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Two Tips to Hit Great Iron Shots Like Amundi Evian Champion Celine Boutier

By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Published on

France's own Celine Boutier won the 2023 Amundi Evian Championship, the LPGA's fourth major of the season.
Winning a major is special, but doing so in France, as a native, is even that much more magical. Boutier's victory marks the first time a French player has won the event.
Boutier excelled in two key areas at Evian Resort Golf Club: approach shots and putting.
She hit approximately 78 percent of the greens during the week (56/72), a slight uptick from her season average of 71 percent. And once on the greens, she putted well, averaging 28 putts per round — a stroke and a half better than her per-round season average.
While you likely won't have Boutier's winning prowess in hitting greens and making putts every round, you can certainly set yourself up to be better than you are currently by dialing in your yardages. Here’s how.
Step 1: Calibrate Your Carry Yardages Regularly
The first thing that will help you is to calibrate your carry yardages for each club. Capturing this data can be done in a handful of ways. You can find a driving range in your area or an indoor facility with radar capabilities, or you can purchase your own radar. Several economic options exist in the market that can work well for this.
Once you can capture your carry distance data, you will want to go through your entire bag, club by club, and hit about 14 balls per club. Throw out your two high carry yardages and two lowest. Calculate the average of the remaining ten shots for each club.
(Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
(Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Once you have the average carry yardage for each club, take an index card, write out each club and its carry distance on the card, punch a hole in the corner of the card, and clip it to your bag or in a reliable pocket you can reference.
Step 2: Change Your On-Course Approach
Try this game during an evening or non-busy time on the course. Grab a course pin sheet. If your course has these, they will generally have each green's depth and width. You should be able to find the information online if your course does not have pin sheets. Some rangefinders, or GPS apps, will give you a front, middle and back yardage for each green. Worst case scenario, you may have to go old school, step off the width and depth yourself, and make your own "greens book."
Next, hit three balls for each approach shot on each hole, as well as your tee shots on the par 3s. Use your new club yardage carry sheet from step 1 for reference on the correct club to hit for each shot. Your objective is to get dialed in on the front, middle, and back carry yardages for each approach shot and par three tee shot.
You will attempt to hit ball one to the front of the green, two to the middle of the green, and three to the back.
Give yourself a point for each time you hit the green in general and give yourself two points if you hit the ball to the proper spot, front, middle, or back.
(Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
(Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Only play one ball for a score on the card, using the one closest to the pin, regardless of whether you hit the green or not.
The purpose of calibrating your carry yardages, as well as getting more in tune with the size of the greens you play, is to help you understand what clubs you should use to increase your proximity to the hole.
Far too many golfers only look at the yardage to the pin, and far too many more don't know what they really carry each of their clubs. This exercise will take you out of both groups and get you on the road to hitting more greens or, at the very least, hitting the ball closer to the hole.