What do you do when you are in-between distances?

Longer is Better

 

The Scenario 

You hit a pretty good drive, but as you step off the yardage to the green you discover that you're 5 yards farther than you comfortably hit your 8 iron, and 5 yards shorter than you would hit your 7 iron. So what do you do? 

Here's the Solution 

Learning to take yards on or off the distance you hit each club is an important skill. If you don't have it, then the only time you will get close is when you are at exact distances from the pin with each of your clubs. The odds of that happening are not very likely, so you need to be able to make adjustments in order to give yourself options. Below are clues to help you decide between hitting a hard shot with a shorter iron or a soft shot with a longer one.

Hit The Longer Club If... 

  • The hole plays uphill
  • The wind is in your face
  • There's trouble short. 

Plus, make sure the distance you're sitting at is to the pin, not the center of the green. If you only know the distance to the center, play the longer club if the pin is in the middle or back of the green.

Hit The Shorter Club If... 

  • The hole plays downhill
  • The wind is at your back
  • There's trouble long
  • If you only know the distance to the center, play the shorter club if the pin is in the front of the green. 

To add or subtract 5 yards off that club you need to incorporate the following techniques. 

How To Add 5 Yards To An Iron 

Step 1 – Play the ball just back of center and lean the shaft forward. This will de-loft the clubface, turning your 7 iron into a 6 ½ iron. 

Step 2 – Make a full backswing. From the top, feel like you're about to pinch the ball between the clubface and the grass, as opposed to picking it off the turf. 

Step 3 – Be sure to accelerate to a full finish.

How To Subtract 5 Yards From An Iron 

Step 1 – Play the ball forward, more towards your left heel, and set your hands directly above the ball. 

Step 2 – Make a ¾ backswing, so your hands reach about shoulder height. 

Step 3 – Swing to a ¾ finish on the follow through, but make sure to fully turn toward the target. Because you are not making a full turn, be sure to keep an even tempo in your swing. It's easy to rush in the backswing or downswing on less than full shots. So think “Smooth” when you execute the ¾ shot. 

Another “Key Point” to remember. When hitting your longer club, choke down an inch or two on the handle when taking your grip, it shortens the club making it easier to control. If you keep this in mind next time you're faced with shots that are in-between your normal distances, you will find that you will be able to better handle the situation. This is a great tip to practice next time you visit the practice range, having the skill to execute these shots will give you a world of confidence on the course.

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