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Strategy for Weekend Warriors to Lower Your Scores

Hitting Greens in Regulation (GIR) is by far the most important shot that you need on every hole, but it may not be the best strategy for YOUR GAME. Driving and Putting perfection are critical to be a good golfer but hitting more greens in regulation can cut 1 stroke on every hole. As a mid to high handicap player you may be far better off hitting to a safe location for an easy shot to the green near the hole.

To improve your GIR, golfers with a handicap over 10 should focus on improving the consistency of your approach shots and also use STRATEGIES TO ELIMINATE BLOW-UP HOLES. You can’t afford to play by the strategies used by the pros who can pretty well hit what they want to hit. STOP PLAYING IN THEIR WORLD.

Strategies to Score in the 70’s or 80’s
1/ Move Up to the Right Tee for Your Game: We all know that shorter irons are easier to control than your driving clubs and that’s exactly why you need more distance with your driver OR to drive from a tee that allows you to reach the green in regulation.
2/ Use Your Irons to Get back on the Fairway: If your drive land in the rough on a par 4 or 5, DON’T TRY FOR THE MIRACLE SHOT. Hitting out of the rough with a 3 wood, 5 wood or hybrid is not the easiest shot. Your irons are designed to be hit down and through the rough to dig out your ball. It is so much better to hit your 6 iron 100 to 150 yards out of the rough and up the fairway than topping your ball 10 yards further along the rough with the wrong club. TAKE YOUR MEDICINE.
3/ Hit Short of a Trap or Water Hazard Near the Green: When you know that you need the perfect shot to miss a hazard, just lay-up. Your short chipping and pitching irons are much easier to hit over a hazard and possibly stick one close for a 1 or 2 putt hole.
4/ Plan for Rollout and the Break on the Green: Whatever club you are using to target the green, consider the depth and slope on the green. If you know that you can’t hold the green, just lay-up on a safe side of the green and enjoy your chance to pitch your next shot for a 1 putt green.
5/ Record Your Greens Hit in Regulation: I mark my score card with a 1 in the upper left corner of each hole when I land my drive in the fairway (or on a green for par 3’s) and a 1 in the upper right corner for GIR’s. You will quickly learn that those 1’s will drive your your pars or birdies up. The pros typically hit 13 to 16 GIR’s per round. Challenge yourself to keep improving your GIR’s.

High Handicap golfers are faced with major problems hitting greens in regulation. If the shot is too difficult, lay-up for an easy shot.

You will never improve your GIR’s if you don’t plan for draws, fades and straight shots. Reducing the bend in your leading arm and your wrists for every shot will help you hit straighter shots and get more GIR’s. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for 6 swing fixes. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #93: Golf is like marriage: If you take yourself too seriously it won’t work, and both are expensive.

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Change Your Setup & Swing Thought for Every Type of Club

Golf is not a casual game that you can play without changing your swing thought for every type of club. The most dramatic change should be made when using your driver and your irons but every club requires attention. These swing thoughts can revolutionize your game.

Every golfer has different physical injuries, flexibility, and strength as well as clubs with different weights and shaft flexibility. I am recommending that you test all of your clubs at a practice facility using the recommendations below and then make slight adjusts for your stance, grip and ball position to accommodate your physical issues. Determine your ideal setup for each type of club.

There are some basics that never change for your setup and swing sequence:
Your grip should be light and relaxed. Tense muscles used by Bryson DeChambeau will NOT improve most golfer’s games. Muscle tension only changes the consistency of your game. You may even have to adjust your stance and swing as your body and mind relax or tense over 18 holes of golf.
Avoid swinging over the top by keeping your leading wrist flat to help you shallow the downswing for all of your fairway clubs (driver, woods, hybrids and irons).
Your backswing should take at least double the time of your downswing to give you more time to coil your body and to add wrist lag. (Rushing your backswing limits your swing and power!) Hideki Matsuyama showed us that a slow backswing can create powerful results.

Hideki Matsuyama won the Sony Open with an amazing pause at the top of every swing. His backswing takes about 3 times as long as his downswing.

Each Type of Club Requires a Unique Swing:
Driver: Position your teed-up ball forward of the center of your stance so that the arc of your swing is RISING to launch your ball upward. To optimize your swing, tilt your spine to your trailing side for more power to launch your ball upward as you push forward with you trailing foot.

Fairway Woods and Hybrids: These clubs are designed to slide over the surface of the ground to avoid slowing down their impact speed at the launch angle of the face of the club. Impact should be at the bottom of your swing arc. You can’t afford to be swaying back on your trailing foot during impact. To optimize your impact, rotate your hips and shoulders around your straight spine over your ball and avoid swaying back during your backswing.

