Follow in The Footsteps of Some of the LPGA’s Best
For a long time, I’ve been a proponent of the LPGA, so much in fact that covering the LPGA has become more of a priority for me than the PGA Tour.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the privilege of holding media credentials for the LPGA. The plan was to be in Florida, but illness got in my way of travelling. So, I’ve been covering these event virtually thanks to technology, Zoom I’m looking at you. Last week, I was involved in Lydia Ko’s winning press conference and I followed that up by being involved in pre-tourney press conferences on Wednesday with the likes of Ally Ewing, Austin Ernst, Sophia Popov, and Brooke Henderson.
During their conferences when asked what they took away from the week before, each of them had stated that they had to work on their short game.
Let this serve as a lesson to all golfers aspiring to post lower scores. The quickest way to improve and lower your scores is not with a new driver or ripping 8 irons into greens. Focus on things like your putting and greenside play. I’ve always said that 25 yards and in is a crucial skill to have. Everything is fine while you’re hitting greens (granted continued missed putts can leave you seething) but what if you miss the green? Having a few options in your arsenal is important.
This is especially true if you aren’t striking the golf ball well. A prime example was Lexi Thompson during the Second Round at the Drive On Championship this week. There were multiple swings where her finish was unbalanced or she didn’t get entirely through the golf ball leaving her shot out to the right. But her putter even though it cooled off towards the end of the round, rallied her to 4 straight birdies.
Putting is even more important though if you think about it from this standpoint. Let’s look at Brooke Henderson. Brooke Henderson who is at the time of writing in 20th place at -6 has left strokes out on the golf course. Where? On the green. According to stats from KPMG Performance Insights, a stat that I heard during the telecast on LPGA.com (I am looking to fact check it) stated that Brooke Henderson was dead last in Strokes Gained Putting this week. Poor putting as we all know can derail a round. Imagine if Henderson’s -1.36 was a shade better at last week’s Gainbridge LPGA. She could have won. I haven’t see her numbers yet for the 2022 Drive On Championship, but, I’m willing to contend that they’re worse this week.
The lesson. Practice more putting and short game techniques versus smashing driver at the range.
See You on The Next Tee!