Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    22
  • comments
    60
  • views
    5,422

Gaining strokes on a 5 handicap- Part 2: Approach Shots

onthehunt526

1,491 views

I think with a little work, just making sure I stay the course, with the previous part, I think the equipment change will help me become a more consistent driver.

Now on to the single most important part of my improvement. My approach shots. I was going to break this part of the blog up into a few different pieces, but I decided that one long blog was better than three or four kind-of short blogs. So, about my approach shots. At times, I can hit 8 or 9 greens in a round, some rounds I hit 3 or 4. I know @iacas will preach GamePlanning, Shot Zones and Decision Maps to me. So were going to go through what I need to do to become a better iron player, so good in fact, I can maybe eventually get to scratch. I'm going to break down for you pretty much distance by distance and almost club by club, shot by shot at my home course of what I honestly need to do... to get more royalty in my life.  

A lot of the issues, I think I am having is, iI need to find that Smart Target, and just aim for the center of the green. The greens on my home course are relatively small at around 3,000 square feet. That still is a much bigger target than a 4¼ inch hole with a 6-foot stick with a piece of cloth attached to it… If I could just find that smart target in line with the center of the green that was even an intermediate target, I’d be halfway there. I still must execute. Golf is a game of imperfection, but if I’m 130 yards out for my second shot on the 13th Hole at Newman, if I aim at the center of the green my entire shot zone for my choked-down 9-iron, is on the green. Same for a stock pitching wedge. As far as I drive it, (which really isn’t that far, about 260 yards carry) and as short of irons as I have into most greens (on the front nine, if I don’t hit some hybrids, I’ll be hitting a bunch of shots with sand wedges all day.)

I may have figured out part of this with just the introduction, aim at the center of the green, jack-ass. (I’m talking to myself, no offense to anyone). There is a part of Lowest Score Wins where they took 90s, 80s, and 70s shooters from 50 to 130 yards and had them shoot at the flag and shoot at a Smart Target. The higher handicappers did better shooting away from the hole, and took fewer strokes to hole out, than shooting at the hole.

At the tale end of last summer, I started a thread which I should re-link, but I won’t. I said I wasn’t going to hit any full shots inside of 150 yards. I’m still not. Will there be a time and place when I do? Perhaps someday.

Ok I said I was going to go shot-by-shot, of some approaches I would hit in a round at my home course, which is Newman Municipal Golf Course here in Ithaca, New York.

Hole 1, Par 5, 490 Yards: Now I’ll be honest, I haven’t played with my new clubs yet or been out since October, but usually I have to lay-up short of the ditch because the tree or the right has a catcher’s mitt, the trees on the left you have to advance it toward the 3rd tee to have a chance to maybe make a 5, and the right side of the fairway though it leaves a longer third shot, is a better side to shoot from. So, I usually have about 120 yards, if I have this yardage, there are three trees behind the green, the one in the middle is almost dead in line with the center of the green. If I shoot the flag at 120 yards and it’s in the back, choked PW at the tree, in the front choked ¾ PW at the tree.

Hole 2, Par 3, 145 Yards: I like Par 3s they are measured to the center of the green. Now we have a variable on the 2nd, some days we play from the right tee, some days we play from the left. Depending on the day, it changes the smart target. I forgot to mention, the prevailing wind is usually from the North. The 7th Hole you’ll see is straight into the teeth of this wind. We had a fence behind the green that was basically the out of bounds marking for the hole. It’s gone. Now we use trees and the practice fire station windows. From the left tee, a choked 8-iron at the far left window of the practice fire station. From the right tee, there is a lone pine tree across Fall Creek that is a little off center, but it’s pretty darn close.

