Miss on the right side

April 10, 2022 8:36 am

Hitting greens in regulation is an aspiration held by all of us who play the game.  But let’s be honest; no matter what our handicap is, the experience of ‘missing’ the green will be a frequent one. The longer the club we are playing, the more frequent a miss, is likely to be. So, with a wedge, for example, your miss rate might be low, but how about a 7 iron? How often do you think you hit the target with one of those?

If we work on the theory, we are more likely to miss the green from mid to short irons onwards, then let’s mitigate against this by trying to ensure, as much as we can, that we miss on the right side. What do I mean by that? Well, as you are planning your shot into a particular green, take a quick moment to assess the danger of missing left, right, long or short. Most bunkers and hazards are placed at the side of the green. For each green you are approaching, take a moment to appreciate where these hazards are.

Avoid the bunker

Don’t short side yourself

If you miss on the side where the hazard is and the flag is just the other side of that hazard, we call that short siding yourself. That will then leave you with a much more difficult next shot. Whereas if you missed the green on the other side, you would no doubt have a lot of green to work with on your next shot.  You are faced with a much easier shot and so the likelihood is that you will achieve a better eventual score.

As with most course management and mental golf tips, this would certainly be in the category of not being rocket science. But I find that most club golfers have the expectation that they are going to hit the green from miles away, even though with their handicap they have no need to do so.

So how about this. Just for one round, try to concentrate on not playing the perfect shot all the time. Instead plot a safe route that leaves you an easier next shot. Snooker players are rather good at it and so could you be, with a little thought.

By Jon Woodoffe: Master Professional – World of Golf London

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