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Hit More Greens: A 5 Step Guide

A 5-Step Guide To Help You Hit More Greens

Hitting a green in the regulation is deemed so important to your score that there's even a formula that connects the two. The USGA has determined that if you take your GIR number for a round, double it and subtract the total from 95, you'll near-as- dammit arrive at your round total. Clearly, the more greens you can hit, the lower your score will be.

That's why we've come up with a five-point plan to help you hit the dance floor more often in 2018, whether that's from the tee or the fairway... preferably both! Blending technique, simple drills and course management, these tips will have you striking sweeter, straighter and smarter irons this spring. But we'd also urge you to chart your GIR stats throughout 2018. If you want to make progress in this crucial aspect of the game, charting your performance – and improvements – is a key.

Hit More Greens #1: Get your arms and body working together

Great ironplay is about great ball striking, and you can only do that consistently when you can control the basic shape and radius of your swing. Achieving this is all about synchronising the up-and-down action of your arms with the rotation of your body. Known as connection, this is key to creating the consistent arc that promotes reliable contact. Here's a simple concept that will improve yours.

Lost Arc 
In a well-connected swing, body and arms working as one coordinated unit, that gap between your elbows remains pretty constant. Your upper arms stay close to your chest. Problems arise when the gap increases. It reveals the shape of your swing has changed, pulling the club away from its ideal arc.

#1 Elbows: Your Connection is key
Picture yourself at set-up. With your arms relaxed and comfortably extended, feel your elbows are lightly pressed towards each other, as illustrated by the blue bungee I've wrapped around mine. Both elbows are also fairly close your sides.

#2 Checkpoint: Splayed at the top
Top-of-the backswing is one of the most common and easily checked positions for separating elbows. It can be caused by your hands and arms moving independently of the body, but poor forearm rotation can also contribute. Either way, your arc and plane are compromised.

#3 Checkpoint: Winning at impact
A second really common sign of loss of connection comes at impact. Ideally, your core will continue to rotate while your hands and arms release the club. But if your chest stalls over the ball, your hands and arms carry on independently. Not only does this create a weak strike; it also forces those elbows to buckle and create a fatal change in the swing's radius.

The Drill. . .

Better Connection: Maintain The Angle
The key, then, to improving connection is to work on a technique that maintains that elbow gap from start to finish. To help you achieve this, let's go back to that address position image with the bungee across my elbows. Note how it forms a triangle between my elbows and hands. When your arms and body work together, this triangle broadly retains its shape. So find a bungee or some other stretchable exercise band, position it around your elbows and work through your swing.

Stronger Together
With your elbow band in place, try to cultivate the feeling of your hands and arms moving in harmony with your torso, which releases the club by rotating through impact. As this move begins to feel more natural, you'll start creating a much more coordinated, powerful and consistent strike

#1: Missing Link
Swing to the top. With your elbows limited to their set-up gap, you are forced into making a more blended and synchronised combination of armswing and body turn. This helps you retain that notional triangle. Note how your trail elbow folds under, staying in front of the turning body.

#2: Strike Gold
Now practise swinging down through impact. You can swing at a ball or just a tee peg; the important thing is to feel how with that consistent elbow gap and triangle shape, your arms and body work together to deliver the club.

#3: Connected to the end
Keep your focus on the triangle right through to your finish; even at this point, your elbow gap should be similar to address. This can only be achieved if your upper body keeps rotating right through to the completion of the swing. Spread elbows at the end is a sign your core is not contributing enough to the blow.

Hit More Greens #2: Heighten your awareness of strike 

A sweet-spot strike doesn't just give you a great feeling – it's also vital for finding your desired distance and direction. It also avoids so-called "gear effect", in which toe or heel strikes create spin that causes the ball to curve left or right. Both help accuracy.
◆ A centred strike means optimal energy transfer from club to ball, allowing you to hit the pro distance.
◆ Strike from the middle of the face and it won't twist open or closed You can improve your strike quality simply by making it your key focus. Here is an exercise that will help you do just that.

Frame The Sweet Spot
Find two pieces of chalk – ideally different colours – and take them to the range. With the first draw two vertical "bars" on the clubface, about an inch apart and either side of the sweet spot.

Mark The Ball
With the second chalk, draw a line on the ball's equator. When you place the ball on the ground, make sure the mark you've made is vertical and facing the square clubface. 

