Course design is extremely important. Recently I reviewed mental mistakes that occur on the course. Finding yourself constantly getting out of bunkers can sometimes be nothing more than a mental mistake.
One reason bunkers are placed toward the front of greens is that most golfers tend to under club themselves. For instance, if you hit a 7-iron absolutely great it might fly 155 yards. Now the average distance for your 7-iron might be around 145 yards. A miss-hit 7-iron could fly 140 yards.
Now you approach a par-3 with bunkers around the front of the green. The yardage to the pin is 153 yards. Ideally the correct club choice would be to hit a 6-iron. Just put a nice smooth swing on it and get it close. But unfortunately, too many golfers remember that one time that they career hit the 7-iron and it flew 155 yards. So they choose the 7-iron and hit it fair and, of course, the ball ends up in the bunker.
Poor club choice in this case was more of a mental mistake than a physical mistake. You must hit the shot that you can create time and time again consistently in terms of accuracy and distance.
Next time you are on the course look at the ball marks on the back of the green and then look at the ball marks on the front of the greens. No comparison. It is not even close. The fronts of the greens have at least 70 percent more ball marks than the back of the greens.
The next time you play golf try the following drill. Every time you examine what iron to hit, choose one club more. Be honest with yourself on your selection and then simply choose one more club.
The golfer that is 153 yards to the pin should put the 7-iron back and hit the 6-iron. This drill will prove that nice smooth swings with correct club selections will increase our ability to hit greens and also avoid bunkers.Old Bridge PGA Teaching Professional Bruce Brown begins a series of video lessons today. The first deals with the importance of finishing the swing to avoid hitting the ball to the right.