What’s the Toughest Shot in Golf?

Professional Golfers all know that hitting Greens in Regulation (GIR) is the hardest and most important shot on every hole. If pros rarely exceed 70% in hitting the greens in the regulation number of strokes (1 on a par 3, 2 on a par 4 and 3 on a par 5), GIR must be the toughest shot in golf. You need a strategy to improve your GIR to anything better than 50%.

We all know that there is a very slim chance of sinking a putt which is 25 to 90 feet from a hole but if you hit the green in regulation, your first putt is an attempt to get it within 4 feet of the hole. At least you have a better chance than 50% of sinking a 4 foot putt. Hitting a green in regulation is difficult but landing and stopping your ball closer to the hole is the key to lowering your scores.

Lydia Ko won more tournaments with her excellent approach shots to compensate for her shorter than average LPGA Drives. [HSBC Women’s Champions Tournament]

Strategies to Increase Your GIR
1/ Record Your GIRs: Record them on your score card and count them up at the end of each round. You will only improve your percentage of GIR if you start to focus on hitting and staying on more greens. [You may want to include any ball that lands just off the green if you can make a reasonable putt from your landing area on the short trimmed grass on the entrance to the green.]

2/ Longer Drives: Learning to hit longer drives, especially drives that land in the fairway, will give you a much better chance to improve your GIR. Chips, pitches and shorter iron shots are easier to control because you are swinging with less effort to adjust for the distance of your approach shot. NOTE: If swinging at 80% gives you more directional control, you may want to try this with your hybrids, fairway woods and driver.

3/ If you feel that you are too far from the green to make a soft landing which will stay on the green or if you are bound to land in a front bunker, you may want to land on the trimmed entrance to the green where you can make an easy uphill putt with your putter, hybrid or low iron.

4/ If you made a weak drive and you don’t have a club that will reach the green on your approach shot, choose the best spot to land for an easy pitch shot followed by a single putt. Avoid wasting a shot by hitting into the water or a difficult bunker location.

5/ Know the slope of the green so that you can land your ball where you get the best roll toward the hole or the easiest uphill putt. If you have a long approach shot don’t go for a sucker pin placement (in a narrow part of the green or next to a major slope off the green). Play it safely into the center of the green and try to sink it in 2 putts.

A high percentage of GIR is wonderful but it’s even better to get those GIRs near the hole so that you can make some birdies. Learn to control your shots by practicing with GOLFSTR+ for every swing in your game. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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  • Will Curry says:

    I shot an 81 yesterday with 10 pars, 1 triple and 44% GIR. If I can just hit 50% of my greens in regulation, it should be enough to break 80 every time. Hitting 14/18 fairways didn’t help either.

    A missed a 4 foot birdie, hit 1 tree and miss-clubbed out of the rough and over a green into the deep rough took me out of a great round.

    Improving GIR is a real driver for my game.

    The key to my improved game is limiting my backswing in order to keep my leading arm straight throughout my swing and down to impact. I’m into my 70’s so my flexibility is limited but my longest drive yesterday was 266 yards (would have been longer in Scotland considering the bone dry conditions that they have.) Sure would love to give it a try over there.

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