- Avoid it!!
When standing on a tee or fairway it
is important to think about the next shot you will be
hitting. Often times golfers look at the yardage of
the hole and then take out the club that will get them
the furthest distance toward the hole. Frequently, this
is not the best option. Avoiding the long pitch
is often the best way for many golfers to lower their
scores. Lets analyze this...
Scenario: You are 280 yds from the flag. There
is a small pot bunker directly in front of the flag
260 yds away.
What do you do? For most golfers landing the ball on
the green after flying the pot bunker is an unachievable
option and so the decision is simple. Take out your
fairway wood or long iron and hit the ball somewhere
between 200 and 250 yds down the fairway hopefully short
of the bunker. This option leaves you a 30 to 80 yard
pitch over the pot bunker and onto the green.
I would suggest that the better option would be to
hit your shot from 280 yds to a point that leaves you
a full swing with your favorite wedge. Although
this option requires some simple math skills, most golfers
will agree that saving a few shots each round is well
worth the extra little mental effort on the course.
For example, let's say you hit your favorite pitching
wedge well and can do so about 110 yds. As such, you
should hit your fairway shot from 280 yds to a position
that will leave you 110 yds to the flag. Some simple
math (280-110 = 170) reveals that you should select
a club that hits the ball about 170 yds (4 iron perhaps?).
Why would TheGolfExpert recommend this play? Well,
first of all, the chance of hitting a 170 yard shot
to a particular spot on the fairway is, for the average
golfer, much greater than trying to hit that 250 yard
shot to a spot just in front of that pesky pot bunker.
Secondly, your next shot will be a full swing, for which
you know the correct club and have high confidence with.
Rather than trying to hit the ball 50-60 yds with somewhere
between a half to a three quarter swing that will likely
go too far or fall short as you attempt to avoid the
bunker between you and the flag, TheGolfExpert recommends
that you hit the shot that you are comfortable with
- the 110 yard wedge. The only thing you have to do
is think about the approach in advance so as to set
yourself up to hit that particular shot.
Having the knowledge and discipline to think of this
"smarter shot" is one thing. Having the courage
to swallow that machismo and hit a shorter shot than
your fellow players is perhaps more difficult. However,
if you try and avoid the long pitch shots and plan your
shots in advance so that you can hit full swings into
the greens rather than half or three quarter swings
you will find you play a better game, have more fun,
avoid more hazards and score better. You will have the