Hole 16 (also the 7th from a different angle), Par 3, 200 yards: This hole can play 220 yards if Mike decides to tip it out, but usually we don’t. There is a window on a boat house in the distance that is in the dead center of the green… if that doesn’t work the 8th tee marker (which is white, is usually a good line). You have Fall Creek on the right which is out-of-bounds. So I will take the penalty buffer into consideration and move your shot zone over to the left, there is also native grass to the left but it’s way left. There is a pine tree at the back-left corner of the green I will aim at because. It’s honestly the lightest shade. From the tee, if I get a nGIR most of the time and hit the green 1 out of 5… I’d be happy. 200-yard 4- or 5-iron shots are not easy for anyone.

I think, what I’ll do my first time out in 2018, is get all my smart targets in order. Draw out my shot zones on some of that graph paper, they have you do constructions on in high school. Continue to work on my full swing drills, that I am working on with Craig, and who knows by summer @iacas maybe giving me, the breaking par, no sixes, and tournament winner badges.

 

 

 



0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Blog Entries

  • Posts

    • I totally agree. I spent a lot of time on drivers that I had trouble controlling. They gave me some extra length when I hit them right, but I found myself out of the fairway a lot. Then I found my latest gamer and it wasn't cheap, an 8.5 degree Titleist 913D2 but the amount of confidence that I have when I step up to the tee is a great feeling. I literally know I'm going to hit the fairway with it. It's aging now and I am getting older too and the loss of distance is concerning, so following this post is great insight into the replacement process which will become eventual for me.    
    • It was a short 125 yard par 3 slightly up hill.  A well struck pitching wedge, but you can't see the bottom of the flag so didn't see it land.  I thought I'd gone too long, but my friend thought it was close.  Turns out he was right! I wish I'd taken some pictures from ground level, so I had a better chance of determining whether any part of the ball was underground.  Wasn't 100% sure of the rules at the time and didn't want to hold up the group behind by taking too long. It seems by the strict letter of the law that, as I don't think any of the ball was under the surface it isn't a hole in one.  But that just seems wrong as it was over half way in to the hole and clearly leaning in to the hole.  My friend gently centred the flag and it dropped in the hole. I'm just glad it wasn't my first hole in one as I would be really gutted right now!
    • I fully understand It may seem like from my post that I'm some kind of macho distance guy ... I've certainly seen my fair share of rolled eyes from other golfers around distances ... or from a nasty slice/hook etc ... something I'm working on as a 15HC player (as where the 3w is coming in with much more fairways hit these days) ... personal I think if you can constantly hit the ball cleanly with controlled power then why wouldn't you ... many times the difference between a 110mph drive and 118mph is an emotional factor, the actual distance isn't much at the end(Plus accurately is far better in lower controlled swing)   ...but sometimes after a 3-4 putt blowing a birdie etc, the tension releases makes me swing harder on the next tee..or maybe Bunker 260 out and I really want to pass it ...  I'm sure many Golfers are the same and hit the ball down there with a normal feeling swing. -----example-- where I was pissed at distance off the club....  last hole game very close to my best round 2nd shot PAR4...153 yards out to an ever slightly elevated green usually hit a PW full swing to around that distance.. Now the ball was in the first cut rough 10-15mph headwind so thought to take the 9 out full swing and it came off the face perfect high slight draw ... yes here we go >>>> down it came landed behind green ran up a gravel pathway onto some rough easy 15-20yards further than I expected ...Gutted 4 more shots to close out the hole..cost us the match and outright second place for the day
    • Thanks to all for sharing. I probably will find and join a league (hoping there are weekend leagues, great idea btw to meet other golfers). I will keep encouraging my friends and family to learn golf, joining a golf group at social media will help too. And, yep, playing alone occasionally could be nice.   
    • I do believe that some golfers "want it" more than others simply by putting more hours and effort into becoming great.  From what I've read about Hogan, I'd have to say that he wanted it more than others.  I'd say the same thing about Bryson.  And, of course, Tiger.  This is true in all fields, not just golf, and to me it's as plain as day.
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Antneye
      Antneye
      (51 years old)
    2. CapM
      CapM
      (54 years old)
    3. Cardsfan
      Cardsfan
      (27 years old)
    4. Mr Golf Addict
      Mr Golf Addict
      (15 years old)
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...