Course Strategy Lesson – PGA Professional Robin Symes helps you choose the correct shot each time. Check out the video for a simple tip to help you select the right shot, and lowers your scores.
Part of being able to play this game well, and score well, is making good decisions. In nearly every shot you have in a typical run of golf you’ll have a decision to make. Whether it’s a T shot you’re deciding what club to choose or what side of the fair will it end on, or the second shot you’re thinking, “Should I aim at the pin, which is cut just over the bunker, or play more towards the middle of the green?” Or, perhaps a par five, you had a great T shot and you’re deciding whether to go for the green in two shots or not. What will produce a better score? For me, in scoring well and making good course management decisions, it all comes down to percentages.
I use a very simple system called the 70% rule. To give you an example of that I want a par four, I’ve had a good T shot, I’ve got a hundred, a hundred forty-five yards left to the pin, and the pin’s cut central but toward the front of the green, quite tight toward the front of the green. Now, in deciding whether I’ll aim for this pin for not, I’ll ask myself the question, “If I aim for the pin can I be successful 70 percent of the time or more?” If the answer’s yes, then I’m going to aim at the pin. No doubt I’m trying to get the ball close to the hole. If the answer’s no, I’m choosing the wrong shot. In this situation I need to play past the pin or into the center of the green. That way I’ll be successful 70 percent of the time or more.
You can apply that rule to every situation. There’s a T shot, you’ve got a tight fairway, and you’re not sure whether to hit driver or not. Ask yourself if you had ten balls, and ten drivers, where would you get on the fairway seven out of ten times? If the answer’s yes, driver’s the right shot. If the answer’s no, you’ll need to switch clubs. Use a three-wood or utility until you’re comfortable that you can hit the fairway 70 percent of the time or more. The same rule applies for going for the par five in two shots or you’ve missed the green in a tricky situation and you don’t know how much risk to take with your shot. Apply the same rule. Here we are; I’ve decided I have a hundred forty yards. It’s only a 9-iron for me, not much danger really around the hole so in asking myself the question I believe I can be successful 70 percent of the time or more here so I’m going to aim at the pin.