Pro View – Saving Shots

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Saving shots off your game can be a lot easier than working on your swing to hit the ball further or more ‘consistently’. Today we are going to discuss two ways which are simple and easy to do.

Firstly is to understand your strengths, and then importantly PLAY TO THEM. In my own game, I have my ‘green’ yardages from which I feel comfortable attacking the flag. Generally these are 90 yards or 120 yards.

If I find myself in a position where I cannot hit a green, either on a Par 5 for my second shot, or after a wayward drive on a Par 4, I will try and leave myself a 90 or 120 yard shot for my third. It allows me to be aggressive with my swing, zone in on my target and give myself a realistic chance of saving my par.
Everyone will have a yardage from which they feel very comfortable in hitting the green and attacking the flag. Yet too often, I see golfers not playing to this strength. Instead of leaving themselves their ‘favourite’ yardage, they try to get as close to the green as possible, potentially leaving themselves a yardage they are not comfortable with.

“The result of which is often a dropped shot and usually a frustrated golfer”

Some would say this is a lack of Course Management. I would counter that by suggesting that poor course management is caused by not having effective ‘Game Management’.

The simplest form of game management is one which every golfer uses during every single round of golf they play, yet do not pay enough attention to.
Most golfers think they know how far they hit the golf ball, however from experience I would suggest they do not.

When custom fitting or coaching at the range, my Flightscope tracks the golf ball through the air. Generally when a golfer asks how far they hit the last shot, they are surprised when I inform them of the carry yardage, and usually the response is something along the lines of ‘I hit it further than that’.

During summer, the distance the ball travels is further, but the majority of extra yardage comes from a bit of ground help. The ground being firmer will produce a touch more distance.

At this time of year, the reduced ground help often leads golfers to believe that they are hitting the ball shorter. In my opinion, the difference is not that great, as I only look at how far the ball flies, rather than the total distance of the shot.

You only need to play on a Saturday morning to understand this in greater detail. When walking onto a green, where are all the pitch marks? I rarely, if ever, see pitch marks in the middle or at the back of the green. The majority are at the front or even on the fringes short of the green.

Does this suggest that the majority of golfers hit the ball shorter than they think….to me yes!

Having an record of how far you actually hit the ball through the air will hugely help you to manage your game more effectively.

And with recent news from the US that shows that by understanding how far you hit the ball can save you 3 shots a round, why would you keep guessing?!

Get yourself a yardage check so you can stand confidently over a shot knowing how far that club will travel

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