Jim just sent me these tips which outlined how he managed his score when golfing in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai a few weeks ago. I thought I better share them with you before I forget.
1. SHORT GAME – WHERE MOST SHOTS ARE TAKEN (AND WASTED)
Arrive 30 minutes early and head to the practice green. Then, practice chip and pitch shots before heading to the first tee. Chiang Mai Highlands has the best practice area in the area, so why not take advantage of it. Besides it is free and fun. Alpine Chiang Mai and Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club also have good short game practice areas.
You will find both your short game improves on the golf courses in Asia, as the movements necessary to create good dynamics for ball contact in pitching/chipping will also carry through the whole round. You will find your confidence building as you start to save more pars by sticking your wedges close – and that confidence will carry over to the approach shots because even if you miss you the green you will believe you can still save par. The vast majority of shots, and the vast majority of wasted shots, occurs within 100 yards of the green!
2. PUTTING – SEE THE LINE
Many different approaches to putting have been successfully used throughout the history of golf, though the one thing all great putters have had in common is that they setup with their eyes along the line of play (they can be over the ball or behind the ball). If you are looking at the line from an angle, your chances of hitting the ball on the correct line are greatly reduced even if you know where the correct line is. An easy way to check is take your putting stance on the practice green, than hold your putter next to your eyes with just two fingers and let the putter dangle straight down – take note of where the shaft points.
Try this for your first 8-10 foot putt. When you one putt for par, you will boast of confidence for the rest of your Thailand golf round.
3. PUTTING – THE SPEED
Take a practice swing (but not several please so as not to slow your golf in Chiang Mai) using the same length of swing you expect to be needed for the actual putt. Many Thailand golfers just take a few short jabs before a longer putt, or a long practice swing before a short putt – both of which are virtually useless and can actually be counter productive.