Vital to good course management is knowing the distance from where your ball lies to the target, usually the green (or more specifically, the hole). Most golf courses have distances written on sprinkler heads; there are also “150 yard” markers; and often there are signs on cart paths indicating 200, 150, and 100 yards. NOTE: These distances are to the middle of the green. It is, of course, the golfer’s responsibility to determine whether the hole is located in the back, center or front of the green. Further, it is important to consider the firmness of the green and whether the ball will roll up or down hill. Without taking these things into consideration, an otherwise excellent shot may put your ball in a poor position from which to play the next shot. To maximize the use of all this information, I suggest the following:
- Get to know the distance you can expect to hit each club (you can do this on the practice range by hitting to targets of known distance).
- When planning a shot to a green, take a few extra seconds to determine where (on or near the green) you would like the ball to land, based upon conditions, hole location and wind.
- Make your club selection, and take the shot as planned, with confidence.
Make this routine a habit, and you will soon see improvement in your scores.