How to Play Better Golf in the Fall: Adapt for Changing Conditions
A view from Quail Hollow Club on September 30, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Gary Kellner/PGA of America)
- Select smart targets off the tee. Realize the ball will roll more and adjust accordingly. It never ceases to amaze me how much slips by the average amateur. You can take serious strokes off your round by paying attention to little things like ground conditions. Imagine an example where you are playing a dogleg. Don’t let the ball roll through the fairway in the fall. Choose a new target and play from the short grass.
- Watch your approach. The same holds true hitting into the green. If it has been a dry fall, the first bounce will be bigger than usual. Take one less club and play for the front edge. If the hole is located up front, try to run it up. If there’s a bunker or rough in the way, play to the middle of the green and putt back to the hole.
- Add a little loft to your short game. On short chips and pitches, use a club with more loft than you would normally. If you hit bump and run shots with an eight iron, change to a pitching wedge. If you like using a pitching wedge, try your sand wedge. By adding height to the shot, you will decrease roll. This is a quick and easy method to adjust without having to alter your stroke!
- Get to the practice green. It has been a career year with the flatstick. That doesn’t need to change as the greens speed up, just leave some time to get acclimated. Before every round, get to the practice green. Save a couple extra minutes to figure out the speed for that day. Speeds can change drastically right now based upon the weather. Roll a couple before you play, and you’ll be better off.