Play your first shot....

Follow Thread

By Speedy

  • 1 Like
  • 17 Replies
  1. Speedy

    Newmarket, NH

    Fall is here in the Northeast (boo! not ready for the season to be over with) and lately my score has been consistent. My HCP has gone down a little and thinking what did I do different? I go back to this one advice I got from a good friend this summer. We always have a match when we play and I think this one time he got a little irritated b/c I do this a lot when we play. I like to take a mulligan or two (rarely) or if I hit a bad shot I would drop one down and hit another one, but don't worry I do count all my shots against him. Anyways, I hit a bad shot so I put a 2nd ball down and hit again. After that my buddy looked at me and said, “WHY? What do you gain from doing that? Play the first shot and recover. You’ll get better that way.” I was caught off guard at first but ok I'll play my first. Since then I did away with mulligans and 2nd shots and it has paid off handsomely. And honestly this one advice has improved my short game and chipping a little, more confidence around the green.

    Also before the advice if I was in tough spot I would just whack my way out not really looking at the big picture. Now, I'm taking a few extra seconds and thinking what's the best way to get up and down from here. Every shot matters.

    Having the best clubs in the bag has truly helped my game as well. The AP3s and Vokeys has been a life saver for me. Get fit and the rest will take care of itself. And yes, TS will soon be added.

    Did anyone get that one advice this year that helped their game?

    Go USA!

  2. Darryl M

    Darryl M
    Wichita, KS

    I have been told several times to quit thinking on the tee box, and since I have not done that my driving has still been inconsistent. But I don't understand how I can hit draw on my first 2 drives, then never hit it again the rest of the round. I will either hit it straight (no complaints about that) or leave it out to the right a little bit. I try not to fight it and I do not try to setup for a draw, I set up to not fade or push which was the major issue Mid Year. So I am constantly thinking on the box don't fade or push which I know shouldn't do.

    My year has been a real struggle compared to last year when I went from 16 to 12, this year I had 3 rounds over 100 (a first in 8 years to go over 100) I went up to a 19 hdcp and finally I have been putting rounds together that look like my game from last year NOW THAT THE SEASON IS COMING TO AN END. I have played more times this year than I usually do and wonder if that has hurt my game some. (sometimes 3 rounds a week every week)

    With the colder months coming I plan on getting some serious range time in before it's too cold and look forward to a better 2019, scared to buy the new TS until I sort out my 915D2..........

    Baby steps, I know

  3. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Speedy, I used to only practice at the driving range. The thing that has helped me the most is adding some 9-hole practice sessions on the course. Like you, i will play the original ball but will hit 2 or 3 more of certain shots i am working on. One day it might be the driver, another day might be wedges. I find that just hitting repetitive shots on the range or practice green doesn't help my focus to make the first shot count. I still have those days where i need to spend extra time on the range hitting all shots but the addition of the occasional on-course practice is really helping my game.
  4. That's exactly what I now do and it has brought on my game leaps and bounds.

    I obviously have to be wary of other groups behind me so I try to head out when it's quiet.
  5. Frank P

    Frank P
    Port St. Lucie, FL

    For me, the range is best for wedges, driver and the practice bunker and chipping area that we have here. If I'm on the course by myself, I like to hit a few different Iron shots especially from difficult lies. You cant beat real world conditions. Tour pros do this a lot during practice rounds.
  6. No'l

    Palmdale, CA

    That's an excellent advise from your buddy. Accountability from each shot and owning up to it is a true mirror reality we can all understand. It's an honest assessment of anyone golfer. Maturity in every approach to the ball becomes more thought out with a plan.

    With me, we are taught to hit the ball with our left arm and hand (lead arm/hand). Few a handful of years, I had been faking it. Although I have been successful many times in many rounds all those years, it comes to bite me back and hinders my progress in what we are trying to achieve. So, I asked the question to myself if I've been honest and have done what we've been asked for. That assessment of myself was though. I was one of the first few students who led and excel, but I'm just in the middle of the pack a year ago. I am slowly but surely creeping back up again.
  7. Jim C

    Jim C
    Braintree, MA

    My two sons (17 & 14) will often replay a shot if not satisfied with their first if the course isn't too busy. I'm fine with this "practice" and over the years they have learned that for scoring purposes, the first ball is to be played.
  8. Steve S

