Advanced golfers have spent a lot of time learning the game of golf. They’ve probably taken lessons and spent thousands of hours on the practice range.
For an advanced golfer it’s about the details. They want to get their equipment just right. They want to make sure they know their swings and can fix swing faults on the course. They want to be able to strategize and get the most out of their rounds.
An advanced golfer scores in the 70s to low 80s. They hit 8-12 greens in regulation. They may not excel in any one aspect of the game. They aren’t necessarily long drivers or have great short games or are superb putters, but they probably have no major weaknesses. However, an advanced golfer knows exactly what those weaknesses are and focuses on fixing them.
A Golfer Is As A Golfer Does
|Ave. Score||100+||85-100||70-85||below 70|
|Warms up for an hour before playing||Never||Maybe||Usually||Always|
|Has consistent preshot routine||Never||Maybe||Usually||Always|
|Knows how far they hit each club||Never||Maybe||Usually||Always|
|Checks yardage to target for each shot||Never||Maybe||Usually||Always|
|Has equipment fit for their game||Never||Maybe||Usually||Always|
|Knows rules of golf||Never||Maybe||Usually||Always|
|Plays within their capabilities||Never||Maybe||Usually||Always|
|Has taken lessons||Never||Maybe||Usually||Always|
|Understands swing technique||Never||Maybe||Usually||Always|
|Ave. # of greens in regulation||0-3||3-8||8-12||12-16|
Advanced Golfer Equipment
Proper equipment is extremely critical to an advanced golfer. They need equipment that is not only perfectly fitted to their games but clubs that offer a high degree of feel. They must be able to know where the club face is at all times and understand exactly the relationship between their swings and the club.
Advanced Players Golf Ball
The golf ball that a pro chooses is also very important. Again they need maximum feel and predictability from their ball. The spin characteristics are critical for achieving maximum distance and also ball control on shorter shots (125 yards and in).
The modern two-piece and three-piece balls like the Titleist Pro V1, the Callaway HX Tour, and the Nike One Black have probably had the biggest impact on the better golfer. The consistency, distance and control these balls offer are really an advantage for a player who is looking for those small details that can take 1 or 2 strokes off their round. As any pro and they’ll tell you that the biggest change in equipment over the last 15 years has been the golf ball.
Even a 7 handicap golfer like myself can see the control that a Pro V1 offers. I’ve never been able to make a ball “back up” like I can with that ball.
Advanced Player’s Irons
The iron game for an advanced golfer is also important. These are the scoring clubs. Being able to get your approach to the green 5 yards closer to the pin is the kind of thing that has a big impact on your score.
As a rule a good golfer like a traditional looking iron. They don’t need much perimeter weighting and don’t want to see a thick topline. Generally they don’t need clubs that are oversized with a larger sweet spot.
Generally their clubs are forged which some say offers better feel for the clubhead and impact with the ball. Forged clubs tend to cost more because the manufacturing process is more costly but for a better player it’s worth it.
Now a beginner or intermediate would have a hard time playing these irons. The sweet spot is small and with their small head they don’t look very forgiving. Beginners this is not something you should try at home.
Advanced Player’s Driver
Another super important club for a good player is their driver. Certainly getting the ball into the fairway, long and straight, is a key component of scoring well. And this is one area where the better players really work hard to get fit correctly. The right shaft and loft for their driver is super important for maximizing the launch angle and spin rate to achieve maximum distance.
Proper fitting is where the pros spend their time with their drivers. The actual manufacturer and driver model is less important. All manufacturers offer the latest driver technology. It’s the fitting that makes the difference. After all, if one driver was really better than the others do your really think somone like Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson would play something else. I don’t think so.
What an Advanced Golfer Works On
Perhaps surprisingly, advanced golfers work on many of the same things a beginner or advanced golfer works on. Golf fundamentals are golf fundamentals for a reason and every good golfer starts off the year with a review of the most important fundamentals. These include…
- Steady head throughout swing
The one thing you see and advanced golfer work on most is swing plane. This is the final fundamental that must be mastered to become a complete golfer.
When you see Mike Weir or other golfer check their swing plane during their routine you know how important this fundamental is for a better golfer. Here’s a look at what Mike Weir does in this video.
So just what is the swing plane?
If you draw a line from the shaft position of a golfer straight back behind the golfer this is the swing plane. Swinging along that plane is critical for great golf. Here’s Peter Koskis explaining Mike’s swing plane in a video…
One of my favorite books about the swing plane is one by Jim Hardy called The Plane Truth for Golfers Master Class. In it Jim breaks down the swing plane for different well known golfers like Peter Jacobsen. He points out that the swing plane can be quite different from golfer to golfer. In fact he says some players have a one-plane swing and others have a two-plane swing. Knowing which type of swing you have is important for YOUR swing technique.