19th Hole

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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The Anti Good Golfer

Sometimes the best path to being a better golfer is identifying the ultimate anti good golfer, hang with me here. Think, if you were coaching someone to have the highest score possible, what you would tell them? I know I’d find the nearest out of bounds markers and tell them to repeatedly hit shots out of bounds, adding two extra shots for every swing, a three for one deal! Water close by? Perfect, let’s fire a couple in there, not quite the three for one deal out of bounds has, but still, adding shots without having to swing the club works beautifully. I think everyone is getting the point here.

Playing good golf is much more about not making mistakes than it is about hitting great shots. If you’ve read some of the things I’ve written here, you’ve heard me talk about the penalty board. The penalty board consists of three putts, penalty shots, and double bogies or worse. This simple metric is an exceptional way to track the anti good golfer, and as this number gets smaller and smaller, my guess is your score is going to get better and better. Want to be as bad as you can? Penalty board needs to be big!

How does this relate to the golf course? Executing this simple idea takes exceptional discipline. Have a par three over water at a 140 yards that you’re not sure you can clear? Hit two 70 yard sand wedges around the lake. Have a good chance of hitting a ball around a tree and getting the ball around the green? Don’t. Pitch it out in the fairway, hit the next one on the green, move on. No big numbers. 

One of the most unbelievable stats on the PGA Tour is obstructed shots. An average PGA Tour player, from the trees, anywhere from 120-200 yards averages almost 4 shots to get in the hole, 3.8. This means if you can pitch the ball in the fairway from the trees or desert, knock it on the green, and two putt you’re almost as good as any tour player. Don’t be a hero, no crazy shots, just bump it in the fairway, and play on. This is really, really hard to execute, and those of you who do, will be on your way to much better scores. 

Good luck!   

Rob Rashell is now the Director of  Instruction at TPC Scottsdale. You can reach him at robrashell@pgatourtpc.com.