Hit More Greens in Regulation by Playing it Safe

It’s fun to watch pro golfers on tele­vi­sion attack the pins and set­up easy birdies. It would appear they are attack­ing the pin on every hole. Next time you watch pro­fes­sion­al golf, pay close atten­tion to your favorite golfer as they com­plete their round. You will see that they are very selec­tive in which flags they go for and those they do not. On some holes even the pros will avoid dan­ger and hit their approach shot to the safe side of the green, two putt for their par and move on to the next hole.

High hand­i­cap golfers need to be even more selec­tive in which pins they choose to go for. High hand­i­cap­pers sim­ply do not have the required con­sis­tent accu­ra­cy to go for every pin. There’s noth­ing wrong with going for only some of the flags dur­ing a round. In fact, high hand­i­cap golfers need to be hit­ting greens in reg­u­la­tion to set­up pars rather than fir­ing at pins to set­up birdies.

The ulti­mate goal of the high hand­i­cap golfer is to reach the lev­el of play­ing bogey golf. Mak­ing birdies, while an awe­some feel­ing, has very lit­tle to do with reach­ing this goal. Hit­ting greens in reg­u­la­tion to make pars is extreme­ly impor­tant to off­set any dou­ble bogies or worse. There is too much risk in aim­ing at pro­tect­ed pins. Many times pins will be placed on the side of a green pro­tect­ed by water, rough, or sand. Hit your approach shot in the water and you’re risk­ing a blow-up hole — a round killer. Hit your approach shot in the sand or rough and you’re scram­bling to make par, most like­ly look­ing at a bogey. It’s much more impor­tant to hit the safe part of the green in reg­u­la­tion than to shoot for pro­tect­ed pins.

The safest part of most greens is the mid­dle on the side away from trou­ble. If’s there’s trou­ble on the right, shoot for the left side of the mid­dle of the green. From here, the goal is to lag putt to avoid three putting the green. Effec­tive lag putting is essen­tial to improv­ing your golf game. Tak­ing pro­tect­ed pins out of play and aim­ing for the safe area of the green will leave some longer first putts. This is OK as it is much bet­ter than miss­ing the green. It does how­ev­er require that you become an effec­tive lag put­ter.

One piece of equip­ment I believe every high hand­i­cap golfer should have is a golf GPS sys­tem. Know­ing the dis­tance to the front and back of every green is crit­i­cal to hit­ting more greens. Think­ing of the yardage remain­ing to the hole as a range instead of a sin­gle yardage makes you con­sid­er every pos­si­ble club and helps you choose the cor­rect one. Invest in a golf GPS sys­tem today if you do not have one.

Hope­ful­ly you do not think I’m tak­ing the fun out of the game by sug­gest­ing to not go for pro­tect­ed pins. The truth is there will be plen­ty of holes where the hole is cut in a very favor­able area of the green. Be aggres­sive and take dead aim for these flags. On the holes with pro­tect­ed pins, remove the risk and low­er your score by hit­ting the safe area of the green.

Leave a Reply