During playing lessons I have observed that most beginner golfers and higher handicappers leave their approach shots short. Way too often I see their ball end up short of the green, on the front fringe or just on the front portion of the putting surface.
I have also observed that the problem is not always due to a lack of distance that the golfer generates within their swing, but instead poor club selection.
It’s helpful to know how far you hit every club in your bag, but if you don’t, at least know the clubs that you hit 100, 150 and 200 yards. Many times those are the only yardages marked on the course, so by knowing those three clubs you will be able to make a more accurate decision on what’s needed for the in-between yardages. For example, if you hit your six iron 150 yards and your pitching wedge 100 yards, it’s a good bet that your eight iron will work for 125 yard shot.
If you don’t generate as much distance in your swing consider knowing what club you hit 50, 100 and 125 yards.The same principle applies. It’s all relative!
Remember that this is a game, so Don’t Plan On Perfection!
What I mean by this is very important to keep in mind; Golf is Not A Game of Perfect. (This is an awesome golf book by the way…)
If, on your best swing, your six iron travels 150 yards, that’s not the club to necessarily choose when you are 150 yards away.
Yes, that’s right. Think about it for a minute. How often do you really make your best swing?
Unless you are a lean mean golfing machine, consider taking out the five iron instead. That way, if you put your less–than-best- swing on it and don’t make awesome ball contact you will still have the opportunity to reach the green.
As a rule of thumb, I encourage all of my clients to keep in mind this thought when making a club selection: You chose the right club for the shot if your best swing sends the ball to the back of the green.
For those golfers that are putting more time into their game, remember to re-evaluate your yardages at the beginning of your play season just to make sure your yardages and club selection have not changed.
Ask yourself, “Do I really, really know how far I hit each club in my bag?”
If you don’t, you should, and if you are just beginning the game ask your instructor to help you to begin this process.
The technology available today on the lesson tee, such as FLIGHTSCOPE, can pinpoint your yardages for your best swing and ball contact instantly.
So for all of you beginner golfers and higher handicappers out there, opportunities await you on the green!
Learn your yardages and re-think your club selection when you are out there on the links! Now putt your way to lower scores!
Kathy Strecyk teaches golf to adults and juniors at the Chilliwack Golf Academy. She can be contacted by email at email@example.com.