Anyone who has tried to build anything out of wood will know the saying ‘measure twice, cut once’. It basically means to be sure of your measurements before using the saw. This is a great tip that saves time and money. This building tip is also valuable on approach shots. Knowing (and not guessing) the distance we want to shoot is difficult sometimes, but not if we take our time and know what distance we actually want to hit.
One of the things I try to understand when making an approach shot, is the distances I need to hit or avoid. Both these numbers are critical to my club selection and something I try to focus upon during my rounds.
I use a range finder most of the time, but I loved using my Garmin Approach 6 even more. As you can see, the visual representations offer a myriad of distance data I need to be successful. Looking at the screen, I need to hit a PW at the min and a 8 iron at the max. The ideal club is a 9 iron for my game, as long as all the conditions are perfect.
If there is wind, wet conditions, or I am not striking the ball well, then the measured distances are only a guideline and I need to take a second reading and re-evalute.
Recently, I was playing the 6th hole at Osprey Links. It is a short hole that should not offer any real challenges and as such, a birdie is always on my mind. However, this particular approach shot needs to be taken seriously because the wrong club selection turns a birdie into a bogey or more.
This particular green is elevate 6 feet from the fairway. It is split in the middle by a gully making three distinct landing areas: front, back, and gully. When the pin is located in the gully or back area, the approach shot is relatively easy. If the pin is in the front, however, this easy hole becomes a bit of bear.
When it is a yellow pin, I measure the flag and front edge. Just measuring the distance to the flag leaves a gaping hole in my club selection. I have to know the distance to the front edge to ensure I do not under club on my approach. Unfortunately, if I miss on this hole, my ball comes up short in a bunker or worse. This is one shot that being aggressive is important to success.
Another challenging approach shot is the 18th hole. It is always uphill and has a tendency to release a great deal. It is the green with the most undulations and being in the wrong area definitely brings a three putt into play. On this green, I measure the flag and the little rock just to the right of the big rock. I know that this rock is a full club more just to reach the front edge. The flag distance is important, but being too aggressive only leads to my ball traveling off the back of the green. Hence the second measurement of the rock is very important to scoring well on this hole.
I think that you get my point that taking several measurements on some approach shots is very important. Having distance measuring devices are valuable if used properly. They provide a plethora of distance data that helps shape my approach shots. The trick is analyzing the data properly to ensure I have the right club in my hand all the time.
Do you use more than one distance when making a club selection?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!