There are many ways to approach the game of golf from swing characteristics and practice drills to on-course management. As a golf coach, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to how people play the game of golf. I wanted to share with you a critical golf tip that will lower your score, immediately.
I want to talk about yardage. Not just the typical “I can hit my nine iron 140 yards” yardage, but the yardage that no one ever thinks about and that is your “Favorite Yardage.”
Your favorite yardage can be a specific club or favorite club in your golf bag. This golf club is usually the best club you hit and have the most confidence to hit. A high majority of amateur golfers do not grasp the on-course management part of the game and tend to select the club they think will get them closest to the green. Most cases, golfers will try and hit a shot from 195 yards out into the green when most golfers can hardly carry the ball with the driver this far.
What makes you think that you can hit any other club 195 yards if you are having trouble hitting your driver or long irons consistently at this distance? You can’t, and even if you hit the shot of your life, what are the odds that you hit it in the direction you want? I’d bet it’s less than one percent chance.
Now you are probably wondering “But Matt, how are you going to lower my scores with this amazing golf tip on favorite yardage?”
Good question! Ask yourself this one question, What is your favorite club to hit because it’s always faithful on the course and it never fails you on distance and direction?
For me, my favorite club is my pitching wedge. No matter how good or bad my round is going, I can always rely on my pitching wedge to stay steady and consistent. On average, I hit my pitching wedge anywhere from 135-145 yards. Yes, there is a 10-yard difference, but that usually comes from my miss hits off the face of the club. That is another topic we can discuss later.
Here is a scenario that happens to me frequently on the golf course and this simple shift to playing your “Favorite Yardage” will shave more strokes off your game than you know.
I tee up and hit driver on a par 4, 442 yards to the pin. I stripe it on average about 240-275 yards with my driver. Let’s say I miss hit and I am on the low side off the tee of about 245 yards. That is still a reasonable distance for your average golfer. That leaves my next shot at 197 yards to the green. Here is where my “Favorite Yardage” comes into play.
I can take a small chance and try to hit my five iron 197 yards and cross my fingers that I do everything perfect. More likely than not, I miss hit that club, and I push it to the right about 165 yards. I am left in terrible position for my third shot, and my confidence takes a hit, which leads to a double bogey or worse for the hole.
What I do now in this situation is I commit to always lay up to 140 yards to the green if the current shot is greater than 160 yards. The reason I chose greater than 160 yards is that I still have a little faith in my seven iron if I am around 160 yards out, but less likely for anything past that.
So if I am 160+ yards out, I will elect to a layup for 140 yards on my next shot, this distance is my “Favorite Yardage.” That is even compared to a 60-yard pitch shot as I am not as consistent with the distance control at 60 yards. I know my game well enough to take advantage of my strengths and put myself in a better situation to capitalize on them.
I find myself putting the ball on the green with my third shot from 140 yards seventy percent of the time. Depending on how close I can get the ball to stop near the hole will determine if I par or bogey the hole. But at worst case scenario, I will bogey the hole and save a stroke versus the other approach that a high majority of golfers choose to take.
Take this tip, one of my favorite on-course management tips I love to give to high handicap golfers to increase their chances of having more fun on the golf course by taking a few strokes off their score significantly.
I encourage you to try this the next time you are out playing a round of golf, just try it on a few holes and see how well you play and let us know how you did on by leaving a comment down below.
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