Should You Fire at That Pin?

By Craig Renshaw, PGA
Published on

A question I field quite often is how and when should an amateur take dead aim at pins during the play of a normal round of golf. The answer to this question depends on several factors, but ultimately boils down to if the shot presented is a really good opportunity to take dead aim as well as if the situation is worth the risk, relative to your current position on the course.

The variables for such aggressive shots can be narrowed down to asking yourself these simple questions:

• Do you have a relatively short shot with an 8 iron through your wedges?

• Do you have a perfect lie?

• Is the pin placement easily accessible?

• Is the shot's ball flight comfortable to your game?

• Can you make a full swing?

• Can you swing with confidence?

• Does the situation allow you to gamble with odds in your favor?

If you can answer "Yes" to all these questions, then by all means, take dead aim at the pin. If you can not answer "yes" to most of these questions, it is probably best that you consider an alternative shot before deciding to take dead aim.Most golfers aim at pins far too often, placing too much risk in their games and not enough reward. If you find you are aiming at two to three pins a round, you are probably using good judgment and minimizing your risk.

To see if you can improve on your greens in regulation statistics as well as reduce your putting average, try playing a couple rounds of golf doing nothing more than aiming for the middle of each green. Every client I have that has tried this strategy has experienced immediate reduction in their scores.

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