Don’t shy away from tough shots


WHEN playing to a well-protected green it is expected, among club golfers, that the fear factor rises. This in turn leads to poor strategy or swing that can get you into heaps of trouble.

Your best chance of success is when you see the execution of the shot merely as the last part of a process to help you select the right shot, keep your focus and give you the confidence needed to pull it off.

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If you understand the shot in front of you, the more confidence you will have. Calculate the yardage to the flag, assess the lie and how much spin it will create, and check the wind direction and its strength. All this will influence your strategy.

Use the ‘traffic lights’

Tour pros, like world number three Collin Morikawa, often select their shot depending on whether the pin is positioned in a red, amber or green zone – based on how easy it is to get to. Red is a no-go zone. They will go at an amber pin if they are playing well or circumstances demand it. Green means the pin is in a safe area and can be attacked.

Commit to the shot

Once you have settled on a strategy, fully commit to the shot. A pre-shot routine helps. Start by standing behind the ball to visualise the shot and then make a practice swing to rehearse the action. As you prepare to swing, focus on your landing area – not the danger to be avoided.

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