50 Ways To Lower Your Score

Use our top tips, equipment advice, Tour examples and a few new training aids to play your best golf

Happy Yardage46. Find Your Happy Yardage
Many people have difficulty hitting half wedges successfully. An easy solution to the problem is to avoid them by hitting as many shots from a “happy” yardage as possible. To determine this distance, hit practice shots from 75 to 110 yards and keep track of the results. Once you find your comfortable shot, keep that distance in mind when laying up on par-5s or punching out on par-4s. You’ll quickly find the quality of your approach shots and your putting stats improving.

47. Gear Effects: Wedges In Numbers
Todd Harman, Dir. Product Marketing, Cleveland Golf

The standard for most Tour players and better amateurs is, at a minimum, a three-wedge system, not including the pitching wedge. Several players now are trading out the pitching wedge that comes with their set for a specialty wedge that goes with the rest of their wedge set, which really makes it a four-wedge system. This trend has been trickling down to recreational golfers, and soon it will most likely become a very typical situation.

48. Gear Effects: Check Your Gaps
John Tudor, CEO, Savile Row Golf

It’s crucial that your set makeup features uniform length. If not, you’ll never attain consistent distance control. Clubs should decrease in length in 1⁄2-inch increments. The gap wedge can be the same length as your pitching wedge, but your sand and lob wedges should be slightly shorter. Line up all of your irons against a wall, from 3-iron to lob wedge, and visually check that each is progressively shorter than the next. In most instances, this will not be the case and may explain why you hit your sand wedge farther than your pitching wedge.

David Glod49. Gear Effects: Hybrid vs. Wood
David Glod, President, Tour Edge Golf

High-lofted woods have been popular additions to players’ bags. These clubs are easier to hit and they launch the ball higher than the long irons they replace. So what’s the big deal about hybrids, also designed to replace the more difficult-to-hit long irons? Isn’t a high-lofted fairway wood just as good as one of the new hybrid models? The answer is yes and no. Your typical fairway wood is much longer than your typical hybrid, and longer always means less control. In most cases, the new hybrids feature shorter, iron-type shafts for better control. And since the shafts are shorter, the heads can be made heavier. This luxury enables designers to move more mass to the low and rear areas of the clubhead, increasing launch angle and reducing both side and backspin. Plus, the compact hybrid head shape is well suited for a variety of good and bad lies.

50. Strategize Back To Front
Many architects like to confuse players from the tee box by creating illusions and disguising hazards. A great way to deal with this is to look back toward the tee from the green after you putt out, and make mental notes for the next round.

PGA professional Brady Riggs instructs at Woodley Lakes Golf Course in Van Nuys, Calif. Special thanks to Tierra Rejada Golf Club (www.tierrarejada.com) in Moorpark, Calif.


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