30 Day Challenge – Day 6: Can I hit more greens in regulation?

The past few days I have talked quite a bit about things I have been doing with the driver. Things that astounded me. Today I really wanted to focus on how I can hit more greens in regulation, which means improving my iron play and approach shots.

One of the most frustrating things in golf for me is to hit a great drive and follow it up with a lousy iron approach. It really bugs me to have placed the ball in perfect position and not get home.  I don’t know if it’s happened to you but I always feel like I wasted a good opportunity when that happens.

I can only imagine how many more greens I would have hit if I could have just improved on that shot and how much more it would have changed my scores and my handicap.

So how can I hit more greens in regulation?

There are a number of things you can do to hit more greens in regulation. I’ll talk about the things I’m doing now, as well as cover other effective techniques.

During the 30 Day Challenge I’ve been working on improving my feel. This has paid a lot dividends including improving my consistency with the driver. It has also really helped to improve my iron game. I feel very confident now that not only will the irons go in the intended direction, but that I can bring them in from the right or the left. I think this alone will have a tremendous effect on my approach shots to the green.  My ball striking has become so much more solid by simply feeling what my hands need to feel during the swing.  It’s not the same as using my hands, it’s more like feeling their role throughout the swing.  It’s very interesting to work on it really simplifies the game.

On the technical side of things there are things you can do as well. The first is to shorten your back swing. Irons should be hit with a 3/4 swing with a descending blow. Hit the ball before you hit the ground and you should see your ball striking improve. One way to ingrain this faster and save yourself some time on the range is to use a hinged iron to improve your mechanics and hit more greens in regulation. The hinged club will break when you’re swing is off and as you correct those problems, you should be able to hit it more solid.

I think a lot of it has to do with confidence as well. I think if you’re not used hitting a great drive, and I wasn’t used to it as driving was the weakest part of my game last year, is that when you do hit it well, you get a bit excited, or very excited. This in turn creates pressure to execute. If your not comfortable with the pressure, you won’t hit a good shot.

This 30 day challenge has changed my confidence greatly. I feel differently approaching the ball. I am better able to plan a shot and actually execute it without thinking about the mechanics of the shot. That is probably the most helpful result of the challenge so far. It simplifies the game, takes mechanics out, and makes it simply more fun to be a shot maker. Sign up for the 30 Day Challenge here if you’re interested in taking complicated mechanics out of your game and gaining confidence over the ball.

2 thoughts on “30 Day Challenge – Day 6: Can I hit more greens in regulation?”

  1. Yes, it is very frustrating to waste a perfectly hit driver long and down the middle, then plant your approach shot into the green side bunker. When I learn to hit more GIRs my handicap will come way down.

    I was expected to read that you advise better club selection – so that we amateurs hot the middle of the green and 2 put instead of trying to get the ball close every time.


  2. @Pinehurst Golfer: That certainly is good advice. Most amateurs pick the wrong clubs because they don’t really know how far they hit them, and they often think their best shots are their average distances. Getting on the green and 2 putting is a very good strategy, especially since most shots that do land on the green won’t be inside of 10 feet. You’re right though, in the process of trying to get the ball close, most amateurs end up selecting the wrong club and hitting a poor shot to a target with a low margin for error. As they say on the golf channel, they try to get too cute with it. Happens on chips, pitches and bunker shots as well.

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