Better Putting With A Smart Approach

Sucker-Hole-Locations are designed to lure us into aiming at the flag but if we are smart we will not be tempted: rather we will aim for the middle of the green.

There are no specifications for the size of greens, this is up to the course architect who works around the skill level of the golfers who are intended to play the course, as well as making the greens interesting, and considering the undulations to provide enough (at least 12-14) good hole locations. However, architects do also consider the lengths of approach shots to the green to determine green size, and this results in green sizes ranging from approximately 3,000 to 6,000 square feet.

With this in mind the distance from the center of a circular green –few greens are perfectly circular but used for illustrative purposes — to its edge is about 30 to 40 feet. If the hole is cut no less than 10 feet from the edge, which is about the norm, and your ball lands in the center of the green, you will have no more than a 20- to 30-foot putt. So on your approach shots – from about 75 yards and farther– don’t be sucked into aiming at any point other than the center of the green.

We need to recognize that if we “Aim for the Middle” we are more likely to be putting on our next shot rather than pitching from a bunker, rough or from the drop area next to a water hazard.

Landing up on the green more often with our approach shots will lower our score, because we generally putt better than we chip. So don’t be tempted by the sucker pin placement and recognize that if you land in the center of the green – where you are aiming — you will never have more than a 20 to 30 foot putt so you will also reduce your chances of a dreaded 3 putt.

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