What a year 2019 is shaping up to be in the world of golf. Tiger is once again a champion at Augusta and with the new PGA Tour schedule it’s less than a month before we get to see him tee it up at another major. Tiger aside, the 2019 Masters was one of the most exciting golf events we can remember. Multiple Sunday lead changes, balls in the water, and soft conditions only heightened the action. Remember! When the course is soft like that, there are more opportunities for dirt to build up on your golf ball. Make sure you have a dirt destroying golf ball towel so you can hit a pure shot every time.
Watching the world’s best navigate the puzzle that is Augusta National got us thinking. How would one even go about putting together a decent score at a golf course that difficult? When you listen to the post-round interviews, though, one piece of information shines through. You have to know where to miss the ball. Augusta is a course where if you put the ball in the wrong spot, pars turn into triple bogeys. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to play Augusta (we never have!), but there is a major lesson to be learned about missing the ball in the right spot after watching that tournament.
When we talk about missing in golf, we’re not talking about literally swinging at the ball and missing it. We’re talking about where the best place for the ball to go is if you don’t hit a pure shot. Here’s our best advice for where to miss the ball whether you’re on the tee, in the fairway, or around the green. If you can master your misses, we guarantee you can shave some strokes off your game.
Off the tee:
One of the best pieces of golf advice we ever got from an old golf coach was “tee it up on the side of trouble.” When you’re on the tee box, find where the trouble is on the hole. Is there OB down the right side? Then tee it up on the right side of the tee box. Doing this will visually help put the trouble out of your mind and allow for a more confident swing. Then ask yourself: Do I need to hit driver? A lot of times golfers just want to smash a driver down the fairway, not thinking about what distance that might leave them. For 90% of golfers a full shot with a wedge is easier than a half swing, so play to your distance. If you’re money from 110 yards, try to set yourself up to have a 110-yard shot in. Managing your game in this way will increase confidence on every hole. Also, make sure you’re using the right kind of tee for the shot you want to play. Smaller golf tees like these nubbies from Frogger Golf can help decrease friction and allow for purer contact from irons and woods off the tee.
Approaching the green (from the rough or the fairway):
From wherever you are, think about what the green looks like. Basically, is there one portion where you’re going to have an easier time getting up and down than another? If so, that is your miss. Say you’re 110 yards out to a back-of-the-green pin, but behind the pin there is a huge slope. In the front of the green there’s only fairway. You know if you hit over the green the chances of you making par are going to go down significantly. But in front, there’s a good chance you could get up and down. In that case, hit a shot that’s either A. not going to go over 110 yards even if you absolutely flush it, or B. going to fly a good amount short of the hole and then have a chance of rolling back towards the pin. In either case, if you don’t hit a great shot, you’re probably going to miss the ball in the front of the green, giving yourself a decent chance to make par (or chip in for birdie!). No matter where you pick your miss to be, the best chance to hit a good shot starts with the setup. Use a superior golf towel to keep unwanted dirt off your clubs and allow for pure contact every time.
On the green:
In the history of the sport of golf, an uphill putt has always been easier than a downhill one. When you’re on the green, if you happen to miss your putt, you want to leave yourself with an uphill one coming back. That means if you’re putting uphill from the start, make sure not to give it too much speed so that you have a 5-footer coming back down the hill. Your buddies might give you flack for not getting the ball to the hole every time, but when you tally up the scores at the end of the round and you haven’t had a single three-putt, they won’t be talking anymore. They’ll be busy handing you money.