I have about 150 yards to the hole. What club should I hit? This is a common question on the golf course. What happens next in the decision process can affect your score dramatically.
Many students of mine can’t offer a good answer to the question. It seems like a simple question, but the answers I get are vague, like: ‘usually a seven iron’ or ‘I could get an eight iron there.’ Both of these answers make me wonder what happens on the golf course when faced with a 150-yard shot. The answers show me a lack of confidence which can cause bad golf shots.
When picking a club for a shot, you, as the golfer, need to make sure it is the correct choice and believe in yourself. A factor to take into account is a realistic view of how far you hit each club. I am not talking about how far you’ve hit your eight iron once, but rather how far you usually hit it with a controlled golf swing. For most golfers this controlled swing, not trying to hit it too hard, will offer the best contact and results. Confidently choosing a club, and knowing how far you can consistently hit each club, will lead to better results.
There are other factors to consider when choosing a club. Two examples are where the hazards lie in relation to the green or how strong the wind is blowing. If there is a hazard behind the green then you need to take that into account and make sure you don’t go long. This same philosophy can be used with the wind. When the wind is behind you, and the trouble is long, make sure you take the club you hit about 10 yards less than the yardage you are faced with and make a normal swing. Let the wind help the ball fly to the green. Remember, if you end up short, that is okay because the trouble is long.
Next time you are on the course, consider all these factors and eliminate those penalty strokes through proper club selection. You will be able to lower your scores and have more fun.
Josh Miller is a Class A PGA member and a graduate of New Mexico State University’s Professional Golf Management Program. Miller takes an individualized approach to teaching golf, knowing that everyone’s body and experience level is different. He builds upon these to teach the fundamentals, while building a consistent golf swing that any student can confidently take to the golf course. He can be contacted by phone at 720-234-3560 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.