5 Golf Drills For Hitting More Accurate Approach Shots
The second shot you make on each hole is arguably the most important because it will define the short play for the rest of the hole. Every shot you make that takes you closer to the fairway must be properly calculated according to the surrounding traps and inclines.
There’s a rule by many names that gets followed by both professionals and amateurs when it comes to making approach shots. This rule states that there are five varying situations in an approach shot and that each situation has a formula to follow.
- No obstacles
- A bunker ahead
The first situation is where there are absolutely no obstacles between you and your target. In a situation like this, you don’t need to try anything fancy. Just hit your ball straight towards the target and let it roll and bounce further to where you want it to go.
The second situation requires some forethought. If you have a bunker nearby, you may inadvertently land your ball there if you rush into things. This bunker may not be directly between you and the target, but it may be a distraction that throws your game off. For your drill in a situation like this, do three things:
- Take one or two dummy swings before making your actual shot.
- Double check your aim by aligning your feet.
- Take your time with the shot. Don’t rush.
The third situation calls for serious caution. Falling prey to water hazards will absolutely ruin your game and make further play very unpleasant. Water hazards will require you to hit a shot that is long and high. When practicing your drill, take special note of two things:
- Where is the ball in terms of your feet? It must be dead centre so that your clubface hits it in the sweet spot.
- How is your body positioned? To attain decent height on your ball, twist your body slightly to the left.
The fourth situation you are likely to encounter includes hills. There is no set formula when practicing approaching shots against hills. The best practicing strategy is to practice on varying degrees of hills until you get a feel for how to compensate for different types.
The fifth situation may be the toughest. There will be times (especially during shorter holes) when your game calls for a high shot that ends with minimal bounce or rolling. The best drill for these situations is to add a spin to your ball. There are many ways of doing this, but here are just two:
- To prevent rolling: Using a wedge instead of an iron and hitting the underside of the ball through with the clubface.
- To prevent bouncing: Perfecting the ever-popular flop shot (only for very short distances)
- To prevent bouncing on longer approach shots, simply aim for more height than distance. Your ball will naturally fall and not bounce.
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