Play to the Back of the Green
This is a subject that I have touched on in the past. With the advent of the golf watch, it is now even easier to get this principle across.
Essentially, it’s about how often amateur golfers playing into the green, end up short of the pin or even more often, short of the green. Now with the modern watch technology on your wrist, you know how far it is to the front, middle and back of the green. My suggestion is: wherever the flag is on the green use the yardage to the back of the green, as your chosen distance for the club selection.
The reasoning behind this is twofold: firstly, most greens are about 30 yards long and you should have about 15 yards difference per number in your clubs. So, if you say hit a 6 iron an average 160 yards, and the distance according to your GPS device is 160 yards to the back of the green, irrespective of the flag location, take the 6 iron.
Then, if you hit that 6 iron perfectly – at best you can expect that to happen only 10% of the time – then you are going tom reside at the back of the green for your putt. If you slightly miscue, then losing 15 yards off your best shot leaves you in the middle of the green. If however, you hit a poor shot and lose 30 yards off your normal 6 iron shot, you will still crawl onto the front edge of the green. This way you will have a maximum 80-foot putt. Still not great, but that is the worst-case scenario and still better than playing out of the trap, or incurring a penalty in a penalty area.
Amateur golfers never over hit greens. Instead they tend to play the club to the distance that would require them to hit their career best shot. That of course, is not going to happen, so they invariably fall short. Stop making this amateur mistake by taking the yardage to the back of the green, every time.
Jon Woodroffe – World of Golf London Master Professional
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