@Sarah_f once you get down to low single digits chances are you have a pretty good power game and can move the ball, your ball striking has to be pretty good, your short game is probably pretty good, and if all of this is true you probably don't have to worry about more than 36 putts a round. I would say the best way to to drop those last few strokes would be to know where you are loosing them. A really good way is to keep track of shots in a round so you can see where you are giving them away. Check out that book that @RickM it is nice to keep good track of your stats and get extra practice where you need it. When I really got my handicap down it was improving from 100 - 175 yard approach shots and then i added 15 - 20 yards to my driver. The driver was more cause i figured if I could hit one less club into holes I would be hitting at more flags, and 100 - 175 i think is a forgot about range... not very many really practice that. To get down to low single digit handicap it is really personal everyone is different to get there you have to have a pretty good game, and course managment is a big part of those last few strokes. A couple of times a year i play irons only just to make myself focus on course managment. so I think about hitting to a yardage that I like to approach.
@ChristopherV1a1 Thanks for the advise on just playing a round with irons. I can't think of a hole on ladies tees that I can't reach the green in two with irons or 3 shots on par 5's. I am fairly long with my clubs, it is just that one or two miss-hits a round that messes up my score.
@Sarah_f it's a big advantage having length. When you are playing irons only remember it isn't always about hitting it as far up the fairway as you can for a short approach. Try to play to yardages that you feel comfortable with on a par 5... 7 iron 7 iron approach wedge (to a perfect yardage) is better than, 3 iron 3 iron bunker shot after just missing the green haha. It's a really good time to find perfect yardages for flighted down wedges into greens. You should have 3 or 4 stock yardages that you can flight down a wedge to and control the spin that you know you are going to hit. There are always going to be a couple of balls a round that get away from you the secret is to have a good number that you can play to on short par 4's and 5's that you know you are going to stick tight. The way I play a round and it is diffrent for everyone. Going into par 3's i just look for par i find that I can get into trouble looking to hard for a birdie on a par 3. On par 4's I pick a go for it spot depending on pin placements... if I get myself into a good position and i think it's going to be an easy play into a green I will go at the flag and try for a birdie, but if not then i will just play to an area on the green i feel like a have a pretty good chance of making a two putt (in the same breath i will never say the term lag putt ) I am trying to make every putt no matter how long. Par 5's I play for eagle, I am also a pretty long player, and i have yet to find a par 5 that i don't feel like I can reach in two when i'm on the tee. I have worked hard on my short game and I feel like if I just miss a green on a par 5 i have a pretty good chance of making the chip or pitch. Sorry this is long winded. I like to pick my go no go lines in the fairway before I tee up the ball. If the decision is made before the hole starts I have less of a chance of emotions controling my approach shot deicisions haha.
@Sarah_f good luck and keep us posted @RickM and I chat a bit on here on practicing and things to work on to get better. The Callaway Community is a good place to reference and a wealth of information. Even if you want to go through your round stroke by stroke on here and get input on what you could do better or different ways to look at it i'm sure you will find someone that would be more than happy to do that haha. Good luck in the quest to Scratch... that is what i'm shooting for.
I agree with the short game. Most 7 and under handicaps don't lose too many strokes to penalty. I'm between a 6 and 7 and I usually do something silly like hit an iron fat now and again or leave a chip short that I should get close instead of 20 plus feet away. Once in awhile I blast a sand shot too far away also. I think when you look at the best PGA players they hit 70% of the greens in regulation. They are still breaking par. The only way they do that is chip great and 1 putt. We have to do the same thing too.
There is no secret, its hitting fairways and greens and avoid big numbers. The best players I have played with have the most boring games, before you know it you walk off and the shot somewhere around par.
I'm a 6 handicap....How I get better is to chip tighter around the greens when I miss them in regulation. Do a better job out of the traps, and don't make mistakes that cost multiple strokes (like water hazards, short side middle irons to the wrong side of the greens etc.)