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ON THE LINKS: Make golf fun for the whole family
West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Mar. 5, 2015 6 years ago

ON THE LINKS: What is your go-to golf shot?

by: John Hughes

Your golf ball is not in the best position.  

Making par is critical at this point in your round.  

What shot will you choose to hit that ensures your best possible chance to make par?

In this situation, most golfers have a go-to shot they feel most comfortable playing. Most often, this shot resembles a chip shot, but I have seen plenty of golfers use other types of shots to get out of nasty situations.

Regardless of what your go-to shot may be, it all boils down to properly planning the shot and giving yourself the best chance to feel fully committed to hit the shot for which you planned. Follow this easy checklist the next time you are in a stressful situation on the golf course to ensure your go-to shot has the best chance to succeed.

1. Choose the right club

The biggest mistake most golfers make is choosing the wrong club, regardless of the situation. Be sure to choose the correct loft first, then the length of club, which best fits the situation you face.

2. Find a target where you want the ball to land

Find an absolute specific place where you want your shot to land. Imagine a towel or another flat object laying on the ground in the place where you want the ball to land.

3. Setup position

All good shots start with a great set-up position. Ensure you are in a well-balanced position to make an efficient swing. Take into consideration any abnormal conditions or obstacles. This is the only chance you have to avoid the obstacles while placing yourself in a good setup position.

4. Rehearse the shot looking at your intended landing place

Doing so provides your eyes and brain an opportunity for you to feel comfortable hitting the shot. If you feel uncomfortable rehearsing the shot, make what changes necessary to feel comfortable and increase your chances of executing a great shot.

5. Create-now-commit

This is a phrase I coined several years ago. To this point, you have created the ideal shot and the right conditions to get out of trouble. But, are you fully committed to hit the shot? Do not hit a shot, under any conditions, unless you feel confident and fully committed you have chosen the right go-to shot. 

Don’t be surprised if these five simple steps allow you to hit better go-to shots when you are under the most stress during your round. Slowing down, remembering what steps provide you the best opportunity to succeed, and following those steps in a relaxed way will reduce the chances of you compounding a mistake, by making another. 

John Hughes is an award-winning golf coach. His website and blog, features tips, advice, and the programming he offers at West Orange Country Club. To find out how you can improve your golf game or schedule a lesson with John, contact him at [email protected], logon to, or follow John as  “JohnHughesGolf” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram.

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