by Kevin Hutto
The long and short of golf is basically playing the ball from the teeing ground into the hole in the putting green through fairway and rough with as few strokes as possible. Approach shots are challenging compared to other shots because the road to the green can be intriguingly deceptive.
Take for instance an all-too common approach to the green which is to aim for the flag. Truth of the matter is, flag placements on the green are getting more challenging to pull off. If you aim for the pin and you’re off only by a few yards, there’s a real big possibility that your ball is going to land in a bunker or water hazard. Instead of achieving your objective of getting your ball to the hole in as few strokes as possible, you’ll end up adding more whacks than you had originally planned.
Thus, a more practical approach shot is one that aims for the center of the green, not the flag. By aiming for the middle ground, you continue to keep your ball in play, avoiding any penalty strokes in the process. In order to develop accuracy where you approach is concerned, the key lies in improving your alignment.
Novice golfers get too much in the habit of practicing their distance regardless of alignment. But, most of the time, the reason why their ball is off the green is because of poor alignment. Even if your distance is off by a few yards, chances are, you’ll still be in the green. However, if your alignment is off, you won’t only have to contend with being only some meters from the hole, but you’ll have bunkers, sand traps and other obstacles on your way. Worse, when you don’t get your alignment right, you’ll be making your approach shots from out of the green for most of the game.
So, how do you get “aligned” right? Practice. Constant practice is really the only way. When you’re in the driving range, focus equally on practicing your alignment as much as your distance. When you’ve got your alignment right, chances are, you’ll get your approach shots to land on the green and not to the traps at the sides.
Approach right and sink the putt!
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