Irons: These are the only clubs designed to impact your ball before the arc of your club reaches low enough to take any divot. Ideally you want your hands leading the shaft forward at the point of impact. To optimize your impact, your weight should be moving to your leading foot during the transition at the top of your swing.

Putter: Your best point of impact is exactly where your swing arc is starting to rise to ensure that you are rolling your ball OVER instead of pushing your ball (and causing it to bounce). Ideally your putter face needs to be swinging directly up your target line at the point of impact (without any slicing or side motion to the swing).

Golf is NOT a no-brainer. To improve your game, you can’t afford to make a swing without planning the impact motion of the club that you selected. Commit to your swing and make a practice swing to ensure that you are making the correct impact with the ball and ground for the club that you selected. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to ensure that your arms and wrists are in the ideal position throughout each swing. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #92: If your best shots are the practice swing and the ‘gimme putt’, you might want to reconsider this game.

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Bunkers Can be Easier Than you Think

I have seen and reported on many techniques to escape sand traps, but I really believe that this approach is the best of them all. If you are in a sand trap next to the green, you want to get your ball over the lip and to settle on the green. This blog gives you the easy way to avoid 2 or 3 extra strokes wasted in the bunker.

I have shared some recommendations by Danny Maude in the past but this time he has come up with a very SIMPLE solution. The closer you get down to your ball the easier it is to make a consistent swing to lift it out of the sand. The closer your hands are to the ball the easier it is to guide your club through the sand on a level plane under your ball.

This method is for sand shots out of SOFT SAND
1/ Slide your hands down to the bottom of your grip and take a wider stance with bent knees so that your hands are much closer to the ball than your normal bunker stance.
2/ Use your normal grip with the ball forward of center in your stance and the club face wide open to use the bounce on the leading edge of your sand wedge.
3/ Take a 3/4 swing on a more horizontal than vertical swing with a good club speed so that your club will enter the sand 2-3 inches before the ball and exit 2-3 inches after the ball position and lift you ball on a carpet of sand.
4/ Finish your swing by swinging freely and throwing your ball and a spray of sand on the green.

Grip down and take a wider stance to get closer to your ball to take sand before and after your ball.

1/ Select a club with less bounce than a sand wedge and grip down on your club (similar to the soft sand setup above). Practice with different clubs to understand the impact and rollout on the ball.
2/ Stand with the ball slightly behind the center of your stance and your weight forward on you leading leg.
3/ Take a full pitch swing. Practice with GOLFSTR+ on your trailing wrist to limit wrist lag and take less sand than you would in a soft sand trap.

In both cases you are playing with a shorter club grip for better control to take sand with your swing and avoid fat or thin shots to at least get your ball up and on the green. These are not flop shots so you should be practicing with GOLFSTR+ on your trailing wrist to minimize your trailing wrist bend. Buy one today at

TIME TO CASH-IN YOUR OLD CLUBS: Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

Golf Truism #91: Golf’s a hard game to figure. One day you’ll go out and slice it and shank it, hit into all the traps, and miss every green. The next day you go out and for no reason at all you really stink.

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Trying to Hit it Longer? DON’T!

It’s the RUSH in your swing, to hit it longer, that kills your consistency. Just stop and think about this. Your major mishits happen when you try to get more distance out of your swing. When you rush your swing to add POWER you are actually messing up your chance to keep your body in sync for your perfect swing. The pros that we watch on TV seem to get away with a very fast back and down swing. You are NOT a pro.

Your golf swing only finds consistency when your arms have time to reach the top before you hips start your downswing. Rushing your arms by a fraction of a second will throw each physical component of your swing out of sync. I have seen this a thousand times and I know that I have done the same thing every time I hit the ball narrow, thin or heavy. Just watch your playing partners and analyze why they hit the perfect shot and at other times they miss-hit their ball. It’s almost impossible to see them speed up their arms by a fraction of a second but that’s all it takes.

Watch for the Signs
Rushed players may pause a little longer before they start their takeaway as they build up power in their brain to get an extra 30 yards. That extra time just builds up tension in their arms and back. Then BANG, there goes a booming slice or topped ball. Loosen your grip and enjoy the moment.

Take more time in your backswing to coil your hips and shoulders while you add lag with your wrists.

