What is Your Yardage for Scoring Low in Golf?

Over the years, I talked about course management, hitting to yardage, and improving our GIR. Being an avid golfer, I am always looking for an edge to lower my golf score. A stroke here or there could result in me shooting even par or less. That is how important a few strokes are to my game. To achieve a low score, I have to understand my strengths and weaknesses so I ensure I am not passing up opportunities. Do you understand yours?

Many aspects of my game ebb and flow. It is the nature of being an amateur and something I accept. However, execution of shots is only a small part of my golf game. I realize this sounds silly, however I believe I play my best when my mental game is at its best. When I am thinking properly, my swing flows and I am able to execute my swing with ease.

Ben Hogan knows how to win!

This brings me to the topic of discussion, what is your scoring yardage? You know, that one or two distances where you feel totally confident. The one spot where your swing feels completely natural that you just know you are going to hit your ball close. I asked this question and here is what many said:

As you can see, over 50% of the respondents like the 51 to 100 yard distance. I am not surprised, however some feedback suggests that the closer the better. If you could be within 10 yards all the time, then why not pick that distance. Of course, many who responded did so in relation to their game. In most cases, if we could be significantly closer we would choose that, but our games do not support it, so we adjust and pick a distance to fits.

Personally, I have two distances. They are 60 yards and 120 yards. The 60 yard point is a 1/2 to 3/4 sand wedge depending on conditions and wind. The second, 120 yards, is a full pitching wedge. I am comfortable with either and when playing well, default to those distances if required.

The reason I have two distances is because it affords me an opportunity to adjust my game on the fly. I am not a long hitter, but generally hit the ball straight. When playing par 5s, I rarely make the green in two. Therefore, I must set up each hole to so my approach shot is at my preferred distance. As a minimum, my default distance is 60 yards. I can reach that distance 6 times out of 10. The other times, I will lay back to 120 yards, my other favorite approach distance. If I reach either of those, my chances of shooting a birdie improve. If nothing else, a tap in par.

On most par 4s, I hit from the tee and end up between 100 and 150 yards from the green. Ideally, 120 yards would be the distance, however that is not always possible. The varying distances on approach shots is a natural part of golf, but if I can hit to my distances, the chances of lowering my golf score are better.

One final point, although I have specific distances I like for approach shots, if I can reach the green with any of my clubs, I go for it. I do not lay up to yardage knowing that I have the opportunity to reach the green. I lay up for yardage only when I cannot reach the green with my current shot. It is important to play my game and laying up when I have a chance, no matter how slim, to reach the green only makes sense.

Hitting to yardage to set up your next shot makes sense. Of course, it all depends on what is happening at the moment, but taking control of your game is key to success. My experience tells me that the more I hit the yardage, the better I play. So, that is what I do. How about you, do you hit to yardage?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Written by Jim Burton from The Grateful Golfer blog.

6 thoughts on “What is Your Yardage for Scoring Low in Golf?

  1. I don’t have just one or even two yardages. I have 4 wedges in the bag and don’t see one as being more accurate than another. And each of those wedges can be hit accurately to different yardages depending on the swing. I’m more interested in laying up to give me an angle I can attack the pin with one of them rather than a specific yardage. Generally, the closer the better, but again it depends on the hole and the conditions. A flat lie at 100 yards is preferable to a sloping lie at 50 for instance.

    Once there I want to choose between a 1/2, 3/4 swing or full swing for best effect. If I can, I’ll choose the 3/4 swing most often. I’ve found that I am more often hitting my aiming point on the green with that option but there are times when the added height of a full swing is the better option and the extra roll out of a half swing can also be handy.

    Distance is only one factor. And in my mind, the least important one to consider when I’m laying up. The lie I have to hit from, the hazzards I have to negotiate, and the green layout/pin placement outweigh the yardage as a consideration and in fact are the deciding factor on which yardage I attempt to hit to.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, great topic. Before this year my target yardage was 100 for a stock gap wedge. Now, I try and get as close as possible because I’ve been working hard with my instructor to improve my wedge play. It’s paying dividends and I’ve added stock shots from 65 and 50 yards. The 30-40 range is still a little weird because it’s just outside of a green side pitch and too short for the stock 50 shot. Gotta develop something for that.



    Liked by 1 person

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