By Cameron Rankin, Sand Hills Golf Resort
Course management, accurate tee shots and a great short game were key to last week’s U.S. Open.
Of course, playing your second shot from the fairway produces a lower score. But fortunately, the majority of courses in this area have shorter rough than Torrey Pines, so we have a greater chance of success on our second shot. This week’s tip: manage your game.
Pick a landing target area
Pick an area of choice where you would prefer your drive to finish, based on your normal shot pattern, slice, hook, fade etc. (there is always a safer side to the hole).
Pick the right club
Your second shot should be played with a club that can reach the green with ease; don’t choose based on your best ever shot with a specific club. My experience in pro-ams and such is that most shots finish short of the flag. Play smart: always choose a club that will get the ball out of a bad lie and into a better position for your third shot rather than try to make up for a bad shot by being the hero and going for the green from an impossible position.
Play it safe and low
On short shots, play the percentages, if the shot requires lower running type shot rather than a lob shot, choose the running one. Most amateurs are not practicing the lob shot, so the results could be damaging to your score. If in doubt, run the ball to the flag if this shot is available.
Check out the green
Before you arrive, study the green for its surface, lie of the land, undulations. Pick the target line and the apex of your breaking putt and follow through to that point.
Don’t try the impossible do the probable. For more tips on your golf game see your local CPGA professional.