An Aspen Lakes scorecard can be a useful tool
Golfers should be at the peak of their golf games by this time of year. We are all months into the golf season, and if all has gone right most avid golfers are many rounds into the year.
We’ve practiced. We’ve played. The weather is good. In other words, whatever the goals a golfer sets before the beginning of the golf season they should be close to reaching them.
“The should be relatively dialed in, and if they’re not, you want to figure out why,” says Howie Pruitt, Aspen Lakes director of player development.
So much can go wrong with a golf game over the course of a golf season. It is what makes golf such a beautifully challenging game.
If a golfer is still struggling, now is the time to take stock with what is going wrong.
“Golfers should be evaluating where their golf game is this time of year,” Pruitt says. “They need to step back and say, ‘If my goal is to shoot 85 on a consistent basis, where am I losing my strokes?’”
In simple terms: What exactly is it that is preventing you from reaching your golf goals?
Many of us do not play enough to have a perfect read on our games. So it can be tough to decipher for most recreational golfers, and many misdiagnose their issues.
Case in point: Pruitt often sees among his junior golfers a willingness to work on improving and working on their drives. His retort is often to ask what he or she just shot on Aspen Lakes’ par-5 18th hole.
“I ask them how many times did they hit driver, and the say ‘one.’ Then I ask them what they shot, and they say something like 12,” Pruitt says. “I don’t think people spend enough time looking at where they are losing strokes.”
Deciphering where those strokes are lost
Figuring it all out is actually quite easy over the course of a round. And a scorecard is a wonderful tool.
The most obvious culprit is our putting game. Pruitt suggests tracking the number of putts by marking the putting strokes taken after each hole on the scorecard. A consistently high number of putts (remember, two putts per hole is the benchmark for par) should tell a golfer that he or she needs more work on the greens.
“I see people walk right past the putting green to go to the driving range, and then I see them walk back to their cars without ever practicing their short games,” Pruitt says.
More than that, golfers should track their short-game statistics. Again, this is not difficult.
Track your approach shot from a particular distance, say 50 yards in for higher handicappers, then mark on the scorecard the result: “OG” for on the green, “SL” for short left, etc.
“Four or five rounds is what you need to start to see a pattern,” Pruitt says. “For example, you are going to see that from 50 yards in, you miss a lot of shots short right.”
His advice for such a short-right pattern?
“I would say ‘Make sure you are rotating through your swing and allowing your hips to continue to move and your body to rotate,” Pruitt says.
One key is for golfers to set realistic goals when assessing your golf game. You might want to break 80. But if you only get to play a time or two a month, and rarely have time to practice, then 80 is a tough score to reach.
Golfers must understand that and tailor goals to how much work he or she is willing to put in, Pruitt suggests.
“You have to be OK with being OK,” Pruitt says.
Of course, there is always room for improvement no matter how much time a golfer spends on the course. And once you identify the problem, a set of expert eyes can pay big dividends.
Aspen Lakes can help.
Private and group lessons, classes and clinics are all available through the Aspen Lakes PGA Learning Center. And Pruitt has designed some special programs this season. Call the Aspen Lakes pro shop at 541-549-4653 for more information.
To book a tee time call the golf shop or visit www.aspenlakes.com.