Golf pro tip: How to be more consistent on the course

Ah, the holy grail of golf that everyone is searching for - how to be more consistent.

You may be one of those players that has a good round and then follows it up with a bad round. Or perhaps you're someone that hits a great shot followed by a bad shot.

In that regard, golf is certainly an interesting and challenging game.

We often go through life expecting and understanding that consistency means being able to do something at 85 to 100 percent of the time.

For example, each morning you get in your car and you go to work and more times than not you're going to take the same roads, drive at the same speed and arrive at the same time every day.

Naturally, our expectations are high when we step up to the first tee in hopes of being as consistent on the golf course as we are in life.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but consistency in golf is not doing something 85 to 100 percent of the time.

Let's take a look at some PGA Tour averages. The best players in the world hit the fairway 59 percent of the time, hit the green in regulation 69 percent and, on average, end up 28 feet from the hole on their approach shots. Now, looking at these numbers we would think this is not acceptable and oftentimes failure, but in golf it is consistency.

So we have to set different expectations on the golf course.

And the question now becomes this - how do I play more consistent golf?

First, you have to fully understand your game and manage your expectations. The best way to start to understand your game is by keeping some simple stats such as fairways hit, greens in regulation and putts per round. Then, knowing how far you carry each club is very helpful. And don't use the one time you hit your 8 iron 170 yards to make this decision, but how far you actually hit each club. You have to play to the high percentage shots not the once in a lifetime shot that you pulled off five years ago.

The best way to avoid high scores is by hitting clubs you feel the most comfortable hitting. And understanding what your misdirection shot is will also help you with aiming. Once you have this information, you will be on your way to playing more consistent golf.

And then, once you fully understand your game, it's important to establish a game plan every time you play. Always play to your strengths and avoid your weaknesses at all costs.

Keep in mind that everyone has a bad round now and then, including the best players in the world, but if you stick to your game plan I assure you that you will be more consistent on the golf course.

• Greg Baresel is a PGA Professional. He teaches lessons at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton and is also the head coach of the St. Francis High School boys golf team. A winner of the 2017 Illinois PGA Youth Development Award, he can be contacted by email at

For more from the Illinois PGA, visit

• Editor's note: With assistance from the Illinois PGA, the Daily Herald will provide golf tips each Wednesday from a PGA Professional.

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