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The Difference Between Shooting 63 and 80.

November 2, 2011

As the Head Coach of the Bishop’s School girls’ golf team, I had the privilege of accompanying two of my girls to the Southern California Regional Championships this morning (November 1st).  As a coach, I unfortunately didn’t get the opportunity to watch my girls play as I was asked to be a scorer for a different grouping.  However, with every cloud comes a silver lining as I got to witness a junior girl from Torrey Pines High School shoot a 63 (7 under par) and set a new women’s course record on the par 70 course.
I was also lucky to watch a freshman girl shoot  80  which by most people’s standards is a very good score, however, the purpose of this post is to highlight the differences between shooting a 63 and an 80.
Pre-Round Preparation:  I noticed the TP63 (Torrey Pines Junior) spent only 15 minutes on the driving range warming up hitting balls to targets compared to 30 minutes chipping and putting where as most of the other girls stood around the range talking and hitting balls for about 30 – 45 minutes with little to no chipping or putting.
Pre-Shot Routine:  TP63 had exactly 3 practice swings before every shot and when disrupted and thrown off she would reset her rotuine until she was ready to make her best swing. The other girl would have a variety of practice swings and was even haulted whilst in a set by a person in a cart crossing the fairway, however, she never reset resulting in a shot that flew 20 yards left into a bunker.  The realization hit home as she muttered “I should have taken more time over that shot” as she put her club back in her bag.
Course Management:  TP63 hit the ball no more than 220 yards off the tee yet made the decision to lay up on 3 separate occasions to leave herself with her favorite 100 yard shot into the hole. The other girl hit her driver every time and ended up 2 over for those three holes compared to the 2 under by TP63.
Putting:  There is no denying that holing putts will lower your score, but to shoot 63 you need to hole just about everything.  TP63 finished the round with 24 putts – remember how she spent time on the putting green prior to the round…hmmmmmmmmm
Demeanor:  TP63 was nothing short of flat line throughout the entire 18 holes. She never got too high when holing putts for birdie or got upset when fairways and greens were missed compared to other players who experienced many highs and lows.
Nutrition:  TP63 muched on trail mix, bananas, a peanut butter sandwich and plenty of water in the 6 hour round.  When offered candy she refused unlike every other player in her group.

Now, many of you may feel that the attention to detail shown by TP63 doesn’t apply to you as you can’t break 90, 80 or get close to shooting 63.  My reply would be – you NEED to learn from golfers that pay attention to the details as they are 100% more likely to be able to reach their golfing goals quicker than people who do not.

All feedback is very much appreciated.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Daniel John permalink
    November 2, 2011 9:21 PM

    Im just starting out in golf and reading this is vital and I will use all the info . Great piece and excellent awareness on your part well done thanks Dan

  2. robin permalink
    November 3, 2011 2:42 PM

    definitely worth reading, nice post
    i’m very much like TP63 in my approach and get criticised, laughed at by players for that.
    but at the end, i think TP63 will analyse what went right and what went wrong because there is less variables to account for (anger, excitement, loss of attention, lack of preparation…)
    robincocq (twitter)

  3. Austin permalink
    November 4, 2011 3:17 AM

    This post really helped my golf game. I shot a 77 today, when I normally would’ve shot 83. What was the difference? I had two practice swings before every shot and three practice swings before every putt. I also managed the course better, leaving my favorite shot on a couple holes where I could’ve easily gone for it. And the best part about it was I didn’t have my A game as far as ball striking goes.

    I also started off the round with a triple bogey on the first hole! But I remembered from this post that there are 17 holes left, so I didn’t need to get too low.

    Thanks Andrew!

  4. November 4, 2011 6:26 PM

    Great post. I was surprised that a player shooting 63 would take so many practice swings! Lucky she was not shooting 93. I make light of that but I am always impressed by players who when knocked out of their routine, start over, regardless of how long that may take. I also like the “Flatline” reference and from my own short comings I understand that is taking the front of the brain out of the equation during the shot and letting happen what you have worked on and trust without any interference from the brain. It is a trait that I am sadly not blessed with!
    On another note, I was an official at a recent South Florida PGA Junior Tour Event and the claibre of player in all age groups and both boys and girls divisions is astonishing. The way they carry themselves and apply themselves is equally impressive. Going by this post and what I have seen here, golf is in good hands…
    Keep the posts coming Andy, great job so far.

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