This month’s teaching zone has been written by Tim Rich with course management and specifically club selection in mind. It’s a simple way to lower your scores. If you consider the following four steps your approach accuracy will improve.

1.       Know Your Clubs

This step is about getting clear on how far you hit each club. Think about how far you hit solid shots rather than perfect shots. It’s also valuable to know how far your shots carry through the air. (If you are unsure on your yardages why not let us show you with a gaping session in the studio).

2.       Know the Yardage

Depending on how specific you want to be, get a yardage to either the middle of the green, an area of the green (e.g. front half), or the flag. GPS and laser devices make it quick and simple to get the information. Royal Lytham is notorious for its long greens, so put some thought into the flag position; you’ll leave a shorter pitch, chip or putt!

3.       Judge the Conditions

Weather and turf conditions significantly affect how your ball flies through the air and how much it rolls on landing. Here on the coast a headwind can make a 150-yard shot feel like 180 yards, and in the height of summer when links conditions are firm and fast, a 180-yard shot can feel like 150 yards. Judging the conditions is a constant challenge and one which makes golf such a fascinating sport. The question to ask yourself after you’ve got your yardage is ‘does the shot feel longer or shorter than normal, and by how much?’.

4.       Set Up the Next Shot

Some missed approach shots present specific challenges. Two common ones we face at Royal Lytham are deep bunkers and deep rough. Sometimes it’s wise to avoid a challenging shot and increase your chances of setting up a simple one. For example, you might play past a front flag cut close to deep bunkers, or you might play short of a back flag where deep rough lies just beyond the green.

If you’re happy with Step 1, you can go through Steps 2,3 and 4 next time you play. I think you’ll gain clarity when you’re selecting your club. Let me know how it goes!

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