I want you to ask yourself some questions about your golf game.
Do you know how many fairways you hit in regulation? Do you know which holes fit your shot shape and which ones do not? Do you know when to be aggressive or when to be defensive?
Do you know how far you carry each of your iron shots? Do you know how much each club will roll after it lands on the green?
What is your best lay-up yardage? Do you plan on where you might want to leave your shot if it is not exactly where you want to hit your next shot?
Do you know when to lag a putt defensively and when to be aggressive?
Do you know what your “go to” shot is, when under pressure? In other words, do you know what your tendency is to hit a certain shot under pressure is? Can you adjust during a round of golf and play according to the way you are striking the ball that day?
I guarantee you the players who score better than you do, even if it seems they do not swing as well as you do, nor hit the ball as well as you do, can answer these questions. They plan accordingly, and get the most out of their golf game.
I played a round of golf the other day with a player who chose to hit a fairway club out of the rough from a severe downhill lie, over a creek to a green which was elevated. Prior to hitting the shot, he announced that he was probably going to donate a ball to the creek.
He hit the shot into the creek, which was to be expected because of his ability level. After he made the shot, he said this was the only place the shot could go. When I suggested that a lay-up shot should have been a logical alternative, he just shook his head no.
Interesting, he knew that in all likelihood, he could not carry this club over the creek from that lie, but choose to try to do so anyhow. I can only say that scoring low was not high on his priority list.
If scoring the lowest you can is important to you, please make sure that you know your capabilities and play to them. Self knowledge, along with realistic ambitions can really help you lower your scores.