What a tangled web we weave on the golf course!
Even the most accomplished golfers put themselves in sticky situations on or near the green.
One of the stickiest situations golfers get in involves short siding. This typically occurs when the pin is located close to the edge of the green where the golf shot is to be played. But there’s not much green the ball can land upon before rolling to the hole. Short siding means you’ve put yourself in a situation where you have limited shot options. Increased pressure and an elevated risk of making a bad shot.
By any measure, short siding yourself is bad. It requires making tricky shots that involve a high degree of touch and feel. If you’re 10 yards from the hole, with the ball stuck in some fringe rough, you have to use strategy to make the shot. We all know the feeling – you’re close to the hole and yet you feel so very far away.
In a short siding situation, remember to hit to the long side and keep your emotions under control.
Work on your short game with strategic putting and chipping. Remember that, when the pressure is on, you’ll need to be precise so you can chip the ball to land on the green.
If you choose to putt in a short siding situation, you may have your work cut out for you. You’ll have to make the ball traverse over rough grass. Over time, you’ll learn to judge how the ball rolls across the fringe and on to the short grass of the green.
By definition, long siding refers to a situation when the pin is further away from the edge of the green where the shot is to be played.
In a long siding situation, there’s usually a fair amount of green for the ball to land and roll to the hole.
In other words, the ball is further from the hole, but you have more of a clear, smooth shot. You can usually just relax, putt or chip and let the ball roll into the hole.
Whether you’re facing a short siding or long siding situation, remember that a bad putt is usually better than a good chip. That’s because chips tend to be more erratic and approximate. A good putt is smooth, controlled and precise. And, after all, when the ball rolls right into the hole, that’s when golf gets really fun.
Your short game is where you have a great opportunity to reduce your overall score by perfecting your shots on the green.
I invite you to take my Shortgame 1 Class at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, which will help you refine your skills. Practice really does make perfect!
Enjoy your time on the golf course this month. Hilton Head Island is truly beautiful in September, when the temperatures start to cool down and the conditions on the green are ideal. We have some of the finest championship golf courses in the world. Take the time to test your mettle and develop your skill. I’ll see you out on the course!
By I.J. Schecter with Doug Weaver.
A former PGA Touring pro, Doug Weaver is the Director of Instruction at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. He conducts “Where Does the Power Come From?,” a free clinic and demonstration, every Monday at 4 p.m. (843) 785-1138, (800) 827-3006 or www.palmettodunes.com.