‘Take the stress out of dif­FI­cult holes’

Golf Australia - - HEALTH -

There are al­ways di er­ent ways to play a hole. And of­ten, the harder a hole is, the trick­ier it is to choose the right op­tion. We all want to make birdies but some­times the best strat­egy for a hand­i­cap golfer isn’t the one that max­i­mizes the chance of mak­ing birdie, it’s the one that min­i­mizes the chance of mak­ing bo­gey. Chas­ing a low num­ber on ev­ery hole can tempt you into riskier and more dicult shots.

If you don’t ex­e­cute them per­fectly, things can go wrong very quickly. Stick to hit­ting shots you know you can pull o and your scores will im­prove.

Hit your nat­u­ral shot

The op­ti­mum tee shot here is a driver that draws into the left-to-right cam­ber of the fair­way and threads be­tween the bunkers, but how of­ten are you re­ally go­ing to get that right and find the short grass? If you want to play ag­gres­sively, use what­ever your nat­u­ral shot shape is. Or sim­ply hit a more for­giv­ing fair­way wood or hy­brid that you know you’ll get in play.

Leave the eas­i­est putt

Think about where you want to putt from when you’re pitch­ing and chip­ping onto un­du­lat­ing greens. For ex­am­ple, if you’re chip­ping up­hill on a steep green you re­ally don’t want to be long. Sure, you can’t hole it if you don’t get it past the hole but the chances of that are slim so be sen­si­ble and leave it be­low so you’ve got a much eas­ier up­hill putt. Also, think about the line of the straight putt and get it as close as pos­si­ble to that.

Plan for the good miss

Even if you hit a great tee shot, you’re still go­ing to have a dif­fi­cult ap­proach so you have to think about where the sen­si­ble miss would be. Steer well clear of haz­ards like these big bunkers and re­sist chas­ing the flag so you don’t short-side your­self. Aim­ing for the mid­dle of the green is the best op­tion in the vast ma­jor­ity of cases. If you hit it, you’ll never be that far from the hole wher­ever it is on the green.

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