Published on May 1st, 2012 | by Tim Good0
The Hardest Shot in Golf
What is the hardest shot to hit in golf?
You’re standing on a lengthy par 4 with water down the right side, so you can’t go right.
But there’s trees and bunkers down the left hand side so left isn’t exactly an ideal spot
either. Your shot? Maybe the punch hold off cut to keep it in play?
Or you’ve hit your drive just off the fairway and there’s a tree about 30 yards in front of
you and you’re 155 yards out. Is it the high draw to get over the trees and land soft on
the dance floor?
Maybe it’s the tight lie 30 yards off the green over a bunker? Is it the need to knife a
wedge over the green and get it to stop quickly to keep it on the green?
I’d argue that for the average Joe Golfer none of these are the hardest shot to hit. The hardest shot
to hit in golf is perhaps not what one would think. It’s not a cut, or a draw, or a punch stinger, or
even a fairway bunker shot.
It’s the straight shot. Yup, the hardest shot to hit in golf is the simple straight ball. Think about it.
Hitting a round ball that is 1.68” in diameter with a club with a flat face (relatively speaking, I know
the face of a wood isn’t completely flat) and hitting it squarely. The margin of error is
huge to find that exact sweet spot that will result in a straight shot.
So why do most players constantly try to hit the ball straight? Do the pros try to hit it
straight? Not likely. If you were to ask any touring pro if they have a preferred shot
type, none will tell you “Straight.” They all have a direction that they like to work the
ball, a type of shot that plays into their strengths and swing. Some have a natural draw
that they fall back on when they need that sure thing. Others know that in a pinch a nice
baby cut will always be there for them.
What does this have to do with your game? A lot actually, because if you’re anything like the typical
golfer you’re doing everything you can to hit the ball straight. So what happens when you “try” to hit
it straight? You end up trying to aim the ball, and guide it down the fairway. Doing that takes the
natural out of your swing. It makes it forced and
guided, rather than free and smooth.Instead, play your game. If you have a natural
draw, use it. Play the draw and make it work for your game. Or if you have a bit of a fade swing
naturally as most players tend to, go with it. Learn to make your swing work for you.
Read more from Tim at his golf blog, Life From The Short Grass