Imagination leads to better scoring. Jordan Spieth epitomizes this sentiment. There isn’t a current player on tour who holes out more than Jordan. It happens so much it makes us all wonder how? Believe it or not, you too can knock more shots in from off the green if you follow Jordan’s blueprint for success.
The average player can learn so much from watching Jordan’s process. It’s apparent to PGA Coaches he sees the whole shot. What does that mean? Jordan looks for a starting point. He has a landing spot and, in his approach, he considers the area around the hole. All golfers would benefit from having a beginning, middle and end to each of their shots.
You begin by choosing a starting line. The best way to practice this is with the driver. Next time you find yourself on the practice range start hitting drives with a very specific starting point. Since 99% of those reading this don’t hit straight drives, the starting point will be different than the finishing place. Be specific in your practice and choose that starting target. Follow through to that spot every time and let the ball bend toward the target.
Aiming at the end target when you know the ball will always curve leads to reactionary golf. Stop that trend and start accounting for the bend. Watch on the range as your shots not only become more consistent, but more solid. A powerful combination to playing better golf.
The next step is to practice the middle. Great short game players know you need an intermediate target to get the ball close. They pick a landing spot. In watching and listening to Jordan it’s obvious he selects where he wants the ball to land to get it close. The average golfer just hits it at the hole. You must consider the ground and how it will affect the shot. Picking a landing area and then making sure you hit it the spot rather than at the hole will help you score.
PGA Coaches always love to lay down targets on the green when practicing their chipping. This helps them focus on their landing place rather than get distracted by the hole. Practice selecting and hitting your landing target and the ball will continually get closer to the hole.
Be creative in your approach to playing golf. Sure, Jordan can spin it back and you cannot. That’s not the point, the significance is that if he just bounced it up there it probably won’t get close. It doesn’t always have to go in to be a great shot. Golf courses are designed to give you all sorts of options. Make a personal choice to really focus on the area around the hole. The best route might not always be the most obvious one.
Spieth’s scintillating 62 in Round 2 of The NORTHERN TRUST started with a bogey! The next seventeen holes he made back-to-back eagles and six birdies. Sometimes it’s just your day. Funny thing is by starting each shot with a great plan you can make your days much more like Jordan’s.
Keith Stewart is a 5-time award-winning PGA Professional with 25 years of experience in the golf industry. His network of players, coaches and insiders provide him with a unique perspective on the game. He's a writer on PGA.com and host of the ProShow on ESPN 920 AM Friday afternoons at 3:00pm EDT. Check out his PGA Coaching articles archived here or his conversations on air with this link to his website The ProShow.
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