The Importance of Short Approach Shots

Making sure you hit the green with your short approach shots (9iron and wedges), may sound like a no brainer, but you’ll be amazed at just how many greens are missed by players of all levels with these clubs. I often ask players how confident they are at hitting the green with a short approach iron and the resounding reply I get is ‘very’, but the stats don’t always back up that confidence. Sucker pin positions and the greedy golfers course management also have to be taken into account. Trying to play straight at a pin that’s tucked away, even with a short iron will cost you shots. Inevitably, you will occasionally miss the pin on the wrong side and ‘short side’ yourself leaving an impossible chip shot. The average 12 handicap player Up & Downs 30% of the time and has 1.9 putts per Green in regulation. This adds up to an average score of 3.9 on every par 4 that GIR is achieved. For every green he misses, he will lose on average 0.7 of a shot and will average a score of 4.7. This all adds up to a loss of 0.8 of a shot for every green that is missed in regulation.So, in summary, when you have a short approach iron in your hands, make sure that you get the ball on the green. The top players in the world will play slightly to the safe side of a sucker pin, just in case the shot doesn’t come off, and so should you.

Niall McGill

PGA Professional

www.LowerYourScores.com

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