Breaking 80, Week 5: Devise a Game Plan

March 15, 2011
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DEVISE A GAME PLAN
If you think the pros go out and shoot
the scores they do without a specific
plan for each hole, you’re wrong. They
play several practice rounds before a
tournament, often on courses that they’ve
played many times during their career.
Although you might not have this luxury,
you do need to have a strategy for every
hole if you want to optimize your scoring.
Your basic approach, however, should
be to avoid double-bogeys at all costs. If
you do, you can make seven bogeys and
still break 80.

To devise your strategy, get a yardage
book (or draw one if you have to) from your
home course and go through every hole,
paying extra attention to the par-3s and
par-5s. Decide if and when you need to hit
driver off the tee, and where you should
try to land your tee shots. Mark areas you
need to avoid both off fairways and around
greens. Keep in mind as you go through
every hole that your main goal is to avoid
blowups. Think about how to avoid doubles
more than how to make birdies.

PAR-3s: PAR IS BIRDIE
The key for shaving strokes
on par-3s is to think of
them, especially the longer
and harder ones, as par-
3.5s. When you face a long
par-3, take a good look at
your possible miss areas,
almost as you would when
surveying a fairway from
the tee. Your goal should be
to find the least penal area
to miss and aim for that
part of the green. The worst
thing you can do is to shoot
at a flag that’s surrounded
by trouble and wind up
making double- or triplebogey.
On these holes, be
happy with a “4” and think
of a “3” as a bonus. Forget
about birdies here.

PAR-5s: BOGEY IS DOUBLE
First, you need to carefully consider whether or not
you have a realistic chance
to reach the green in two,
even with your very best
drive. If not, hit a more
conservative club off the
tee. Use the same thought
process from the fairway:
don’t automatically
assume you’re going for the
green in two. In fact, the
only time you should go for
the green is if you can reach
the greenside bunkers
with a comfortable shot
with your longest club. If
you can’t, you’re better off
laying up to a nice wedge
distance (use your go-to
layup developed in Week 1).

WEEK FIVE ACTION PLAN: TIGHTEN YOUR STRATEGY
1. Make a Plan
(30 minutes)

Go through the yardage
book or scorecard
from your home course
and devise a strategy
for each hole. Pay
particular attention to
the par-3s and par-5s.

2. Lock in Your Speed
(30 minutes)

Continue working on
your lag putting with
the Speed Drill on page
130. By the end of six
weeks, you want to
be able to lag at least
eight balls in a row.

3. Make 10 5-Footers/
Play a Game
(30 minutes)

Keep working on the
short ones and your
compeitive edge via
“Sinks” (see Week 4 Plan).

4. Scoring-Club
Distance Practice
(30 minutes)

Perform the wedge drill
from Week 1. At this
point in the six-week
plan, you should be
very close to the goal
of getting at least 70
percent of your wedge
shots into a 10-yard
radius with each club.

5. Cross-the-Line Drill
(30 minutes)

Continue working
on your go-to drive.

6. Pitch/Chip Drill
(30 minutes)

Continue the drill
from Week 3.

BREAK 80 PLANNING WORKSHEETS (PDF)

WEEK 1: DIAL IN YOUR SHORT CLUBS

WEEK 2: DEVELOP A GO-TO DRIVE

WEEK 3: CHIP AND PITCH IT CLOSER

WEEK 4: MAKE MORE PUTTS

WEEK 5: DEVISE A GAME PLAN

WEEK 6: GET OUT IN ONE SWING