The average club golfer makes a lot of elementary errors every time he steps foot on the golf course. By avoiding these errors many shots can be saved and your handicap lowered without changing your swing.
1. Know your favourite distance for layups. Too many golfers reach for the driver automatically on short par 4’s and if they cannot reach the green try to get as close as they can. They would be better served trying to lay-up to a favourite distance they have to leave a fuller shot in. I know for example that I am very good from 90 yards but not as good from 20 and will have less chance of hitting it close from there.
2. You don’t always have to take the aerial route. Most golfers will be more accurate from 60 yards with a slightly less lofted club and a more controlled swing instead of a flat-out lob wedge, just because they can actually hit lob wedge 60 yards flat out does not mean this is the correct play. A lower flighted shot will be more under control in all conditions.
3. Take more club. The most common miss from golfers throughout the world is short, and golf courses are designed accordingly, most of the hazards are short of the green. Does this sound familiar? 146 yards to the front, it’s a perfect 9 iron! Because I once hit a 9 iron 145 yards downhill, downwind, with rock hard ground. Take a 7 iron.
4. Do not try to play the impossible shot. You’ve hit it into an impossible lie in the deep rough or a bunker, you have 3 or 4 whacks at it before you manage to extricate it from its place of rest. You know you could have taken a drop with the 1st attempt right? Dropped it into a much easier place, knocked it on the green then holed the putt for par. It is worth assessing all of your options.
5. Don’t go flag hunting. If you aren’t Rory McIlroy you probably aren’t good enough to aim at the flag if it’s tucked away behind a bunker. Jack Nicklaus famously used to aim for the middle of greens and take his chances with the putter. If it was good enough for the greatest player ever then it is good enough for you.
Stewart Fraser is the Golf Pro at Beverley and East Riding Golf Club. He can be contacted on 01482 869519.