedge.
Hitting the second shot on the green from the distances you hit these sticks is a gift. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t go down with your eye on the green and a short iron in your hand. Hit these clubs on the shooting range three times more often than your driver. You should be able to hit the green with a short iron more than half the time and still be close to the pin when you don’t hit.
The last scoring club worth mentioning is your 6-iron. Not from the fairway, but next to the green. Due to inaccuracies in the game of iron, most recreational golfers chip to the vast majority of greens. Getting up and going down must become routine. Getting to the ground in three (or more!) Shots is a useless way to add to your score.
The 6-iron chip will save you as many blows as a good heel can. Let the professionals chip their lob wedge. Fire your greenside chips with 6-iron to get the ball into the hole as if it were an approach heel.
Note that I did not mention the driver. Well, I mentioned it once, but not as a scoring club, because for most recreational golfers it’s an anti-scoring club.
I have a rule that you should never hit a club that has a smaller loft than your handicap. Until you improve, it means leaving the driver at home. Shoot the tee with the longest stick, where you can be sure that you can place the ball on the fairway. Don’t be afraid of losing footage. This rarely leads to stroke loss.
Think of scoring sticks as those that deal with getting the ball close to and into the hole. Practice with them more than with others and your score will drop.