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So now my question-- given that I seem to have hit a barrier, what's the best way to improve to get to the next level-- below 100? Should I just keep playing and assume that at some point there will be a breaktrhough? Somehow I don't think that's likely, given that I score roughly the same whether I feel I'm playing well or not so well. Or is it time for another lesson? What do you folks suggest?

If you are scoring in the "over 100" range, there are probably a multiple of errors with each round that should be addressed. Keep a mental journal - or jot down on the score card during the round or on a sheet of paper after the round - of what kind of shots or missed shots are happening on every hole. Is it the dreaded 3 putt? Is it a chunked chip or pitch shot? Is it a failure to get out of a sand bunker with one stroke? Do you have penalty shots each round from OB or in the water? Is your course management one that is filled with reality of your swing, or are you always reaching for the driver on the tee? Do you hit iron shots 'fat' in the fairway? After you do this exercise, you can tally up where in your game you need to "attack" some problems to shave those strokes off of your game. If it is taking you 3 or 4 shots to chip and putt the ball in the hole - you will find your most significant savings in strokes per round by focusing on this area first.

Most people can hack the ball somewhere up near the green in 3 shots on any given par 4, 2 shots on a par 3 and 4 shots on a par 5. If you were able to 'hack' the ball up to the vicinity of the green in such a manner, then if one was good at chipping, pitching and putting - one could easily play bogey golf (88 - 90) with a proficient short game even though each hole requires an extra shot to get on or near the green in regulation. That leaves all those little shots and touch shots to get the ball into the hole and where you - if you are like most golfers - will find most of the types of things to work on where you can get that score below 100.

If you have a yard you can easily spend a lot of time chipping with various clubs at home to develop confidence and a sense of technique for the shorter shots. If it took one extra shot per hole than "regulation" to reach the green, that's only 18 shots you are fighting for on your attempt to lower your score. However, the short shots can keep your score over 100 if you simply are not getting good chips and putts going with a consistent routine that yields predictable results. One of the trusted exercises is to play a full round of golf with only the 4 or 5 iron on down to the wedges. One might be surprised with the score that can be carded in such an exercise provided one has a decent short game.

Let us know from your mental or written journal where all those strokes are coming from to have a score over 100 each round.


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