Golf Tips: Six Keys to Hit More Greens

By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Published on

On what has become seemingly her farewell tour, Lexi Thompson is right in the thick of contention at a Major Championship.
She took an early lead on Thursday at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship when she fired a four-under 68, and is two back of the 6-under lead after a second-round 72.
Throughout her career, Lexi has been best known for her power and less known for her approach game. So far at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washingtong, it's been a different story.
On the nearly 6,800-yard layout, Lexie hit almost 80 percent of her greens while only needing 28 putts on the day in Round 1. That all important greens in regulation stat, combined with impeccable putting, is the winning combination.
Improving your ability to hit more greens in regulation can significantly lower your golf scores. Here's a game plan to help you achieve that:
1. Focus on Accuracy off the Tee: Keeping the ball in play off the tee is crucial for setting up easier approach shots. Rather than always reaching for the driver, consider using a club that ensures accuracy and allows you to find the fairway more consistently.
2. Understand Your Distances: Understanding how far you hit each club is vital to hitting more greens. Invest time on the range in fine-tuning your distances, and get comfortable hitting your irons and wedges consistently.
To do this, I suggest a weekly session to get your yardage with each club via a radar device. This self-awareness of what you hit each club will empower you to make more informed decisions on the course.
3. Focus on Course Management: Before hitting a shot, take a moment to assess the situation. Consider the best place to miss if you don't hit the green and whether you should be aggressive or conservative based on pin position and hazards.
4. Stay Calm Under Pressure: Hitting more greens is not just about physical skills, it's about maintaining composure on the course, especially when you have a good round going. Keeping your nerves in check can help you execute your shots more effectively, instilling a sense of confidence and resilience in your game.
5. Work on Your Mental Game: Visualizing successful shots and staying positive will help you hit more greens. Develop a pre-shot routine that helps you focus and stay in the right frame of mind.
6. Track Your Statistics: Tracking your greens in regulation statistics can help you identify areas for improvement and give you a clearer picture of your progress over time. Beyond the number of greens hit, look for patterns on where your misses are: short, short right, long left, etc.
Lexi Thompson at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
Lexi Thompson at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
Remember, the path to hitting more greens in regulation is a journey that requires patience and practice. By incorporating these tips into your game plan and dedicating focused practice time to this aspect of your game, you're setting yourself up for improved success on the course . . . just like Lexi has showed at Sahalee.
Keep at it, and good luck!

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Brendon R. Elliott, PGA

Sorrento, FL

Brendon Elliott

Executive Director/Founder

Brendon Elliott is considered by his peers in the industry as one of the top youth golf coaches in the world. He is a multiple, local, state, regional, national and world award winning instructor with a focus on junior golfers ages 3-18. With numerous appearances on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, local TV, nationwide radio and countless publications, Elliott is one of the foremost experts in the youth golf arena. His Little Linksters 501c3 nonprofit is recognized as an example for introducing children as young as three to the game as well as how to help introduce youth with disabilities to our golf. Elliott has been recommended by industry titian's such as Nicklaus, Player, Floyd, Sorenstam, Speith and more. Among his numerous accolades, Elliott was named the PGA of America's 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development Award Winner in 2017.

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