Man­age your game more ef­fec­tively

The Covington News - - SPORTS - BRYAN RAINES Spe­cial to The Cov­ing­ton News

Con­stantly watch­ing golfers play­ing shots that they ei­ther can’t do or play­ing the wrong type of shot for the sit­u­a­tion is frus­trat­ing.

In this col­umn, I will try to get many of you to man­age your game more ef­fec­tively in or­der to make fewer men­tal mis­takes.

When I teach, one of the first ques­tions I ask is, “What is your fa­vorite dis­tance to hit a shot?”

I usu­ally get the dreaded blank stare, and I can tell they have no idea what I’m ask­ing, so I elab­o­rate.

I ask it a lit­tle dif­fer­ently, “If I was go­ing to bet you $100 to hit the green, what dis­tance would you pick?”

Af­ter much con­sid­er­a­tion, I usu­ally get an an­swer rang­ing from 80-120 yards. Why is that, you ask? Be­cause most peo­ple are ter­ri­ble with short shots.

How­ever, time and time again, play­ers try to leave them­selves with 30- to 60-yard shots that they don’t feel com­fort­able mak­ing.

A good friend of mine is a caddy on the PGA tour and he used to caddy for a player who would go bal­lis­tic if he was ever left with any­thing in­side 80 yards. He’s a tour player who makes his liv­ing play­ing golf and doesn’t want those short shots. But yet most of you try to get as close as pos­si­ble with­out think­ing about the next shot.

When de­cid­ing what shot to play, think about what re­sult the cho­sen shot will have. How many yards will it leave you and are you com­fort­able with that dis­tance?

Just be­cause you have a driver in your bag doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for ev­ery hole.

I gen­er­ally sug­gest a player choose a club that will leave him/her with his/her com­fort­able dis­tance for the up­com­ing shot. For me, I love an 85-yard shot, so I try to leave my­self that dis­tance as of­ten as pos­si­ble.

I know that from 85 yards, I’m go­ing to give my­self an op­por­tu­nity to make a birdie and at worst, take bo­gey out of the equa­tion.

So the next time you’re out play­ing, think about the re­sult of your club choice be­fore you hit your shot. I prom­ise it will lead to smarter de­ci­sions and re­sult in lower scores.

Bryan Raines is the golf pro­fes­sional at Ash­ton Hills Golf Course and can be reached at braines@pga.com.

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