Niagara Gazette

Sports

June 8, 2013

Golf by Ruggiero: The real difference between pros and others is...

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Actually, that’s very good news for all of us who desire to score lower. Its highly unlikely that the average player could add 60 yards to their drives or to hit their hybrids as accurately as pros hit their wedge. But, anyone can become more efficient around the green if they’re willing to put in the time to do so.

Do you know how good the pros are at scrambling? You’ll be surprised. At present, there are five tour players who have a scrambling ratio of 100 percent! That’s right, EVERY time they’ve missed a green on the fringe, they’ve gotten their ball up-and-down. There are another 31 tour players who have only missed getting up-and-down ONCE this entire season.

Average amateurs might get their ball up and down a little more than half the time. Let’s do the math. The professional misses six greens per round, but makes birdie or par on the holes that he misses the green. The result? They score under-par with scores like 67, 68, or 69.

The decent club player misses 8 greens a round and scrambles successfully only one-half of the time. Add in a three-putt or two, and a good local amateur will shoot 75, 76, and 77. The greatest disparity? Scrambling.

And what can we do with this information? Easy. Practice.

Here’s a drill that’s sure to work. Take five balls from just off the practice green at your club and attempt to get all five up-and-down. Continue until you do. If you’re newer to the game, four out of five will do. I guarantee that you’ll shave strokes off your game in no time.

• • •

Over the past several weeks, I’ve had readers approach me concerning a previous column on putting. Included in the inquiries was one from my fiancé Kellyann, who wanted to know if the putter that she uses (Acushnet Bullseye) was properly fit to her.

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