The Approach Shot

THE APPROACH SHOT
By Suzy Whaley LPGA Teaching Professional

Lowering your scores will require you to hit more greens in fewer shots. Here are a few course-management and ball-striking tips to help improve your distance and accuracy.

Strategy: Cut the green in half

Imagine the green in two halves; play to either the front or the back instead of aiming at the pin. This gives you a much larger target area (half a green) than a hole that is just a few inches wide.

Forget the term “greens in regulation” (i.e., on the green in par minus two strokes) and make it your own GIR. If, for example, you’re an 18-handicap, you get one extra stroke per hole; therefore, you have three shots to get to the green on a par 4, and four on a par 5. This will take the pressure off your approach game.

Always err on the side of choosing more club (e.g., an 8-iron versus a 9-iron). Most people come up short of the green because they think they hit the ball farther than they actually do. The club that gets you there is the one you should use.

Make your last thought before pulling the trigger positive. Repeat simple three-word phrases to yourself such as “on the green” or “right-side green.” This will orient you to the target and help you to visualize a positive image!

Suzy Whaley, in 2003 became the first woman in 58 years to qualify for a PGA Tour event when she qualified for the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, after winning the 2002 Connecticut Section PGA Championship. She is currently recognized by Golf for Women as a top 50 female instructor and is a Board Member and Advisor for numerous organizations. She is an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional member who played on the LPGA Tour in 1993. To learn more from Suzy go to www.suzywhaleygolf.com.

Topics: Teaching and Club Professionals

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