By: Arlen Bento, WGCA contributing writer
Golf is a great game, no matter what your age! No other game or sport in the world is as age-friendly as golf on the highest level of competition.
Davis Love III, an icon in professional golf, proved that even after injuries and surgery, a great golfer can find a way to win on the PGA Tour. Love put together a stellar final-round 64 at Sedgefield Country Club on Sunday at the Wyndham Championship to claim his first PGA Tour win since 2013. Love is the third-oldest player to win on the Tour.
If you had a chance to watch this great event, you could see why Davis was able to have such success. He drove the ball well, hit a lot of greens, and hit a lot of his approach shots into close birdie range.
For many of you that follow my posts, you know I have devoted a large part of my golf instructional life to coaching competitive players. Over the years, I have developed a complete strategy for helping better players lower their scores, especially teaching them how to get under par. In the last few months, one of my professional players had his best two-day professional event, posting rounds of 68-64. This player has been working on his game and his metal processing to help get his second shots closer to the hole on a regular basis, giving his putter a much better chance to make a putt for birdie.
Here is my 10-10-30 breakdown for shooting lower scores. I am sure that if we break down the round that Davis Love just shot on Sunday, his stats would be commensurate with my theory. First, if you want to lower your score, you have to achieve these statistics with these three parts of your game:
1. You have to drive the ball in play. Your goal is to hit a minimum of 10 fairways per round. If you don’t have the distance to give yourself a mid-iron into the green on your second shot on a par-4, then you are playing tees that are too long. You have to be able to get the ball into your mid-iron scoring range off the tee to have a chance to shoot par or better.
2. You have to be able to hit your regulation iron shots into the middle of the green a minimum of 10 times in your round. That means you have to be able to hit a par-3 in one shot, a par-4 in two shots, and a par-5 in three shots. You don’t have to aim at the flag; just hit the middle of the green. When you can hit 10 or more greens in regulation, you can start to work on hitting at targets closer to the hole.
3. You have to be able to two-putt every hole and be able to control your first-putt speeds so that you are always with in 12 inches of the hole on every first putt, short or long. The reason you have to control speed is that if you master the pace of your ball rolling on the green, you have a much better chance of making a lot more putts. When you roll the ball at the proper pace, you can be less accurate on your lines, because at the right pace, the ball will go into the cup from more angles if the speed of the putt is right. If you putt too fast, you shrink the size of the hole.
Now, there is much more to cover to take your game under par, like learning to hit your irons to sections of the greens, working on the short game so that you improve your up-and-down scoring when you do miss a green, and learning how to trust your pre-shot routine and the shape of your ball flight, but if you can achieve 10 fairways, 10 greens in regulation, and keep your putts near 30, you will have some of your best scores.
Master Teaching Professional Arlen Bento Jr. is a golf coach, golf sales business owner, golf product developer and golf writer living in Jensen Beach, Florida. He is a former professional tournament player and is a national award-winning head golf professional at the PGA Country Club at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, FL. He can be reached via Facebook at www.facebook.com/arlenbentojr or on his blog http://arlenbentojr.blogspot.com or on his business website www.abjgolfsales.com.