There are many situations in golf that require you to assess your situation and play the right shot. What does that mean, the “right shot”?
Well, let’s first look at what Slamming’ Sam Snead said about shot selection:
Just because you “can” play a certain shot doesn’t mean you “should.” Do you get his point? Learn more here
He goes on to put it more clearly: “In most every situation always play the easiest shot possible.”
In other words, you don’t have to play the hero in every critical situation. That can take you from hero to zero in a hurry!
If you have a moment where you’re considering what to do and what club and shot to hit, stop for one moment and think about what Sam said. Think it through. Think about the best case scenario and how tight and risky that best case really is. Then assess what’s the downside if you don’t pull it off?
Once you know this you can properly decide, perhaps, to make the prudent play and choose the easiest shot possible. Something that even if you don’t pull it off the downside doesn’t destroy your round.
Most people only look at the good side of what will happen when they select a shot. So for example, they have 183 yards and there’s a carry over water and a bunker to a tight pin and they say “hmm, I hit my 6 iron that far, yeah let’s play the 6.” Now this is a mistake. Not because you can’t pull it off, but because it wasn’t thought through.
Great scoring is the result of course management and proper shot selection as much as it is the quality of shots you hit. If you know you can hit a 5 iron in this situation and happen it will be long and go through the green at the back, so what! That’s a solid shot and takes danger out of play, right?
You simply chip back toward the pin and a get a relatively easy up and down. If you miss the up and down worse you take is bogey. If you hit a poor shot with your 6 iron trying to play the career shot, you come up short in the water, maybe. Now you’re looking at double bogey, or even worse.
Don’t always gamble in key situations. Prudence and managing your game is what keeps scores consistently low so playing the right shot is as important as how good your shots are!