Hit The Ball
Take a mid-iron – I'd recommend a 6 or 7 – and address the ball. The two bar markings should help you fix your attention on the clubface and its sweet spot. Check the mark on the ball is facing the clubface, almost against it. Go ahead and hit the shot. 

Check Your Mark 
After striking the ball, examine the clubface to see where the chalk on the ball left its mark. This will tell you exactly where on the face impact took place. Obviously you're looking to get this mark dead centre of the two bars. This exercise is not technical, but it forces you to place your awareness on the clubface and your attention on the strike. This is key to finding the sweet spot more often. 

Hit More Greens #3: Improve Your Swing Path

To hit greens consistently, you need to be able to swing the club down a consistently neutral path. If you attack the ball excessively from the outside or the inside you will end up having to manipulate the face to avoid big pushes and pulls... an impossible thing to time with any degree of reliability. To improve your path, all you need is two plastic plant marker. 

Corridor of Power

Place the plant markers either side of the ball, leaving an inch or each side for the club to pass through. Angle the inner one to match the angle of the shaft. Simply spend time striking balls without hitting either the inner or the outer marker. This forces your swing into that ideal, neutral corridor, allowing you to consolidate both path and face.

Hit More Greens #4: Improve your awareness of the target line

Peg Pointer

From behind the ball it's quite easy to see your line from the ball to your target area on the green; from beside the ball as you take your stance, it's much less so. So in practice, as you check your line from behind, place a tee peg in front of the ball, pointing down that line. This won't just help you aim the blade for your chosen shot shape – it will improve your perception of what ball-to-target looks like when you address the ball.

Feel The Squeeze

The peg also helps with attack angle. The ideal iron strike is slightly descending, almost as if you are trapping the ball between the clubface and turf. This allows the lofted face to compress the ball powerfully. If you can drive the peg forward after the club has struck the ball, you will have shifted the swing's low point to after the ball... promoting that vital squeezing, downward attack.

Hit More Greens #5: Play smarter from the tee... or fairway

Improving your technique and strike consistency is of course key to hitting more greens – but even the best strike can be undone by a lack of strategy. If you can ask yourself these five questions on every approach shot you play, you will give yourself your best chance of finding the putting surface:

If I miss the green, where can I still up and down it? 
When you base your strategy and shot selection on your safest miss, you instantly give yourself more margin for error and take pressure off yourself. In this case the zone is clearly short right of the green. Right-to-left shapers could aim at the right edge of the green and work the ball back to that safe zone; left-to-right players can aim at the pin, shaping the ball towards the right side.

Is the greenkeeper helping me? 
Take a look at the mower stripes on the tee. On par 3s it's so easy to set up square to them, but if you did that on this tee you'd end up aiming straight at that cluster of bunkers left of the green. Never assume mower stripes or even the tee markers themselves are squared up to your line to the green; instead, pick intermediate targets along your target line and use them as your aim reference.

How will the hazard affect my clubbing? 
Take a look at this green and you'll see the two bunkers closest to your ideal target line are short left and long right. This has implications for your club selection, especially in relation to your regular shape. If you move the ball left- to-right, consider taking a stronger club to clear the sand; if you move it right- to-left, a weaker club will leave you short of that rear hazard.

Can I create a better angle for my shaping?
If you're on a tee, you can improve your chances of success simply by changing the line of your shot. If a left-to-right player hits from the left side of this tee, they'll bring those left bunkers more into play and it needs less of a slice to find the sand right. From the right, however, they'll find a clearer line to the pin... and it takes a much bigger slice to find the bunkers right of the green.

Are conditions hurting or helping? 
A range of conditions can affect the distance your ball flies. In particular check for:
➤ Time of day: Early rounds can mean colder, heavier air and shorter shots.
➤ Elevation changes: When you're hitting uphill, the ball spends less time in the air and lands sooner.
➤ Wind: Sounds obvious, but check the flag, clouds and tree tops to form a picture of the wind's strength and direction.
➤ Ground conditions: Elevated or exposed green complexes will be drier and the ball will tend to release

Sours: https://www.todaysgolfer.co.uk/features/instruction-features/2018/april/hit-more-greens-a-5-step-guide/

How to Hit More Greens in Regulation, Golf Tip

Tour pros who hit the most greens in regulation (GIR) also shoot the best scores.

It's no coincidence that in 2012, three of the top 10 performers in the PGA Tour's greens in regulation stat ranked among the top 10 in scoring. Three more of the 10 best GIR guys made the top 26 in scoring.

