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Always take enough club to get there
Golf course designers look at a green from the position in the fairway from you which you will be (hopefully playing).

This is why bunkers, streams, ponds, hollows and other potential card-wreckers tend to be towards the front, rather than the back, of the putting surface. But be honest, how often do you play a round of golf, especially in winter, and hit your approach shots consistently past the flagstick?

Of course, for handicap players it can some times be difficult to judge because we rarely catch the ball absolutely flush but that's all the more reason to make sure you take enough club.

Try an experiment the next time you're playing, and not in serious competition. Every time you make a judgement about what club to hit (assuming the target is in range), take one club more and then make a note of how many times your ball finishes past the hole. We suspect you'll be surprised.

Handicap golfers cannot achieve the same consistency or quality of ball-striking as the pros, which is why we should try not to compound our problems by thinking dumb. Be as smart as Faldo or Nicklaus on the course and your scores will reflect your new approach.

©    22 - JANUARY 2002

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