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Tips from the Tour: Know your distances and get the ball back to the pin!
by Ladies European Tour Professional Ursula Wikstrom
August 07, 2012

The best piece of advice I can offer all lady golfers is to learn the distances you hit your clubs. And I'm not just talking about how far the ball travels when you hit your best strike, I'm talking about the average distance you hit that club, including your mishits. For instance, I know that I can hit a wedge 130 yards with perfect execution but I also know that I have a margin of 5-7 yards for error. In other words if the pin is cut close to the front of the green and there are bunkers to carry as long as I have 5-7 yards beyond the pin I will always play one club more than needed to ensure that I stay out of trouble.

When I'm preparing for a tournament I will walk the course and work out my distances from the tee to the hazards and going into the green. I will then map out the greens, writing myself lots of little notes about the slopes and what point is flattest for my approach shot to land. You'll see an example here of a typical page of my planner - it really is in-depth! I'm not suggesting that you will have the time or the inclination to do the same for every course you play, but if you have a home course that you play every week then taking one day to do this would be invaluable. Even if you think you know the course like the back of your hand I bet you'll struggle to tell me the distance from the front to the back of each green. This is the figure that I think is really critical. It's not just knowing how far you've got to the pin that's important, but it's knowing how far you've got to the back of the green. If you know this distance then you'll always know how much extra room you have to play with, and as I have suggested, taking an extra club more than you think you need really is a great idea. Coming up short is a card wrecker as you'll put pressure on your short game to recover from hazards.

So take my advice and club up, rather than playing the club that will simply get you to the pin. I bet your scores improve!








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