Reaching the green in regulation (GIR) is the key to reducing your handicap. It is what separates good golfers from bad, as well as players with low golf handicaps from those with high ones.
But let’s stop there. Low handicappers and high handicappers in fact play to a different ‘Regulation’. The reason you have a handicap is to compensate for expertise/experience and to create a level playing field.
Think this way: Next time you play a par 4 on which you get 2 strokes, Regulation for you is four strokes where as the low handicappers have to get on for two. If you’re on in less than four you’re playing well. Sink the putt in two and you’re playing below your handicap. Do that for 18 holes and your handicap will really tumble.
GIR is an unnecessary pressure that high handicap players place upon themselves. The result, instead of playing within your ability you try too hard, you hit too hard and spray shots in every direction. You don’t have to out drive the low handicapper to win the hole.
The secret is to substitute ‘Course Strategy’ for GIR. Plan your game for each hole. If your handicap gives you two strokes on a par 4, plan the shots you need to reach the green in three, which leaves you one shot in reserve. Do this on every hole and play shots that are within your level of expertise and you will not only reduce your handicap, you’ll also win the competition.