It stands to reason that amateurs who hit more greens will score lower, too. After all, it's a lot easier to two-putt for par than it is to get up-and-down from the rough or a bunker.

The good news is, you can easily boost your GIR percentage without making a single swing change. Sound strategy and a disciplined approach can do wonders for your iron game. Let's look at five ways to hit more greens:

1. Take plenty of club: Watch the pros and note how often their approach shots finish pin-high or past the flag, even when they miss the green. Amateurs, on the other hand, tend to come up short. Assuming you're not a tour-level ballstriker, choose the club that will put you past the hole if you hit it well. That way, a slight off-center strike will have enough distance to reach the green.

2. Aim at the center: It's always tempting to aim directly at the flag – that's the ultimate target, right? But it's imprudent when the pin is tucked behind a hazard or otherwise tough to access. Aiming at the middle of the green gives you a larger margin for error. And when you do hit your spot, you'll be within 40 feet of the hole nearly every time – and usually much closer.

3. Don't force it: Let's say your natural shot is a draw, and the flag is on the green's right side behind a bunker. To get close, you'd have to hit a fade. Rather than trying to hit the perfect shot, play your draw to the center or left side of the green. You'll make a more confident swing, hit it flush and take bogey or worse out of play.

4. Embrace the run-up shot: There's no rule that says you must fly the ball onto the green. Your best chance of getting onto the “dance floor” may be a low shot that bounces on. When you're unsure if you can fly the ball all the way, and the green is open in front, take plenty of club, make an easy swing and run it up. Remember, they don't ask how, just how many.

5. Improve your driving: You'll never hit many greens if you're often in the rough, the trees or so far back in the fairway that you're hitting a hybrid or wood. More accurate driving will automatically improve your GIR numbers; longer tee shots help, too, by putting a shorter club in your hand for the approach.

The formula is simple: Hit more greens, shoot lower scores. The stats back it up.

Sours: https://golf-info-guide.com/golf-tips/playing-conditions/how-to-hit-more-greens-in-regulation/
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The Most Important Statistic for Lowering Scores

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Hitting a green in regulation (GIR) is defined as the following – if any part of your ball is touching the putting surface and the number of strokes taken is at least two fewer than par. This simple definition does not do it justice though. I believe this is the most important statistic for golfers to measure themselves by if they want to shoot their lowest scores.

Stats have become extremely important in the golf world. I believe that they have a place in the recreational golfer’s game-improvement plans because they allow you to set measurable goals.

Recently a reader wrote me an email asking how he could hit more greens in regulation. He had done a statistical analysis of his game using GAME GOLF (something I recommend to everyone). His goal is to reach a 5 handicap index, and he believes that improving his GIR is the way to do it. So I am going to try to answer his question with a few thoughts on how all of you can hit more greens in regulation.

If anyone has any questions you are always free to get in touch with me here.

Why Are Greens in Regulation so Important?

There has been a lot of advanced analysis on golf statistics over the last few years. Two great books that I would recommend to learn more are Lowest Score Wins and Every Shot Counts. While the books are not exactly the same, some of the key takeaways are similar.

If you are a golfer who wants to improve, you have to increase your green in regulation number. The process of getting there is a bit more complicated, but it is the truth. When I spoke about what golfers need to do to break 80, it was one of the main focuses of the article.

The reason for this is because your chances of making a par (or better) dramatically increase when your ball is on the putting surface versus being in the rough or a sand trap. Personally, I have made hitting more greens in regulation the focus of my own game, and have been able to increase my percentage from the low 40s to just under 70%. Not surprisingly, my index dropped significantly (I play to a .7 handicap at the current moment).

Make no mistake though, hitting more greens in regulation is a bigger challenge than improving your short game in my most humble of opinions. Let’s discuss a few ways that I think you can make it happen.

Tee Shots – Setting Yourself up for a GIR

Your performance off the tee on a par 4 or par 5 is crucially important to increasing your GIR. Hitting tee shots that put you in position to score is your main goal. It is mainly a function of your distance and dispersion.

Generally speaking, the farther you hit the ball off the tee, the greater your chances of hitting a green in regulation. However, you have to avoid major hazards such as out of bounds, trees, water, and fairway bunkers. Additionally, the conditions of the rough at your course could make it even harder if you miss the fairway.

