To have a chance at a par, your shot into the green has to get there. It has to arrive. Where it’s appropriate, for shots you intend to hit the green, be they approaches from the fairway or pitches from closer in, play to hit the ball past the pin. This is the scoring zone.

Most greens are deeper than you think. If you think you have a 6-iron to the pin, hit the 5. That choice guarantees you will fly the hazards around the green, which are usually in front. It allows for your average shot to get to the pin, rather than depending on your best shot. Taking the longer club corrects the tendency to under-club.

There are some greens that are so steep from back to front that hitting the ball past the hole is the last thing you want to do. Play to the pin and if you end up short, that’s all to the good.

But most of the time, don’t worry about being long. Unless you know the pin is way in the back, there’s lots of room behind it. Arrive.

2 thoughts on “Arrive”

  1. Bob: Here’s another way to think about our tendency to hit approach shots short. I plan a shot based on the front of the green distance. Then I think that “if I don’t get past that I am likely in trouble.” Depending on how my game is going that means I add one or two clubs. Amounts to the same thing but having the thought that “short is dead” with such a defined cut off makes me focus on landing safely on the green, not short.

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