4 things 90+ shooters take for granted that low handicappers don’t

March 6, 2020
Golfer lying on putting green with his arms and legs open wide feeling exhausted.

Sometimes, the difference between a 90s shooter and an 80s shooter can be as simple as prioritizing the right things. Enter GOLF’s resident low-handicaps, who are here to offer some helpful advice, golfer-to-golfer.

1. A Good Warmup

Dylan Dethier (+3.3 handicap): For me it’s all about that proper warmup. I keep most of my rounds in the general vicinity of par, but these days if I just roll up to a course with no time to warm up I’m almost guaranteed to make a few bogeys right out of the gate. Leave a proper 25-30 minutes to stretch out, go through a mini range routine (say, 5 wedges, 5 mid-irons, 5 long-irons, 5 drivers) and hit a few chips and putts. Makes a world of difference.

2. Course Management

Luke Kerr-Dineen (2.2 handicap): I basically never play with higher handicaps whose course management I would describe as “good.” Lower handicaps are constantly thinking ahead; considering which line to take off the tee, aiming at the middle of greens, aiming away from trouble, laying up to specific yardages, playing their misses, chipping out of trouble. There seems to be a bit of a mindset that higher handicaps aren’t good enough to think about course management, but the truth is, basically anyone can break 90 if they play smart.


3. Short Game Warmup

Josh Sens (2.5 handicap):  A mistake a lot us make is spending too much time before the round pounding drivers on the range when we’d be better off chipping and putting. That’s where the majority of your strokes will be during your round. A few extra chips and puts could mean an extra up-and-down or two, which can make a major difference to your score.

4. A Good Mental Game

Ashley Mayo (3.1 handicap): The power of a strong mental game. The power of positive thought is a very real thing. When your mind is in a good place you can better tackle any obstacle thrown your way on the course.

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