This is where strategy and discipline come in. A smart course manager will take into account all of these variables, and select the club that gives them the best chance of hitting it far enough while keeping it in play. Each hole is designed differently, and it is best to think of your strategy beforehand, using a method like this.

Overall, it will be very hard to hit more greens in regulation per round if you shoot yourself in the foot. You have to do your best to evaluate the major trouble and avoid it with smarter target and club selection. Stepping up to the tee without a plan is not going to help you.

Approach Shot Strategy

Now let’s get to the most important part of strategy. I firmly believe that having the right strategy on your approach shots can help you hit more GIR. Golfers are needlessly aggressive with their club selection and targets, and it costs them strokes over time.

My first piece of advice is to stop aiming at pins. I wrote this article a while back, and I still stand by it today. There is not one good reason amateur golfers should be firing at pins by default. The payoff they believe exists is truly not there because putting is much more difficult than we think.

Instead, you should be evaluating the area surrounding the green and its actual shape. Golf course architecture comes in all kinds of flavors. It is very common for course designers to try and trick you into making a mistake. For example, if a part of the green is guarded heavily by bunkers, and the pin is tucked closely to that position, it is best to aim away from the trouble.

green in regulation

While I can’t account for every single variable you will encounter on the course, here is a generic piece of advice I would give everyone. If you simply aimed at the center of every green and played for the back yardage, I think you will see an improvement in your green in regulation statistic.

It seems boring and extremely basic, but having the discipline to carry out that strategy works. Stop being aggressive!

Ball Striking and Fixing Your Swing

Now here is the most difficult part. To give yourself the best chance of hitting greens in regulation you need to improve your ball striking. To me, this means tightening your dispersion (how far right or left you typically hit the ball), and distance control.

I can’t responsibly tell you how to do that in an article because it means doing work on your swing. Each golfer has their own unique challenges at improving their swing. I believe there are certain steps you can take in your practice sessions in order to do that.

You could work with some training aids (here is an article to help with that).

You could take lessons (here are some thoughts on how to work with a teacher more effectively)

Shameless plug, but you could join our Insider program. We have tons of skill-based drills from top teachers that you can perform at home or on the range.

greens in regulation

Your swing is arguably the most important piece of the puzzle. You could be the greatest course manager there is, but if you can’t get the ball heading towards the vicinity of where you are aimed, then you are going to struggle with hitting a green in regulation.

What is Your Green in Regulation Plan?

Every golfer’s game is unique. There isn’t a foolproof plan you can follow in order for you to increase your GIR number. Additionally, it might not make sense to pursue this stat because you are short on time. Perhaps focusing on limiting your three-putting, and improving your scrambling percentage would make more sense.

That being said, focusing on hitting more greens in regulation is arguably the most important strategy to pursue if you want to reach your highest level of golf. But you need a plan. Start analyzing your game, and use some of the ideas from this article to give yourself a better chance of racking up more GIR during your next round.

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Sours: https://practical-golf.com/green-in-regulation/
You Will HIT MORE GREENS No Matter Your Level With These Golf Tips

Hit More Greens

For a lot of golfers, I know when I say don’t swing all-out with the driver, it’s a lost cause. They want to bust that thing as far down the fairway as they can. But with irons, there’s no excuse for swinging out of control, because you almost always can use a longer club. If you grab an iron you have to hit perfectly to get to the green, go back and take the next longer iron. Not using enough club on approach shots is the silliest fault I see. With the right club in your hands, you’ll swing within yourself, make better contact and hit more greens. It’s even a good idea to make a three-quarter swing, because you’ll tend to hit it flush and not lose any distance. I can forgive the power obsession off the tee, but with the irons, you have to think contact and control. Let’s go over a few keys.

First, consider the lie. From the fairway, position the ball in line with the logo on your shirt. But if you’re in the rough, play it back an inch or two, and put more weight on your front foot at address. That’ll naturally make your swing steeper and promote ball-first contact.

“Feel like your chest is on top of the ball at impact.”

Next, make sure you start your downswing with a little bump of your hips toward the target. You’ll feel more on top of the ball at impact. I like the feeling of the chest “covering” the ball as you swing down (above).

Finally, drive your whole trail side—the shoulder, hip, knee—through the shot. The trail hand should feel like it’s moving toward the target. That’s how great iron players squash the ball off the turf and send it to the green.

BUTCH HARMON is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional.


