The Red Zone
Here we are in the early stages of another football season. In Texas this is a VERY big deal, from the NFL Cowboys and Texans, through our broad college network representing multiple conferences and into the bedrock of Friday nights – high school football, which drives fans and entire towns into a frenzy.
In almost every football conversation on TV, you hear talk about "the red zone". How a team performs inside the 20 yard line is a real measure of their offensive prowess. And a pretty good indicator of their win/loss record, too. It breaks down to what percentage of the time a team scores a touchdown or field goal, and how often they come away empty.
To me, we golfers have our own "red zone". It’s that range from the green where we should be able to go on the offensive and think about pars and birdies, ensure no worse than bogey . . . and never put a double or worse on the card. Your own particular set of red zone goals should be based on your handicap. If you are a low single digit, this is your "go zone", where you feel like you can take it right at the flag and give yourself a decent birdie putt, and never make bogey. For mid-handicap players, it’s where you should feel confident you’ll guarantee a par and rarely make bogey, and for higher handicap players, it’s where you will ensure a bogey at least, give yourself a good chance at par, and maybe even a birdie.
For me, that "red zone" as always been when I put a high loft club in my hands, one over 40 degrees of loft. It’s the founding principle of my entire company, SCOR Golf, and our revolutionary SCOR4161 precision scoring clubs. In my early days that was an eight iron. With the strengthening of lofts, it’s now a nine. But regardless of your handicap or the make and model of irons you play, my contention is that golf is relatively "defensive" with all the other clubs in your bag. With all the lower loft clubs, your goal should be to just keep it out of trouble and moving closer to the goal line...er, the flag.
But when you can put a high loft club in your bag – whether that's from 140 yards or 105 – that's when you should feel like you can put your offense into high gear and raise your expectations. It's no longer about power. It's no longer about distance. From the red zone, it's about trusting your technique and your equipment and taking it to the golf course a little bit.
One of the best things you can do for your golf improvement is to begin tracking your "red zone" performance. Put the numbers down as to how you are scoring the golf course from your 9-iron range on into the flag. My guess is that you'll see this is where you can make the most improvement if you'll give that part of your game some additional time and focus. Any golfer can learn to hit crisp and accurate short range approach shots. And so you should.
Pay attention to your own red zone stats, and work to improve them. I guarantee you that you'll see your scores come down quickly.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
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my home course has a acadamy course 3 holes elevated tees and 5ft in diameter elevated greens 60 yds away it's a practice course of course but its improves your scores far better than any driving range enables full swings with either sw or pw did wonders for me more than any driving range
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