Approach Shot Setup: 5 Key Things You Need To Know

Average golfers sometimes find it difficult it difficult to hit greens in regulation. Sometimes it is because they do not have the power to reach a long par 4 in two and other times their second shot may not as be as accurate as it needs to be. It highlights the need to have a good short game so that there is at least a chance of a par. Equally on short par 4s it may just be a short approach to the green and a chance of birdie. The approach shot is therefore a very important shot in a golfer’s armoury.

There are several ingredients to an approach shot and it is essential to practice them all. The target on an approach shot is not a huge wide fairway it is a green which may be very small. How you hit the target is a matter for you. You may need to play a flop shot because you have a bunker between you and the green. The standard pitch involves carrying the ball most of the distance to the pin while the chip and run is best in high winds when there is no real rough between you and the flag, a typical shot on a fast running links course.

There are a few essentials for each of these shots:

  • Begin by visualizing where you want the ball to land. It will vary enormously depending on the shot you are intending to play. A chip and run does not involve the ball being in the air for very long while the flop shot is aimed directly at an imaginary circle around the flag.
  • Select your club based upon your visualization. The flop shot requires the club with the greatest loft, probably around 60 degrees, while the chip and run may typically be a 7 iron.
  • A slightly open stance is ideal, perhaps not as open as the one you take in a bunker.
  • Take a practice swing every time so that your body and mind are well-prepared. You should always be taking a full swing every time to minimize the chances of hitting the ball ‘’fat.’’ Follow through as a normal full shot.
  • The club will do the work but you may want to choke down on the grip; that should give you better control.

Practice, practice, practice. If you do then you should see your handicap fall as you reduce the number of holes where you get double bogey, or worse.