Avoiding Double and Triple Bogeys

avoiding-double-bogeys

At Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club we are proud to have a highly skilled staff of PGA pros and golf instructors on staff to offer members a wide spectrum of instructional options for all ages and abilities. 

Recently, we sat down with PGA Professional and Superstition golf instructor Dan Williams to pick his brain on ways to avoid double and triple bogeys. Here’s the advice he had to offer: 

Regardless of how skilled a golfer is, one of the best ways to ruin a good round is to throw in a double or triple bogey. How many times have you said, “if it wasn’t for those 2 or 3 holes, I would have had a nice score today?”  When it comes to avoiding big numbers, I think of three areas - course management, wasted shots and putting. 

Course Management
Course Management simply means making good decisions. Flagsticks are often positioned specifically to punish a shot that is too aggressive and not perfectly hit. The better you can identify trouble the better you’ll be able to make a good plan. 

There is rarely trouble in the middle of the green. There is a common saying in golf that if you took the flagstick away, the average golfer would score better because they would aim at the middle of every green. I won’t go as far as to suggest that you aim at the middle of every green regardless of pin position, but if a flag is near trouble, I would aim closer to the middle of the green. 

Hit shots that you are confident with. If you’re saying to yourself, “if I hit this perfect, my 9 iron will get there.”  Then you are probably about to make a bad decision. If you need to execute a shot that is outside of your normal level of skill, your likelihood of success goes down. If a 9 might get there, but an 8 gets therebut might be a little long, the 8 is probably the play!

Putting

If you can limit your 3 putts, you’ll avoid big numbers, and there are two reasons why we 3 putt, we either miss short putts that we should make, or we aren’t hitting our first putt close enough to make the next one. While there are plenty of tips to improve your putting game, I am going to focus on the speed control aspect. If you get very good with your speed, you’ll always be close enough to make the next putt. To make sure we have good speed, we need to have a good stroke, and a good stroke has a smooth tempo, back and through. We need to make sure the putter is not decelerating into the impact, so we want to swing back without creating too much speed/momentum that we have to slow down. Create a smooth backswing, so you can smoothly accelerate into impact.

Wasted Shot
A wasted shot is a top, duff, lateral or any other shot that does not advance the ball effectively. Missing a green or a fairway is fine as long as we made somewhat decent contact. But if you struggle making contact, you should focus on the process of your swing in as simple a way as possible. If you have too many swing thoughts, or you have a very complicated plan, or you’re worried about missing the shot, this can be distracting and contribute to hitting our worst shots. I would suggest identifying 1 or 2 things that you find to be most helpful in your own swing and develop a preshot routine that allows you to focus on what you want to do. This doesn’t guarantee that you’ll hit perfect shots, but it should help you limit drastic miss hits. 

There are many ways to help lower your scores, but I like to think of avoiding disaster as a good place to start! Make a good plan on the course, control your speed on the greens and keep your swing simple and consistent to avoid big numbers on the course. Interested in more tips from Dan? Take a look at his Golf Tips For Avoiding Shanks or you may be interested in the 5 Extremely Effective Putting Drills the team compiled. 

Members - login to your membership page or connect with the team at the Golf Shop to schedule a lesson with Dan or join one of his popular clinics.