2015 Challenge: Drive For Show, Putt For Dough


So, we’re all familiar with the old saying ‘Drive for show, putt for dough’, essentially meaning it’s the short game where you make up your scores in golf. Hold that thought!

Earlier in the month, in working towards my single figure handicap, I have been working on my posture (see last weeks blog) and trying to maintain my posture throughout the backswing. This has resulted in a shorter, more compact and more powerful position at the top.

Golf Posture And Downswing

Previously I had been transferring the weight on to my left hand side, swinging back too far and using the top half of my body to generate the power, but only ending up driving the ball a total distance of 230-240 yards. By generating the power from the ground up and keeping the weight on the inside of my right leg on the way back, I’m now carrying the ball 230-240yds with the Driver and also seeing an increase in distance throughout the irons in general.

I’m also striking the ball much better. The best way for me to illustrate the feeling I’m getting when building up to impact is as follows-


Obviously this is only demonstrating the downswing, but you can see, at the top of my backswing, the area highlighted is where all the power is built up, my legs resisting my shoulders turning any more; you can then see how the power transfers throughout your body to the ball. So when you hear pro’s talking about being coiled like a spring, this is what they are referring to.

It feels really strange to me, it really does feel like you’re only doing half a swing, but the results on the launch monitor speak for themselves. I’m now consistently getting more distance with every club in the bag. So I was really happy and looking forward to playing a course with this recently unlocked power, I was playing holes in my head, doing that thing that all the ‘proper’ golfers do, randomly swing an imaginary club and feeling unbeatable….

The reality was, I had a round on the Brabazon (simulated), and I was terrible! My drives were going further, but I was trying harder. I wasn’t letting my game do the talking, I was trying to force the outcome. I found every water hazard and seemed to end up behind every tree even when there wasn’t a tree in sight! All the effort put in to getting more distance, I’d forgotten how to play the short game.

This led to trying ambitious shots like trying to carry a 3 iron over water the distance I normally carry, but not able to do it with a hazard in between me and my landing zone. I felt so frustrated and couldn’t understand what had happened. I’m not one to give up, but I did start questioning if the task I’d set myself was realistic or if I’m just not cut out to play golf at a decent level…? Cue a short game lesson.

Golf: The Short Game

In the last week or so, I have been working a LOT on the short game. Between 30 and 50 yards, I was reasonable, but anything above or below, I was either shanking or quitting on it. OK, you get the odd lucky outcome, but the consistency and swing thoughts were non existent. There were quite a few issues. In my initial set up, my stance was too open, my hands were too far ahead of the ball, my weight was too much on the right hand side. This has now been fixed and I feel in a lot better position to get a more positive outcome. I’ve added the pictures below of my old set up against the new-

golf handicap, chipping

I’ve been working on standard chips and flop shots and the difference between the two set ups. I now look forward to playing and I’m much more optimistic about those shots that were letting me down only a couple of weeks ago. Obviously the techniques we were working on earlier in the month are still very relevant, but not at the expense of accuracy.

Drive for show, putt for dough!

It’s been a pretty up and down few weeks, but ended on a high! I’m sure the next four weeks are going to be just as eventful, I am on a pretty steep learning curve after all. How do you cope when you’ve hit a rough patch? Have a break? Try to sort it out? Or keep doing the same thing hoping for a different outcome?

Let us know in the comments box below, or get in touch on our Facebook page. I look forward to sharing the highs and lows with you….

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