Understand your yardages!

We have some strange summer weather at the minute in the UK which is making courses as green as ever. This means that your golf course will be playing close to it’s full yardage and balls will be stopping quickly on the green.

When it becomes target golf in wet conditions knowing your carry distances with each iron is vital. Not only that but you have to know exactly how far it is to the flag or section of the green that you want to hit.

Something that always confuses me is how some golfers just assume they know how far it is by eye and based on past experience, without knowing where the flag is on the green that day – it makes no sense and is essentially guessing.

Golf is a truly difficult game that is different every time you play so wouldn’t it make sense to reduce the amount of variables?!

We can’t change the wind direction or strength, bad bounces or poor lies but we can control our club choices. Imagine if you knew how far each club travelled and you had a GPS or rangefinder device that told you exactly how far it is to the flag. Golf just got easier and you’ll probably hit more greens in regulation. It means that you will probably not come up short like 93% of shots in amateur golf and will hit more shots ‘pin high’ which will improve your proximity to the hole. All great tools to help you lower your score!

If the flag is tucked away then maybe you don’t want to hit pin high and what you need is to know what the distance is to the biggest part of the green. You may already think like this but if you don’t know a) your club distance and b) the distance to your intended target then what are chances of hitting it their!?

My simple tips:

1- Get yourself a rangefinder/ GPS distance measurer. Rangefinders are great for measuring to specific points (i.e. the flag, a tree) and GPS devices are great for front, middle back of green measurements and hazard distances. You don’t need such a steady hand for GPS devices either.

2- Spend time practicing your distances. It’s so important to help you get better. Remember you are not a robot so every shot with the same club won’t go the same distance but find out what your peak and your average distance is.

3- If you have played regularly at the same course for a long time don’t get complacent. It’s so easy to just assume how far the target is based on what you ‘usually’ hit. This leads to terrible habits when you play new courses. Keep a routine up where you include distance measuring. There is no guarantee that the flag is in the same position or the wind is in the same direction etc. Every shot you ever hit will be slightly different so treat it exactly like that.

4- Use the back of green yardage on your GPS device. A little trick which I’ve mentioned before is to try and hit to a distance that is closer the back of the green. This allows you a small margin for error for mishit.