How To Play An Approach Shot From 50 Yards

Hitting the perfect approach shot from 50 yards can be a challenge for most amateurs. It is at that strange distance where you could use almost any club to be successful. There is no solid convention on how to make this shot, but I have a theory that might help you decide how to zero on on the flag. It works for me and hopefully will be a benefit to your game.

I asked how most players would play a 50 yard shot to an open green (as in the picture below)

Paragon Golf Course, Greenwood, Nova Scotia

That majority of golfers said that either a lob wedge or sand wedge was the way they felt was the best shot. If there was a hazard in the way, like a bunker or water, they I would loft a shot in there for sure. However, when things are wide open, I am not so sure it is the best approach shot you can make.

It is interesting that the other category suggested a hybrid or putter. I guess over in the UK or Ireland on the links style courses these clubs might be of use. But in Canada, due to the make up of the fairways, it would be considered a very low percentage shot at best. But, if you are comfortable playing that shot, who am I to say it is wrong.

I have been practicing this distance in my yard for the past few weeks and I have found that a PW is the club for me. Get enough loft to land softly and enough control to land the ball where I want. On the above picture, I would land the ball just on the collar and let it roll to the pin.

Of course there are many variables to every shot. Condition of the course, wind, swing feel that day, but golf is about the 80% solution on most shots. We cannot control most factors except for the ones we create. The smart shot for my game is to us a pitching wedge on a wide open shot to the green from 50 yards.

The point to the title is that playing the shot from 50 yards is one that you can comfortable execute 80% of the time. Success varies from players, but the benchmark for this situation is getting the ball on the green 8 times out of 10. That is the club to use, regardless of what anyone tells you. As your handicap lowers, you may have multiple shots at your disposal, but for now focus on the 80%.

How many shots do you have from 50 yards?

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


7 thoughts on “How To Play An Approach Shot From 50 Yards

  1. Pingback: Chipping from 50 Yards | The Grateful Golfer

  2. Jim, my go to from 50 yards is a 3/4 lob wedge. I can play it with three different trajectories and prefer the lower flight with some check. I think this shot is a must have if you’re going to attack par-5s and don’t want to lay back to 100+ yards for your third.




    • Brian,

      I agree that this is an important shot. It offers an opportunity for players pin hunt on par 5s for sure. It is interesting you can play the same club with 3 different results, always a good thing to have in your bag.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Using the picture as a guide and barring the pitch/chip “argument”, from 50 yards out I could play any of the clubs from 9 iron down. To choose, I’d need to know the wind direction and speed, the green speed, and how hard they are. Lots of variables go into making that choice. But that flag looks very get-able so I’d want to be going for it for sure. I’m thinking a partial sand wedge would let me fly it almost there and not worry about running out too far past so that’s what I’d likely go for on that green as long as it’s not rock hard.

    Liked by 1 person

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