Tip for choosing the club for approach shots

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Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Tip for choosing the club for approach shots

Earlier this year I read a tip from one of the Golf Mag teachers, I forget her name, but her point was about club selection for your approach shots.  In general, her idea was, if the flag was in the front, take the club to get you to the back of the green.  If it's in the back, play to the front.  The idea being you play to get the ball on the green where you can putt, and so you target the larger open portion of the green and not trying to stick an iron, since most of us aren't that accurate. 

I've used this approach  many times this year and in general, i think it's saved me strokes.  I've gotten the ball on the green where I was putting as opposed to chipping from uneven lies and from rough.  Had a couple shots this weekend, where the front of the green was protected by a bunker and the flag was front-middle.  I took the longer club and hit the ball past the hole.  Didn't make the putt but I had an easy Par.  I know, the short irons should be your scoring clubs but I've missed many a green with a wedge in my hand. So this is a little conservative but in general I think it saves more strokes than it costs for us hacks.

Anyway, maybe something to remember for next season...


fred johnson
This is something I do think

This is something I do think about and have used.  It usually leads to a lot of long or missed putts but I am on the greed with this method. Good Tip

Why not aim for the Middle of

Why not aim for the Middle of the green? This would give you the Max amount of yards to Miss your target and still be on the green. Makes more sense to me than aiming for either the front or the back of the green.


Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
It's similar Don, but i think

It's similar Don, but i think the point was, when the flags on the front, if you take enough club to reach the back, if you chunk it you still probably make the green.  You might still make it there if you took less club to aim for the middle of the green as well, but you may come up short.  And for back pins, taking enough club for the front gives you room should you thin it.  So i think she was just covering bases for the typical misses.

Aiming for the middle gives you some room for error on both types of misses.  Thin it, you still have room back there.  Chunk it, you still have room up front.    but her method would give you maximime room for error for either one miss type. 

But all of this has to be weighted against where the trouble is.  Coming up short on an elevated green protected by bunkers IS NOT AN OPTION.  So always take MORE club unless there's even worse trouble behind the green. 


Golf is a game that can only be played...

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Aimee's picture
club selection

aiming for the center of the green is generally a good policy, but the approach that Scott mentions is a good way to stay out of trouble. In addition, you have to factor in the conditions that day. This time of year the greens tend to be very firm and if you don't play for the front of the green, to allow for the bounce/roll...you will hit a lovely shot on to the green that will bounce right off the back. I always factor in the "miss"...is it worse to be long or short on a particular green. As Scott mentions...coming up short might put you in a tall-faced greenside bunker, but hitting a bit long may just put you in a grassy area that allows for an easier flop back onto the green. Besides the fact that it is generally considered wiser to take more club and swing easy (which enables for better mechanics/contact) than to pull a club that you have to hit 100% pure to make the distance.

It's not how...it's how many