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Lesson Plan – 3 ways to shoot lower scores in 2016

Short game practice at Sandpiper Golf Club, Sun City Center, FL (photo by

By: Tom Burley, PGA

The new year is a great time to evaluate your game and set goals to improve. While everyone’s game is unique, here are a few things yo­­u can do – on and off the course – that will help lower your scores in 2016.

  • Play with golf clubs that are fit for you. Having the right equipment fit for your swing is an important starting point to improving your game. Most golfers are playing with a set of clubs they purchased off the rack at a golf shop, but having your clubs fit properly will afford you the best opportunity to hit it close when you make a good swing.
  • Spend more time on the short game than the long game. We have all heard the motto, “Drive for show and putt for dough.” I would like to think this holds true in most cases. Getting the ball up and down and making your 3- to 5-foot putts are crucial. All golfers miss greens during their round. However, if you can still make par, or at least limit the damage when you miss the green, I am willing to bet your scores will be just fine.
  • Play the correct tees on the course by teeing it forward. Don’t bite off more than you can chew when it comes to tee selection. An all-too-common issue with most golfers is that they are always trying to play the course from the “tips,” or the farthest yardage possible. If you cannot get to the par 3s in one shot or the par 4s in two shots, you should not be playing that set of tees.  Most golf courses have several sets of tees to play from. Make sure you select the set that gives you the best chance to have an honest, successful round.

– Tom Burley is the Head PGA Professional at Indian Wells Golf Resort.