Time to open the email bag and see what some of you want to know:
I watch golf on television a lot and consider myself a good putter, averaging around 30 putts a round, but it appears that I can never come close to being as good as the players. I am lucky if I hole two putts over 6 feet in any round. They seem to hole everything. How are they so good?
Jack B. – Bolingbrook
Jack, they truly are very good, and they all practice putting for hours on end, but they also miss quite a lot of putts. The reason you don’t see that is that it makes for less exciting TV. If the producer has a player making a 30-foot putt on tape delay or another player missing a 6-foot putt, which do you think he is going to show? If you really want to check on tour stats, go to www.PGATour.com and look up the shot statistics. It will make pretty interesting reading. By the way, 30 putts a round is extremely good and probably puts you in the top 2 percent of golfers.
I took up the game when I was a little older but I really enjoy playing and have become quite addicted. Other than instruction and practice, what do I work on to get better?
Ellen F. – La Grange
Ellen, I am glad you are getting into the game and enjoying it so much. As I have said many times in my column, short game practice beats everything else for lowering your scores. Try to practice a variety of shots around the green and not repeat the same chip or pitch shot more than three times. It is always easier to play a shot you have played multiple times before when you need to make that “up and down."
Ian, I am 12 years old and I play a number of sports but I like golf best. Should I concentrate on playing only golf from now on if I want to be really good?
Heather M. – Burr Ridge
Heather, if you feel that golf Is your sport, I encourage you to pursue it year round – but don’t give up your other sports. Physically demanding sports are good for keeping your body in shape and your legs strong. Strong legs will always be necessary for hitting a golf ball far. Cross training will keep you in total shape so you will have more endurance and be a better athlete. Good luck and make sure you get some good instruction, too.
Ian Grant is a PGA teaching professional and a member of the teaching faculty of the PGA of America. He can be contacted at Oak Brook Golf Club 630-990-3032 in the summer and White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville 630-422-1060 in the winter. You can contact Ian directly at 708-917-8951, or at Iansgolf@aol.com.