Hello and welcome to this weeks Tips & Tricks. I hope you’ve all been applying your sunscreen when you’ve been on the golf course this week, it’s been perfect golfing weather! Well, good for this country anyway…
This week we’re going to look a bit closer at game management and how knowing your yardages can be a huge benefit. I’m going to explain to you how I work out my yardages and then work out the best place to leave the ball on the green even if it’s not right next to the pin.
Firstly I want to explain to you the importance of knowing how far you have to a desired target. I am lucky to have both a GPS device and a laser rangefinder. Both of which were birthday or Christmas gifts so if you have a birthday coming up you now know what to ask for.
The process that I use for knowing the type of shot I want to hit can be replicated by yourselves to get the best outcome, even if you don’t hit your best golf shot.
Firstly I use my Bushnell phantom to check the distance to the front, middle and back of the green. Most of you club golfers should really be trying to play to the middle of every green, if you did this on every shot for the rest of your golfing careers you wouldn’t go too far wrong. I like to be a little bit more precise which leads onto my rangefinder. I then laser the flag to see the exact distance. This can then be compared to the GPS and from there I can work out where the flag is on the green. This is even more useful when the bottom of the flag is blind because it’s uphill. This then tells me where the best miss would be on the green for example:
If the Bushnell phantom reads 100 yds front, 115 middle, 130 back and my laser gives me 105 yards I know that I have plenty of green to work with over the flag. This means I would choose a shot that’s at least 105 yds so if I mishit it, it’s still at least on the front of the green. If I had only used the laser and mishit it I would be likely to be shot of the green in trouble. Like I said previously if you guys all played to the middle of every green you wouldn’t go far wrong but if you want to be more precise and want to get your scores even lower you need to be more dialled in with yardages. That leads me on to the next section, knowing your yardages.
I can hear you all saying to yourselves, “well that’s all good and well if you know how far you actually hit it?!”. This is a very valid point and comes down to a combination of reliable ball striking and yardage gapping. I’m lucky enough to have access to launch monitors such as GC2 and Trackman4. These both give carry distances so whenever I practice I have at least one set up. This means I know how far I hit it when I hit it properly and then how far it carries when I don’t quite catch it. There are obviously lots of other variables when you’re on the course such as lie, wind, slope, temperature, fatigue, adrenaline etc. Knowing a basic base measurement for each club means each of these factors can then be calculated when you get to your shot.
You don’t have to have technology to get a good idea of yardages on the course. Lots of courses still have course planners which are a great way to calculate how far you have to hazards and pins. Some courses have markers on the course such as 100 yds, 150 yds and 200 yds to the middle of each green. You can find these and then pace off to your ball to calculate a carry to the middle of the green.
If you don’t have any of these and are continuously guessing the yardages you aren’t giving yourself the best chance before you have even hit the shot. I would recommend getting some kind of GPS to start with and hit to the middle of every green. Again you need to know your yardages and you have a few options here. Trackman is available to hire and if you would like to get your yardages on your own you can call the shop to book a time. Another option is to have myself watch and guide you through a yardage gapping. I can watch you hit shots and then give you the best way of interpreting the data. If you would like to book this there is an option when booking online or you can call the shop to book a time.
If you would like any more advice on game management or would like to know more about the best golf tech feel free to speak to the guys in the shop or ask me when you next see me.
I’m looking forward to seeing you soon and hearing about your improved game management.