REGISTRATION FOR 2020 OPENS TODAY – WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT?
First let me say, the Drive, Chip, and Putt contest is a cool experience — any skill level can participate, but by the time the contest reaches Augusta, you have very talented players. There is some pressure – the player will be hitting shots in front of a fairly large crowd of parents, competitors, and officials. drivechipandputt.com
KEY TO ADVANCE? HIT 8 GOOD/SOLID GOLF SHOTS
The contest is 9 shots – 3 Drives, 3 Chips, and 3 Putts. Pretty random really – in a round of golf you can make some mistakes and bounce back — due to the low number of shots in DCP, you can’t get away with too many misses. When my boys participate, we always say – you need 8 good/solid golf shots – you can probably survive one bad one. Now lets talk the skills and scoring.
YOU DRIVE FOR SHOW…….
You start off hitting your 3 drives. There will be a grid with flags – you get points based on how far you hit your drive, assuming you hit it straight enough to stay on the grid (between the flags) – if you miss the grid, 0 points. While length is an advantage, 3 short drives on the grid will typically outscore 2 long drives (if one misses).
Ultimately, the Drives are the least important. From my experience, you don’t see a significant variance in points — to put it another way, you can’t win DCP with your drive, but you can lose it (missing the grid more than once hurts).
TIME TO CHIP – MORE SKILLED PLAYERS HAVE AN ADVANTAGE
Next, you move on to hit your 3 chips — typically, a short little pitch and your goal is to get it as close to the hole (or in) as possible. Closer = more points. This is where I have seen more advanced players separate from the pack a little – hit 3 solid chips and you can jump up the leaderboard. All 3 chips are hit from the same place to the same hole.
ROLL THE ROCK – PUTTING CAN CHANGE THINGS QUICKLY
I like that putting is last, because it is definitely the most volatile of the 3 skills. You hit 3 putts from different distances (6, 15, and 30 feet). Similar to chipping, the points are based on how close your ball stops. Putting is the one exception to the “hit 8 solid shots” rule — if you happen to make all 3 putts, you will leap up the board. Speed control is critical – you are better off leaving a putt 1 inch short, than lipping out to 2 feet. For the purposes of this contest, you definitely need to take the high line and attempt to get the speed just right.
HOW HARD IS IT TO ADVANCE TO AUGUSTA? I WANT TO BE ON THE GOLF CHANNEL!!!!
Short Answer: HARD. You have to make it through 3 different rounds of qualifying.
- Local Qualifier – Top 3 advance, but this level will have the most competitors – you could have ~50 players in your local qualifier
- Sub-Regional Qualifier – Top 2 advance – less competitors (15-20), but they all survived Local qualifiers, so they definitely know what they are doing
- Regional – Only 1 player advances (to Augusta) – you might need to hit 9 good shots to get through this level – these are typically held at great locations (we have done Pinehurst and Oakmont)
Complete these 3 easy steps and you will be on the Golf Channel in early April, strutting around Augusta National, smelling the azaleas!
MY ADVICE: SIGN-UP, HAVE FUN, AND DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY
DCP is a great program and definitely worth doing, just don’t take it too seriously. Most of the time, the best player doesn’t even make it out of Local Qualifying. The PGA does a great job running the qualifiers — they are efficient and the live scoring is very cool (and stressful for the parents).
My boys have both made it to Regionals (never Augusta) and have both been knocked out in Local Qualifying. My point – sign-up, have fun, hit the best 9 shots you can, and hold-off making your hotel reservations in Georgia.
About the author
Mike Harris is a former college golfer and dedicated father of two talented junior golfers. With a passion for the sport that began in his own childhood, Mike now focuses on helping his children, Avery and Olivia, navigate the world of junior golf. He’s eager to share tips, advice, and insights with other families on their own golf journeys. Join Mike as he tees off into the exciting realm of junior golf, providing guidance to parents and kids alike.