Take Control of your Mind and your Swing
1/ You can’t afford to put a lot more energy into your drive and then expect to hit your next shot with a different lofted club with less energy. Your body will just be out of sync.
2/ It’s too easy to rush your arms for a faster backswing and downswing. When you do this, your hips and shoulders will have a delayed reaction.
3/ The only club that you want to hit longer is your Driver and possibly your 3 or 5 wood when you are trying to get further down the fairway or to reach the green. The longer shaft on these clubs are designed to do the work for you. The whipping action of your wrist release generates a faster club head speed with a longer shaft. The coiling and uncoiling of your body for a longer shafted club and a shorter shafted club should be completed at the same speed.
4/ You don’t need more swing speed to gain distance with your irons. Just select a lower lofted club (for more distance) and make your controlled swing.

Your backswing should take twice as long as your downswing. When you are setting up at the first tee or for an important shot, mentally count “1 and 2” where 2 is the start of your downswing. Take more time to coil your body and create wrist lag as you bend your leading knee to start loading weight forward at the top of your swing.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight as you cock your wrists for more power when you release them through the ball. Buy one today at

TIME TO CASH-IN YOUR OLD CLUBS: Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

Golf Truism #90: An interesting thing about golf is that no matter how badly you play; it is always possible to get worse.

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Works for Phil but NOT for You

Phil Mickelson has really been playing well on the Champion’s Tour. We all know that Phil has an amazing short game. He learned it with constant practice in his backyard when he was a kid. Practice really is the best way to ingrain the right swing for every club. Your brain needs to remember it and your body needs to feel it. Was it his short game or his long game that helped him win so many recent tournaments?

Phil has one of the longest drives on the senior’s tour, but it is not always straight and not always landing on the fairway or in bounds. During the second round of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in 2021 he hit 2 tee shots out of bounds on the 547-yard, par-5. That’s two penalty strokes and still on the tee and hitting his 5th stroke. Bernhard Langer won that tournament and became the oldest winner in PGA TOUR of Champions history at 64.

Bernhard and Phil both learned important lessons during that tournament. Bernhard is not the longest driver, but he sure has an amazing approach shot to give himself a chance to sink more birdies.

Phil hits them long but if he can’t hit the next shot he (and YOU) are losing strokes.

On the other hand, Phil was 81st in driving accuracy and was well back in that tournament. When Phil was interviewed, he pointed out that he was number 1 in driving distance and his amazing skill in chipping and pitching normally get his out of trouble. On most courses he does not have to worry about driving accuracy as long as he has an open shot at the green to save his game.

Lanny Wadkins was the commentator that day who replied to Phil’s comments: “Life is just much easier from the fairway.”

Aging players are all shorter drivers than Phil so you really need to learn from Bernhard Langer’s approach. Keep the drives in the fairway and give yourself a chance to hit more greens in regulation. I still like Phil’s approach where he can hit it long and always dig an approach shot out of the rough. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn to keep your leading arm straight for longer drives. You can also use it to improve your pitching, chipping and putting. Buy one today at

GOLFAVENUE BONUS OPPORTUNITY: Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

Golf Truism #89: A ‘gimme’ can best be defined as an agreement between two golfers …neither of whom can putt very well.

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Eliminate Your 3 Putt Greens

As you finish the final 30 yards of every hole that you play, ever golfer has an equal chance to minimize their strokes. Strength is taken out of the equation for success. It all comes down to skill and intelligence. Your goal is to land on the green and sink your ball in 2 or less putts. Don’t play this game unless you spend time to practice the easy part of this game. Sharpen your chipping skills to get it close and then sink it in 1 or 2 putts.

Chip it Close
When your ball is within about 30 yards, all you need is the right club loft with a good “putting” stroke to hit your ball close to the hole. Think of your short chips as a putting stroke. You don’t need power but you do need a consistent cadence to swing through the ball with a putting stroke that will direct your ball directly at the point on the green where you are aiming for the right roll-out.

Your point of impact for your chip needs to be at the bottom of the arc of your swing. You are not trying to take a divot. You are only trying to direct your ball with enough power to let it roll out to the hole. Choosing the right lofted club is easy to figure out IF you practice with all of your higher lofted irons and wedges. You need “a feel” for each club for flight and rollout.

These 3 images of Sean Foley as found in Golf Digest illustrate the fine changes with a trailing wrist lag for longer chips and limited wrist lag for short chips and putts.

Putt it Close
Sort out the slope and break on the green before you chip and then again when you setup for your putt. Know the speed of your greens. Stare at the hole while you make your practice swings TO LET YOUR BRAIN TUNE INTO THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SWING needed to pass the hole. Always putt to the high side as your ball will drop down to the hole or at least stay closer to the hole for an easy 2 putt.

