For mid to high handicappers, double bogeys do not come from bad drives as much ase they come from dumb short game decisions. Here is what happens- we hit a decent drive, hit an iron to 15-35 yards off the green then chunk/skull a chip, get mad and chip again, two putt for double bogey.
Now I am not going to give anyone advice on how to chip as I have my own issues, but what I can tell you is that an average golfer is horrible at getting up and down-we just don’t do it. Sure, every so often we snuggle one up to the hole, but that is the exception. The good news is that we putt pretty well. Typically we can two putt from most anywhere. Don’t believe me? Track how many times you get up and down in a round (even if it is not for par). Track how many 3 putts you have and track how many times you have to chip more than one time to get on the green. If you don’t get up and down more times than you have to chip more than once then this advice is for you!
Once you acknowledge the fact that amateurs can’t chip for beans, you can approach the situation smarter. For example, if you ever are thinking “I just need to lightly pitch it to the fridge and run it down to the hole” …STOP! You are not going to make that shot nearly as many times as you are going to chunk the ball and have to make the same shot again.
Statistics show, amateurs rarely get up and down outside of 10 yards off of the green so we should be thinking-Just get it on the green. Take your chance at a 15 foot par putt and settle for a tap in bogey.
If you are taking 3-7 doubles a round, I would bet nearly all of those come from dumb play around the green. I really think that by watching the pros play, we start to believe we should be trying to chip to 4 feet no matter what. Well, I am sorry, we are not that good. Learn to play safe chip shots and you will quickly eliminate the doubles. Just find a club and spot that is the safest.