High handicappers focus way too much on this 1 thing, says Top 100 Teacher

Honing in on speed is essential for improvement.

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It goes without saying that high handicappers have plenty of room for game improvement, but according to Top 100 Teacher Tina Tombs, there’s one thing that players spend way too much time focusing on: perfection.

“High handicappers are way too focused on making every putt,” Tombs said at GOLF’s recent Top 100 Teacher Summit at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz.

So what can players do instead? Tombs says that “must make” energy would be much better spent on honing in on speed.

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“High handicappers can really benefit from bringing their percentages up on lag putts,” Tombs said. “Getting the ball within two or three feet of the hole on your first putt will make a big difference, so I recommend working a lot on distance control.”

And while you’re working on the green, Tombs says it’s a good idea for high handicappers to assess the quality of their putting stroke as well.

“I want to see high handicappers work on getting the ball started on line,” she said. “That entails working on putter-face control, making sure your putter is square to the line.”

Tombs said she likes using a yardstick on the green to help players get the feel of a solid stroke, but you can also practice getting the ball started over a marker on the green.

“Also: get your putter fitted,” Tombs added. “Putters off the rack can be too long, too heavy. It’s just as important as any other club fitting.”

To read more tips from Tombs, click here.

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As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.

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