Set Up Your Shots for Better Golf Scores

A simple strategy of the game that every day golfers should utilize is to set up their next shot by hitting less club.  Far too often weekend golfers will select the wrong club and attempt to hit a very low percentage shot.  More often than not this leads to a poor score, slow play and frustration for the golfer, not to mention the group waiting behind.   While it may be fun to pull off the near impossible, you’ll find that playing within yourself will lead to lower scores, and ultimately a more enjoyable golf experience.

Identify Your Comfort Zone

In order to appropriately set up shots, golfers must know how far they hit each club.  This much is obvious, and comes only with practice.  A key to consistent golf is hitting shots that are within each golfers comfort zone.  How often does the average golfer practice 50 yard half wedge shots?  Probably not half as often as hitting a full wedge shot.  While shorter in distance, execution of a 50 yard shot may actually be more challenging than being 100 yards away and result in more mishits.

Par 4 Strategy –Think Ahead

Let’s take a closer look at Hole #5 at Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club, located in Scottsdale, AZ, a favorite course for many in the Phoenix / Scottsdale area.  Image is courtesy of Birdie Apps Free Mobile Golf GPS App:

Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club Hole #5

Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club Hole 5

At just 279 yards from the white tees, this is a very short Par 4.  A long hitter may be tempted to reach this green even while staring at three large bunkers that gobble up their shot.  Most golfers would be best served by first identifying the distance to the bunker.  Birdie Apps Golf GPS App provides the ability for golfers to simply tap to any distance on the course, which in this case would come in very handy.  After determining that distance, the play here may even be to take 1-2 clubs less for the tee shot.   By hitting a simple 180 yard tee shot and lying up well short of the bunker, the golfer has improved his chances for birdie by COMPLETELY taking the first two bunkers out of play and leaving a simple 100 yard shot.  Just smile at your golf buddies as you are putting for birdie while they may have left themselves a dreaded 30-40 yard bunker shot and potentially staring at double bogey (or worse).

 

Par 5 Strategy – One Shot Sets Up Another

Outlined below is Hole # 2 at the stunning We-Ko-Pa Cholla course, located in Fort McDowell, AZ.

We-Ko-Pa Cholla Hole #2

We-Ko-Pa Cholla Course Hole 2

This daunting 530 yard Par-5 (white tee box) is full of challenges, and taking a simple strategic approach can greatly improve your odds at defeating this monster.  First, a simple look at the hole should tell the golfer that for their approach shot there is no reason at all to test the bunkers at the end of the “middle” fairway.  Not only does the fairway narrow considerably at this point, but reaching this section of the fairway may lead to a potentially awkward short distance to the green.  Therefore, the golfer should feel confident that laying up on their 2nd shot is a smart play.  Knowing that, the golfer can relax and hit their tee shot without feeling the need to overpower.  Perhaps even a fairway wood/metal might be the play here, which completely takes away the “desert wash” area at the end of the fairway.  If you cut the yardage up with a 210 yard tee shot followed by a 180 yard 2nd shot will leave a very comfortable 140 yard approach shot.  All the while, you’ll be hitting into the fat part of the fairway with a club that you can feel confident to strike well.

Get Out and Play

The game of golf is more than 300 yard drives and 25 foot birdie putts.  Being a disciplined golfer by following subtle strategies can have a considerable impact on your score.   If you can’t hit shots like a pro, at the very least try to think like one!

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