What’s your primary goal if you want to par every hole that you play? You have to know that getting your ball on or near every “Green In Regulation” (GIR) will give you the best chance to par every hole. A long drive landing on the fairway is the perfect starting point. The shorter your approach shot the easier it will be to stick a high arching shot on the green. Of course you would like to land every approach shot next to the hole.
If you don’t practice every day like the pros, landing near the hole is just a wonderful dream. Recreational players like you will be much better off playing a safe shot for a better chance to get down in 2 putts or with a great pitch and a putt.
Why not try these ideas to hit more GIRs? Play with caution and you will par more holes. Choose the highest probability shot to get your ball on the green. Controlling a putt for direction and distance is always easier then chipping for a one putt.
A. Choose the right club for the right job. Of course you need to pitch a high shot over a green side sand trap to land and stay on the green but if your shot is 150 yards you may want to aim for a wider part of the green or the front access to the green so that you still have a good chance for a 2 putt green or a chip and a putt.
B. The longer your shot and the harder you swing the worse result you can expect. You lose control when you swing at 100% of your swing speed. Don’t risk missing your target. Wake up and use the club to make sure that you can make a controlled swing to land in a safe location for a chance to make a 2 putt green.
C. Swing every club at 80%. You may not always have the perfect distance to match your club to the distance you need to hit and land and rollout. Choke down on a less lofted club and accept the fact that you will not stick on the green for tight shots. You need height and space to land and stay on every green. A good alternative is to run your shot to the front edge of the green or to a side that avoids the sand or water hazards.
D. If you are hitting with a strong side wind, don’t swing harder and faster as you will lose direction and distance control. Just choose a lower lofted club and play it safe.
E. Hitting into heavy wind is always difficult to judge for the right club selection. Let your playing partners go first and check out the loft that they are using. (It’s not legal to ask what club was used during a competition but use your eyes and brain to figure it out.) Don’t be afraid to down club by 2 or 3 clubs in a heavy wind. The fun part is stopping dead on a green (without a roll) when hitting directly into a heavy wind.
F. 2 putt greens are easy if your first putt stops within a foot of the hole. Fat chance that will happen very often. Before every round get a good feel for the green speed on the practice green. Practice your long lag putts as well as your 2 to 4 foot putts as they are the putts that make your pars.
IMPORTANT STRATEGY to sink your short putts:
A. On a steep downhill putt you may want to leave the flagstick in but for short flat putts you should always take the flagstick out. [The flagstick acts like a wall and stops you from putting through the hole at a reasonable speed.]
B. When the flagstick is out, you will be more comfortable putting through the hole about 12 to 18 inches past the hole to minimize the break as your ball slows down.
C. Be consistent in the weight that you use to make sure that you are putting to stop past the hole (not at the hole). All short putts never go into the hole and all very slow putts tend to bounce off line when hitting the imperfections around the hole.
Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to control your flat leading wrist for putting and control the lag with your trailing wrist for chips. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com