▶ I’ve been running golf schools for 40 years. I’ll teach anybody who wants to improve and takes direction. Now Golf Digest has created virtual golf schools, where you get great instruction from the best teachers in golf with one subscription. I’ve got two full-length clinics in the program, and two more on the way. It’s unlimited access to 300-plus video lessons—and more added all the time. Check out Golf Digest Schools for details.

Sours: https://www.golfdigest.com/story/hit-more-greens

More greens hit

Use this foolproof strategy to hit more greens without changing your swing

By: Luke Kerr-Dineen

Welcome to Play Smart, a new game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Director of Game Improvement content Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.

I was talking to PGA Tour player Marc Leishman a few months ago, and I did what I often do whenever I snag a few minutes with one of the best golfers in the world: I try to figure out what makes them so good.

The topic on this occasion was something I get asked about by my fellow golfers all the time: What’s the secret to breaking 80 consistently? The instant the question was out of my mouth, Leishman’s answer came flying out of his, as if this was something on his mind.

“If you’re serious about breaking 80 you should honestly never aim at a single pin,” he said. “Go for the middle of every green, and you’ll leave yourself a lot of 25-30 footers. We [PGA Tour players] would be happy with that. It’ll be hard to make big numbers from there.”

The idea of aiming away from pins and into the middle of greens — a strategy popularized in recent years by the Scott Fawcett’s analytics-driven DECADE Golf system -— is perhaps more commonplace on the PGA Tour than it is among everyday golfers, who tend to aim-and-fire at the pin without much thought of the potential consequences.

Golfers will hit more greens if they forget about the pin and aim for the center, plain and simple. But I was reminded of Leishman’s comments in a different context over the weekend thanks to another DECADE golfer, Lou Stagner, and it’s a simple-enough rule to remember every time they tee it up.

When the pin is at the front of the green, aim for the back

That’s it. That’s the rule. Told you it was simple. Here’s the 13th at Harbour Town Golf Course on Hilton Head Island, S.C., for example. It’s one of my favorite greens in all of golf, and a perfect illustration for why this rule can help you.

The 13th hole at Harbour Town is a short one — just over 370 yards — which is good, because approaching the green is a treacherous one. The front of the green is about 30 feet wide and surrounded by a horseshoe bunker, but as you get further back, the green fattens to more than 65 feet and the bunker ends.

On Sundays, they usually tuck the pin way up front. With a wedge in their hands, pros and amateurs alike often get tempted to try to get cute.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the green courtesy of our sister company, GOLF Logix(Ed. note: GOLF.com and Golf Logix are owned by the same parent company, 8am GOLF) and Google Earth:

Amateur golfers almost never miss long, for two reasons: First, because they rarely take enough club. Recreational golfers usually make the cardinal sin of calculating their distances based on their perfect shot, instead of their average one, so they come up short far often than they could. And second, because a mid-handicapper’s miss usually includes some element of a mis-hit, rather than a flushed shot in a certain direction.

All of which underlines why golfers shouldn’t simply aim at the pin and fire.

Sure you may hit it perfectly, but you’ll probably hit it either a little short, left or right, which each time will leave you with a short-sided bunker shot to a tucked pin on a narrow green.

Which is why you should follow the golden rule of trying to hit it on the back of the green when the pin as at the front of the green.

Let’s say you shoot the number to the pin, and then automatically take two extra clubs. Put simply, through one decision, you’ve automatically brought more good ‘misses’ into play.

If you flush it, you’re hitting the back of the green.

If you hit it short but straight, now you’re probably on the front part of the green (and near the pin) rather than the bunker.

If you hit it a little left or long, you’ve got a chip with lots of green to work with.

If you miss it a little to the right, you’ve got a more difficult chip but still manageable (hence the orange line).

And if you hit it really poorly, you’ll have the same bunker shot you would’ve been facing if you had a below-average miss with less club.

A bit like simply driving past an erratic car on the road, rather than navigating alongside them, this is a simple solution to what can be a tricky problem. And it bears out in the statistics, too. As Stagner notes below, PGA Tour players hit more greens when the pin is tucked in the back rather when they’re tempted to chase front pins.

So aim for the fattest part of the green during the best of times, and when the pin as at the front of the green? Remember this article, forget about the pin and club up. You’ll thank yourself, later.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

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Sours: https://golf.com/instruction/hit-more-greens-golf-play-smart/
Simple Tips To HIT MORE GREENS With Your Irons🏌🏻‍♂️⛳️ - ME AND MY GOLF

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