Course Strategy 101: Picking Targets
February 17, 2020
When you are on the golf course, do you pick a target that goes with your intended ball flight? Or do you just step up and hope it ends up near the hole? One of the reasons why the tour pros are so good is that they pick targets that allow them the best chance for birdie. They understand course strategy and over the next few posts you will too.
Let’s imagine a pin is on the right side of the green with water down the right. If you hit a draw and your target was the pin, that means you would have to aim at the water. Chances are you will end up in the water more often than not. If you shift your target to the left of the pin, chances are you won’t find the water as much.
Here is another example, what if there were no flagsticks? What would your target be? Would it be to the center of the green? I bet that the average golfer would shoot a lower score every time if they picked a target to the center of the green. But we want that ball to end up near the hole. As soon as we see that flag, that is all we are thinking about. We act like our club is a sniper rifle and not a shotgun. If we can be disciplined and pick a more conservative target, we will have more birdie opportunities.
The leader in proximity to the hole last year on the PGA Tour averaged just over 32 feet on all approach shots. From 100-125 yards, the leader averaged 15 feet. These are the best golfers in the world. If they can’t consistently get the ball closer than why do the average golfers think they can?
So What’s Next?
We will continue talking about course strategy in the next few posts. Understanding your dispersion and where to properly aim will help you shoot lower scores every single time. Until we get to those, try playing to the center of the green next time you are on the course.