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Hit more greens

Here's some food for thought to gain some easy wins with your approach play.

Do you know your yardages?

A real key to improving your approach play is knowing your yardages. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Play with the conditions, your average (not longest) yardages, and be better at playing within yourself. Hitting the right distance gives you the same chance to hit it close as trying to hit it straight, but you are less likely to get into trouble. One of the biggest findings in Mark Brodies strokes gained journey was understanding the number of club level golfers who come up short with their approach play. Many stats packages will now show you your dispersion and where you tend to miss, great information for you and your coach.

Sniper vs Buckshot

Even the best players create a spread of shots, like buckshot, when hitting the shots, rather than the laser like skill of a sniper that many amateurs seem to think they possess. So, should you really be aiming straight at that flag, or would hitting the green be a better goal? Are you good enough to hit it exactly where you want? Often, aiming away from the flag and toward the side of the green with more room pays dividends. You will miss greens. FACT. It is therefore important to miss the green in the right place. Yes there’s a right place to miss. Unless you are less than 100 yards from the green, giving yourself permission to aim for the heart or safer part of the green rather than taking dead aim at the flag will yield much better results in the long run. It’s a skill to develop, as aiming away from the flag is harder than it sounds.

Are you using a measuring device?

This works both ways but if you know your yardages but don’t use a measuring device then you are seriously doing yourself a disservice. Two main things to remember here: measuring devices that show you how far to the front and back of the green will give most golfers a clearer picture of a space to hit the shot into. Very few golfers hit the ball too far so using the back of green number as a guideline can often be better than the flag itself. The second thing to think about is even when you know your numbers do not just zap the flag and choose that number, you have to think about where the ball needs to land and could potentially finish, and then factor in all other environmental factors including wind, slope, ground conditions, as well as how you’re hitting it today.


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