Greetings from Suzanne Wednesday, 23 March 2011
You can tell the ‘golf season’ is about to start as we get closer to the Masters. All the magazines are full of information on how certain holes will be played, what changes have been made and who will be in contention come the final 9. The whole industry hopes that you will watch and be inspired by the great event that Augusta always seems to put on. 

I think you can look back in your own library of great shots you have played in the recent past for inspiration. You want to hit that Tee shot that goes further than usual down the middle. You want to hit that approach shot that climbs all over the flag, and you want to drain that 12 footer for birdie.

The Masters will provide inspiration, but you know what it feels like to hit good golf shots. What you really want, I think, is to hit more good shots. Yes, I know that some will say that minimizing bad shots is the way to lower your score (and they are right), but what we all want is the pleasure of hitting more good, even great, shots. That should be your inspiration. Now ask yourself is that improvement going to be an accident? If so, don’t expect to make too much improvement. Set yourself a target for what you want to improve over the next 3 months, and then make a sensible plan to enable that improvement. We’d like to chat with you about how we can help.

See you on my Lesson T!


I started this series of articles by introducing the concept of “Return on your Golf Investment”
(RoGI). Any of you that bought a new Driver last year were looking for a RESULT that probably
had something to do with one of ‘more distance’, ‘more accuracy’ or ‘more consistency’. I doubt
any of you bought a new Driver just to look good.
I once heard of a story of a Professional who sold a Driver to a customer on a ‘per extra yard’ cost.
The customer was pulling a brand new Driver off the shelf and was about to put it on the credit card.
The Professional stopped the purchase and said he (the Professional) would ‘earn’ his money.
The Professional would fit and choose the right Driver for the customer and would receive NOTHING
if that Driver didn’t produce extra yards over the Driver the gentleman had already chosen and brought
to the counter. But, for every yard gained over the original choice (over an average of 10 shots) the golfer
would pay $25.
You can guess where this is going. First the golfer warmed up. He then hit 10 drives with the Driver he
had chosen. Then the Professional chose a Driver. The result, on average, was an extra 22 yards
(with less shot dispersion by the way). And so the golfer’s credit card took a $ 550 hit for a Driver which,
if the golfer had chosen it accurately himself, would have been $349. 

But think about this. Our golfer would have gained 5 yards of distance with his choice of
Driver over the club he already had in his bag. If he used the Driver 12 times in a round,
that would have been an extra 60 yards (5 yards x 12) or nearly $6 per extra yard
(as measured on one round). With the Professional’s choice; he paid $550 and gained
27 yards over his current club. Using the same equation, that was 135 yards (27 x 12) at
about $4 per yard. Now, which was the best deal?
Just expand what the extra yardage cost over a whole year (135 yards x the number of
rounds played). Make it 30 rounds and you have 13.6 cents per yard. 

Of course the silly thing is the customer didn’t need to pay even that. He could have
walked in and said he wanted a new Driver, which he could use consistently, that
added distance without losing any accuracy. The Professional would have fitted him
for the right Driver, which wouldn’t have cost more than $349 and he’d have got the
deal of the century.

The PGA Tour stopped off at the Honda Classic recently, with South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini
eventually taking victory by a single stroke from the Korean Y.E. Yang. One shot further
back was an All-American name; Jerry Kelly, but his route to a 3rd place finish was far from
what you would call ‘familiar’. 

At the 6th hole of his third round Jerry Kelly’s second shot found a tree. Not satisfied with just

hitting it, his ball then decided to prop itself in the upper reaches of the same palm tree, in a
position where Kelly couldn’t get to it. This presented a problem.

Even though everyone could see ‘a’ ball, there was no way anyone could make out that it was Kelly’s with the naked eye. This meant that he would have to go back to where he hit his previous shot and take a one-stroke penalty from there.

Not to be outwitted, Kelly called on a nearby photographer who used his high powered lens to photograph the ball. Thanks to that camera, and a healthy dose of ‘zoom’, Kelly and an official were able to positively identify the ball by its green marking – the same marking as all the other balls in Kelly’s bag.

Kelly took an unplayable lie, dropped his ball and suffered the one-stroke penalty. He then got up and down from the drop and walked off the hole rather pleased with his bogey…

There are a number of lessons we can learn from this incident:

1. Always mark your ball clearly, yours isn’t the only one out there!
2. Technology is there to help – in just about any form – so use it!
3. Know your rules and, if you don’t, ASK!
4. Work on your short game. Hitting your ball into a tree and walking off with just a bogey – priceless!

Another kind of lesson can be recommended; a teaching session – so you stay away from the trees and stick to the short grass. The game is a lot more fun from there!



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