How Important Is Your Second Shot In Golf?

In just about every conversation about golf, the drive and putt appear to be the main focus of discussion. The drive is usually related to distance and the putt to how it rolled into the hole. I can see that these dynamic shots would stick in many players minds, however I would suggest the second shot is as or more important to the other previously mentioned golf shots. I realize this might fly in the face of many discussions on The Grateful Golfer, but if you think about it, the second shot is critical to how every round sets up!

Kirk hitting into the fog for his second shot.

Right about now some of you are aghast at my bold statement about the second shot. I respect that. If you sit back and think of the diversity of clubs and shots required by making a solid second shot… do you train for success. I use anything from a 3 wood to a lob wedge for a second shot. The diverse and challenging nature of this shot causes fits for some players because of the unknowns of any second shot.

Hitting a great second shot either improves your green in regulation stat (most important in golf), sets up for a great approach shot, or extricates your ball from trouble and sets of another great shot (hopefully to the green). I know when I am playing well, I am hitting consistent second shots that sets up the rest of my round.

There are plenty of videos and articles talking about second shot management that will be beneficial to your game. The important part about all this advice is the focus on the importance of a second shot. It seems to be a topic about which many of overlook. Well, that ends for me today. Oh yeah, I found a great second shot video on where to aim that might be helpful:

As you head out to your next round, keep in mind that you will about hit 18 second shots during your round. In most cases this equates to 20 to 25% of your shots for the round. With that many stokes in play, it might be worth a bit of time to focus on hitting successful second shots as well as great drives and putts.

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


4 thoughts on “How Important Is Your Second Shot In Golf?

  1. I like the video. I don’t always follow his advice, but I know it’s good advice. I try and remember to use it when I’m not feeling confident over what I’m seeing. But it depends on the hazard over whether I might try and go for the pin or not. Some hazards get more respect that others. It also depends on how I’m playing that day. If my irons are working like I want them to, then I might be aiming more towards the flag might be safe another day to give myself a better putt. I let my experience and my play that day guide those decisions and try to remember to always err on the side of caution just a bit at least. At least when the hazard demands it. For things like water, I’ll make sure to be plenty careful. For a sand trap, not so much. I don’t really view them as score killers anymore.

    Played just ok today. Nothing special. Nothing terrible. Shot 1 over on the 18 hole course and then 3 over on the 9 hole course thanks to trying a few things that just didn’t work out all that well. Maybe I was tired by then, but I’ll probably try something else next time. I hadn’t played that course with the new bag set up before. And I chose I think badly once or twice because of it. But it was fun. The little Japanese man I played it with is great fun to be around. The 27 holes walking and spending a little time talking with the friend I played the last nine holes with, I still got back home in 4 and a half hours. I’m hoping that will turn out to be good practice for tomorrow. We play The Eagles Lakes Course tomorrow. Haven’t been there in 20 years maybe. Water will be our biggest worry tomorrow.

    You can see their scorecard and a flyover if you’re interested here:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I like the video of Eagles Lakes Course. There is a great mix of challenging and scoreable holes. What tees are you going the play? The white is 6100 and the blue is 6500 yards. If I was playing it for the first time, I think white tees would be the smart move for my game.

      Cheers Jim


      • Tough course. We played from the whites. I shot an 83 which may not be great, but it took a lot doing to stay out of trouble today. The flyover video doesn’t do those turns justice. And with almost every green raised and only a 20 year old recollection from playing it a single time in the past, judging distances to the flag was a crapshoot. I lost one ball to the lakes, and one on 18 which we played in the dark. Two doubles, 7 bogies, and 9 pars. Couldn’t get a single birdie putt to drop but there really weren’t that many inside ten feet so I couldn’t really expect them too. There were two I thought should have. Two that seemed to turn on me a foot before the hole for no apparent reason. Irritating, but that’s golf. I can’t get upset over a missed 8 footer or two or three. It happens often enough that would make golf miserable. So I come away basically satisfied with how the game played out. The course is gettable but I’ll need to know it a little better. But it was a very fine day. The only thing that would have made it better is if the course hadn’t been so busy. They got us off late and we played the last hole in the dark which cost me two of those strokes.

        There were plenty of well struck shots to choose from for the highlights real. Enough that it’s hard to choose so I think I just stick with the fact that my driver gave me draws, fades, and straight shots on demand better than ever today. That’s an accomplishment. A long desired one for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin,

        It sounds like you had a great time and Eagles Lakes was a fun track. I figured that the drone footage would not offer the real story about how the course would play. Your point about the raised greens…..I noticed it during the video. It is tough to hit to an elevated green most of the time. Definitely would add strokes. I like your attitude of accepting the round for what it was and enjoying the day.

        Cheers Jim


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