If you can improve your chipping and putting game, you should be able to cut 9 to 18 strokes out of your score for every round of golf. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for your trailing wrist control with a slight lag when you chip and a flat leading wrist when you putt. Buy one today at

GOLFAVENUE BONUS OPPORTUNITY: Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

Golf Truism #88: The term ‘mulligan’ is really a contraction of the phrase ‘maul it again.’

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Searching for Golf’s Holy Grail

Golf is the most frustrating game on earth and that’s exactly why we play this crazy game. We all have our good and bad days in golf. Unfortunately, we have more poor than amazing results. We constantly read golf blogs and articles searching for that magic bullet that will turn our games into excellence. Finding golf’s Holy Grail must be the reason why we play this crazy game.

Will there every be an End to our Search?
We have all heard about golfers who break their clubs or throw their bag of clubs in the pond and walk away in discussed. Very few of us get to that point. We are drawn back to our weekly rounds with friends and their constant abuse. We beat up on ourselves when we miss a shot or fire one into the trees (never to be seen again). Fortunately, we see a glimmer of light when we hit that amazing shot that ends up close to the hole and we may make or miss the putt but we all marvel at our potential for success.

What do Non-Golfers think of this Game?
They see this game for what it really is. A bunch of crazy men and women chasing a ball around a beautiful field of dreams and trying to get that ball out of sand traps or out of the rough in total frustration. Only to finally sink a putt and move on to the next fairway of misery or ecstasy. I’m one of the lucky ones because my wife has also caught this disease. I can’t imagine the abuse that golfers must take from a spouse who is a non-golfer.

We are all trying to find the Holy Grail of Golf: That’s why we LOVE this game.

Does this Search Ever End?
I was inspired to summarize my thoughts when I saw a blog which highlighted a “Eureka” moment by Bryson DeChambeau. Yes, even the pros who seem to have the perfect game are constantly searching for improvement. Bryson was working out at a driving range with World Long Driver Martin Borgmeier.

Bryson was working on his right miss (which you can’t afford to have on any fairway – especially if you are hitting 350 yards to the right): [“Yup, was it. Oh my god,” he says. “I just figured something out in my golf swing.” As Bryson explains, the shift has to do with his wrist position at impact. During the downswing, the force his trail arm generated, forced his club face open, leading to that right miss.] He carried on about a feeling that he needed to create during his downswing to close the face of his club. Even Bryson is never happy with his complete game.

Every golfer is unique in their age, strength, flexibility and mental attitude. We are all seeking perfection, but it will be different for every golfer. GOLFSTR+ gives you 6 swing fixes to put you on the right path in finding the Holy Grail of Golf. Buy one today at

GOLFAVENUE BONUS OPPORTUNITY: Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

Golf Truism #87: Golfers, who try to make everything perfect before taking the shot, rarely make a perfect shot.

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The Most Feared Shot in Golf

We can all walk up to any ball location and know with a certain amount of confidence that we can make a shot. But hitting a ball and making the perfect shot to hold the green are very different problems when it comes to hitting your ball out of a bunk. It’s even more difficult when you have a long greenside bunker shot with at least 15 yards of carry. I found this simple set of steps on a Performance Golf Zone promotion ad.

The rules change. In a basic bunker shot your club enters the sand about 2 inches before the ball and exits the sand about 2 inches after the ball. You are actually swinging your open faced sand wedge with enough force to slide it under the ball and lift sand and your ball into the air. Floating your ball on a carpet of sand, you know that you are not going to blade it over the green.

For longer bunker shots take less sand with less loft.

Longer sand shots takes a lot more skill because you are taking less sand and you risk making a thin shot. Knowing the right steps will give you the courage for success:

1/ Use a gap or pitching wedge depending on the distance that you want. For a shot over 30 yards you should consider an 8 or a 9 iron.

2/ Your club face and stance should be slightly open (or even square to your target for longer shots).

3/ Take a narrower stance than a basic sand shot but always dig your feet into the sand for stability. The goal for a longer bunker shot is to keep your feet level with the ball and avoid hitting too far and too deep behind the ball.

4/ Aim about an inch behind the ball and swing with a commitment to accelerate through the ball to a full finish and still taking sand before and after the ball. As in any sand shot you need to focus on taking sand after the ball so that you are lifting your ball on a carpet of sand.

