It seems to me, the average recreational golfer is obsessed with hitting the ball farther. As an alternative, I wish they’d become more preoccupied with hitting the ball the proper distance. Distance control is something the Tour professional’s have down to the half-yard, but something few amateurs get overly concerned about until they’re about to pull the trigger.
Here is a simple assignment that will help you precisely measure your distances and, in turn, feel more confident that you’ve got the right stick in your hand for any given shot:
1. Take note after your next round of golf how many shots you lost by using the wrong club. It will most likely be more than you think. This will give you the motivation to proceed to step 2!
2. Hit some balls on the practice tee. Then, take a good look at where they’ve landed. What you need to do is hit a half-dozen or so shots with each club and make note of where the “average” shot lands. If, you hit 10 seven irons and the average is 150 yards that, is your 7-iron distance. Jot it down. Do this for every club in your bag. No need to count any miss-hits, just the decent ones. You’re trying to find your “comfortable” average length.
Now, equipped with all this new info on your average distance for every club in your bag, you can approach your shots with the confidence that you have the right club in your hand.
This can prove especially helpful when you play different courses and don’t “automatically” know what to hit. Today, many courses have detailed yardage books with distances from just about wherever you may have landed. Sometimes these distances don’t seem accurate. In any case, at least you can stand over the shot knowing that, if, the yardage are correct you’ve got the right club.
This might seem like a lot of work, but every uncertainty you can eliminate from your mind when playing golf, will make it that much more likely you’ll make a good swing.
So get going. Your clubs are waiting for you to start cozying that shot right up next to the flagstick …and don’t forget your pen and note pad.