Friday, January 26, 2018

When Should Golfers Play It Safe?

golf playing it safePhil Mickelson, one of the most recognizable risk-takers in golf, asked a kid in the stands during the Dell Technologies Championship for advice; should he go for the green or lay-up?

Mickelson needed a 260-yard club to get him safely on the green and the ball was in the rough.

Whether we are beginners or average amateurs, most of us do not have that shot in our bag, so the decision is slightly easier - go for the green in two shots....but which two shots do we take?

Aside from the two-stroke penalty he should have incurred (Rules of Golf), Mickelson decided to go for the green and made the shot.

What does the average amateur or beginner golfer need to assess in order to play it safe or go for the gusto? Here are a few tips to help you determine your next shot in the least number of strokes.

1. Try looking at the hole in reverse order, from green to tee. If there is water right up near the green, you may wish to lay up in front of the green and make an easy pitch shot.

2. Properly place your shot off the tee, so you take the trouble out of play. If there is sand or water on the right-hand side of the fairway, tee off on the right side.

3. Golf ball lying in a thicket of trees? Your best bet is to get the golf ball back into play. Consider where on the fairway you want to position your ball for the next shot onto the green before you take your next shot.

4. Putting: my playing partners in the EWGA used to talk about the "circle of trust"; an imaginary circle within three feet of the hole that golfers should try to aim for when making a long putt. Although you always want to make the putt, you don't want the ball to roll too far from the hole, leaving you a long, trying putt coming back.

5. Don't go for low percentage shots. Think you won't make it over the water? Are you standing in the trees with no easy way out? Is your ball buried in the sand? Think safe and you won't be sorry!

Share your thoughts on when is the best time to play it safe or go for it on this golf blog and tag us with your response on Twitter @Golf4Beginners!

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels


Roy said...

I actually kept stats on the "risk" shots I took all last year and it was very clear that I'm better off playing it safe. There were just too many strokes lost due to penalties. I now play it safe about 90% of the time and I've seen my handicap improve over the last couple months.

James De Vous said...

Alas, I no longer have a 260 yard club in my bag, and when I watch Michelson miss fairways left and tight, I’m thinking he may not have one either. Phil never plays it safe. Ever... I do. Being 2 months shy of 80, my big event is to shoot my age; regardless of the layout, it’s not easy. I liked this article; very thought provoking. Thanks from @JimmyDivoux Sacramento county CA USA ����

Golf is a Mind Game said...
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Golf is a Mind Game said...

Thanks for providing such useful tips. These tips truly help to play a golfer in a better manner. Along with this, I want to add some lines about this game. Golf is a mind game. Along with learning physical tips to prepare yourself for this game, one should also seek the useful golf mental tips.