Practice this shot with your GOLFSTR+ on your trailing wrist to limit cupping your wrist and avoid digging your club down into the sand. Buy one today for all 6 swing fixes at

GOLFAVENUE BONUS OPPORTUNITY: Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

GOLFSTR Truism #86: If you find you do not mind playing golf in the rain, the snow, even during a hurricane, here’s a valuable tip: Your life is in trouble.

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Plan to Hit More Greens in Regulation

The best way to lower your scores is to land on more fairways, hit more greens in regulation and make more putts. That’s easier said than done. The most important shots in golf which hold mid- and high-handicappers back are hitting more greens in regulation. That’s the key to getting more two-putt pars and the occasional birdie. If you are missing greens you are faced with bunker shots, short sided chips out of the ruff and bladed or chunked chips which really boost your scores.

In a recent issue of GOLF Magazine, using data from ARCCOS Caddie Link, they shared how many greens in regulation their users are hitting. [NOTE: ARCCOS is a system that records your golf statistics for every shot on every round your play.] Five handicap golfers average 8 greens in regulation per round, while ten handicap golfers average 6 GIR per round and fifteen handicap golfers average over 4 per round.

Cameron Smith is the current PGA Tour leader of greens in regulation (GIR) by hitting 80.56 %, and the Tour average is 68.20 %, which is about 12.5 greens in regulation per round (based on 18 holes, including the par 3’s). Those two numbers are not too realistic for weekend warriors.

The following chart lists the handicap (in the white circles) and corresponding GIR percentage for golfers

who use the ARCCOS data recording system

Based on my personal experience with Greens Hit In Regulation, these percentages seem to be lower than they should be. This chart shows that 15 Handicap golfers are hitting Greens In Regulation a little over 4 times every time they play. [That seems to be surprisingly low.] To hold a 15 handicap those golfers must be chipping and 2 putting on 14 holes for about 14 bogies. I suspect that these golfers are taking a lot of gimmes.

Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to improve your drives and to hit more greens in regulation. Everyone’s goal should be to hit 50% or 9 Greens In Regulation but you still need some amazing chipping and putting to hit the Handicaps in this chart. Buy your GOLFSTR+ today at

Golf Truism #85: Golf is harder than baseball. In golf, you have to play your foul balls.

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Chipping Should be the Easiest Shot in Golf

Every shot in golf is important but if you can’t hit your greens in regulation, you better be a good chipper. Golf Magazine feels that chipping is the quickest way to lower your scores. You don’t need strength to make this shot so anyone can become an excellent chipper. That’s the primary reason why so many aging golfers can often beat those younger long ball hitters. A skilled chipper can hit it close for a one-putt green. Young or old, we can all learn to be great chippers if we just spend more time honing our skill with a number of different lofted clubs.

A chip shot is a short-game stroke where the ball rolls more than it carries in the air. The stroke is directly related to putting, and actually looks a lot like a putting stroke when executed properly. Because the chipping stroke is short, it’s also very simple to execute.

The proper setup for chipping will lead to consistent contact and also make distance control simple. Because a chipping stroke is a weaker motion than a full golf swing, you only need to adjust your setup to allow for a shorter backswing and follow through up your target line.

Chipping Setup
Slide your hands down to the bottom of grip (forcing you to bend more at your waist).
Your stance should be 6 inches apart at your heels to limit the power in your swing.
Your weight and sternum should be forward relative to the golf ball throughout the entire stroke. Drop your leading shoulder and allow the shaft of your club to lean slightly forward. This position helps you finish your swing up your target line without releasing your wrists.
The loft of the club will do all of the lifting so you need to choose a lofted club that will allow your ball to clear the rough or the fringe and roll out to the hole.

Make your practice swing like a putting stroke and repeat the same stroke with enough speed to reach your planned landing spot.

Chipping Stroke

1/ Your stroke is like an elongated putting stroke using your shoulders for rotation. You are accelerating through your ball so your follow-though is at least as long as your backswing.

2/ The arc of the club reaches the bottom of the swing as it impacts the ball and then skims the turf in front of the ball. [Make sure that this happens in your practice swing to avoid hitting a fat or thin chip.]

3/ Keep your eyes focused on your ball until you impact the ball. Then allow your body and head to rotate up your target line. Your club face should be square to your target line at the point of impact, but the momentum of your swing must carry your club up the target line.

Let your club do the work for chips. Don’t release your wrists through the ball. Don’t add a whipping action with your shot which you need for a lob shot (with a wider open stance and open faced club). Practice with GOLFSTR+ to add a slight bend to your trailing wrist and hold it through your complete swing. Buy one today at

GOLFAVENUE   BONUS OPPORTUNITY:  Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

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