    Steve S
    Tuckerton, NJ

    Always enjoy your post Speedy. My partner gave me some advice this summer that really seemed to help me. He told me to stop worrying about my score, and to just play and concentrate on one shot at a time. I tried it and the scores seemed to take care of themselves. Seemed like simple advice, but it worked..
    Play Well,
    Steve S.
  9. Tom J

    Tom J
    Vernon Hills, IL

    The most helpful advice I've received this season actually came by way of TT, so thanks! I was going through a period where I'd hit low line drives off the tee, even when making solid contact--very frustrating. I knew it was the archer and not the arrow. In late July, I received the TT email with the link to the video entitled "Tips from TPI: Gain Distance by Optimizing Spin Loft" with Dave Phillips and Dr. Greg Rose. At the conclusion of this video, Dave offered suggestions for increasing spin loft. Some I'd already tried, such as teeing the ball higher and farther forward in my stance. With only those tips, my tendency was to open my shoulders with predictably bad results. The clincher was Dave's thought of setting up to the ball almost as if you're hitting behind the ball. He uses the example of hitting a sand shot. This little nugget helped me get back to hitting the ball on the upswing with the higher trajectory I was looking for and the distance I'd expect. I feel like I can hit a home run again instead of just a double!
  10. Dro


    I golfed with a guy who never lost balls. Dead into the woods, but his ball was always on the edge somehow... Have any friends called you out on that?
  11. Scott M

    Scott M
    South Burlington, VT

    One thing that's helped me is to change the way I practice. I used to just "go through the bag" and hit a few balls with each club. I've started a new approach where I warm up and hit enough shots to feel like I have my swing working, but then instead of working up or down through the bag, I'll mentally play my round mentally and visualize playing each hole. I'll change clubs after each shot and try to think of the distance I would have given the prior shot and I'll do that mentally for all 18 holes at my club. I've found it a way to really make my practice be a little more structured and thoughtful in that I'm trying to hit a specific shot a specific distance so I think it's made me more focused in my practice.

  12. Logan S

    Logan S
    Maple Valley, WA

    With no range here at my home course i always hit 2 off the first tee. Play the better of the 2 and roll on. I don’t take mulligans it’s not a true score. The only person Your fooling is yourself when taking mulligans.
  13. Aloha Bruce

    Aloha Bruce
    Sunnyvale, CA

    Logan S said:

    With no range here at my home course i always hit 2 off the first tee. Play the better of the 2 and roll on. I don’t take mulligans it’s not a true score. The only person Your fooling is yourself when taking mulligans.

    If you take the better of the 2 off of the first tee, this seems like you're taking a Mulligan.
  14. Dro


    You are hitting two balls from the tee and choosing which ball to play? That is the definition of a mulligan, 1st tee or not.
  15. tony k

    tony k
    bradenton, FL

    In our group we call it an "asterisk".
  16. The assistant pro at my course who I play with on an occasion kept telling me to ditch my old putter and get something bette4 balanced for my game. i did and dropped 2 on my cap very quickly.
  17. Hotsauce

    Georgetown MA

    If you're hitting more than one ball, you're not playing golf- you're practicing. If you're a beginner and can't make solid contact then you might have better luck on the range rather than the course. If you're a decent player the best way to lower your cap is to learn how to scramble. Sometimes if you're practicing it's worth hitting two from a dicey lie or trying to perfect that punch shot, but in a "real round" you just have to live with what you hit.

    Golf isn't a game of perfection, it's a game of managing misses and skirting yourself out of trouble. Personally I receive way more gratification making a par from jail than hitting a good ball the second time.

    In a nutshell- If you're practicing on the course, then swing away. Play different shots, hit two- heck- hit four if you want, but if you're playing in a match or tournament - play golf. Mulligans don't make you better, and they make playing matches way less fun for your opponent :-)
  18. Steve L

    Steve L
    Framingham, MA

    I often play by myself on a weekday and take advantage of an empty course for practice. My range is 200 yards wide, usually only matts, and has limited targets. When I can hit shots on course from various lies and distances, bunkers, and pitches or chips onto greens
    ( my range doesn't like chipping around the putting green...) then I use it for my benefit. I will also play two balls, sometimes playing the worse of the two, a Greg Norman favorite game, or when possible one ball has to be a fade the other a draw. my only mulligans are the first tee ball of the day on a course with no range or warm up area since its hard to step out of the car and go. If I ever hit a second shot because of a bad first shot then it is never played to completion , my first ball is always in play for score.

Please login to post a comment.

Sign In

Haven't registered for Team Titleist yet?

Sign Up