Golf Channel Academy lead coach Todd Sones (Todd Sones Impact Golf, Vernon Hills, Ill.) recently completed his third book, The Scoring Zone: How to Hit the Shots That Matter When You Need Them the Most, now available for purchase through amazon.com and his own personal website, toddsones.com. The book is based on Sones’ popular Scoring Zone schools, and covers the three individual zones and fundamental shots you’ll need to perform your best from 70 yards and in. We recently caught up with Todd in Orlando following an appearance on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, and asked him a few questions about his new book.
GCA: How did The Scoring Zone come about?
Sones: The idea came from all of the experiences I had running the Scoring Zone Schools over the last 20 years, learning what the common player doesn’t understand and what their problems are, and then being able to find solutions for those problems. I wanted to put it in writing so that people who haven’t physically been to my school could get an idea of what’s happening in a Scoring Zone school. I tried to make this book very simple and easy to understand, so people can read it and go out and do it.
GCA: What are the three scoring zones you speak of in the book?
Sones: Really, there are two main zones—25 to 70 yards, which is the mini-wedge, or mini-swing; and 25 yards to the edge of the green, which is the high slider or low trap. These are your greenside finesse shots within 25 yards of the green. People say pitching and chipping but I always talk about what the club is really doing in relation to the golf ball. To hit a high shot you want to slide the club under the ball, and to hit a low shot you want to trap it, or pinch it. When you understand how to play these two shots plus the mini-wedge, you can really navigate yourself through any golf course.
GCA: What can the consumer gain from picking up this book?
Sones: It’s the short game made easy. It’s very easy to understand the way I speak about it. There are so many misconceptions about the short game that we’ve made it hard. It’s NOT hard. The short game is easy if you learn to control the bottom of the golf swing with simple fundamentals. Then you start hitting solid shots and can start to control trajectory.
We have a really holistic approach at my academy. The big mistake people make when practicing is that they spend 90 percent of their time working on 30 percent of their game. Putting is 40% of your score, your full swing is 30% and the short game 30%. In terms of time well spent, it’s much easier to learn how to hit good short-game shots than it is to change your swing. If I can teach my students to hit high and low shots off tight lies, out of the rough, bunkers, etc.—anything within 25 yards of the hole—they’re going to lower their scores. They’re going to get the ball up-and-down around the green in two or three shots, and if you can convert those up-and-downs you’re going to play a lot better golf and enjoy the game more.