Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Mike LaBauve, one of the nation’s top golf teachers, sees a lot of amateur golfers miss greens with their approach shots, and he is always surprised when they seem unprepared for those results.
“If you’re a 20 handicap, you should be ready to miss more than three-fourths of all greens,” LaBauve said. “But you would be a 10 handicap if you knew what to do next and had repeatedly practiced those short shots near greens after a miss. Amateur golfers should not be surprised by their misses; they should be prepared for them.”
As LaBauve points out, even PGA Tour players miss about six greens in regulation per round. A 20-handicap golfer misses on average about 14 greens in regulation per round, he estimated.
“Understanding and accepting that your iron play will test your short game is the first part of getting better,” said LaBauve, who is the director of instruction at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. “Perfect those short-game shots, and you’ll see incredible improvement — from 6 to 10 shots per round, depending on your handicap.”