Mental Mondays: Adjust for Elevation
When faced with an uphill or downhill shot, you need to adjust your club selection. Assuming that you know your regular distances, the rule of thumb is to add or subtract one club for each ten yards of elevation.
A second consideration: On severe uphill shots, make sure the club has enough loft to clear the sides of the hill. You may correctly judge distance, but a low flying ball that slams into a steep uphill slope can put you in an awkward spot. In that case, laying up may be in order.
There’s a short par 4 at a local course that—were it flat—would easily be reachable for many with a five wood or long iron. The green, however, sits on a plateau some thirty yards above the fairway. Worse, the sides of the slope are nearly vertical and covered with knee high weeds. In this case, taking an additional club make no sense whatsoever. You’ll get the distance, but the shot won’t have the height to clear the hill. For most, a driver would simply result in the ball bounding into that ball-swallowing, impossibly steep slope.
Conversely, on downhill shots, make sure that you don’t generate too much loft. A shot sailing downhill will result in additional carry and roll, but also create the effect of additional loft, with the ball plummeting straight of the sky and stopping quickly. On steep downhill shots, a three quarters shot with a lower lofted club may be in order.
About This Series:
In 1960, the average golf score was 100. Forty years later, in spite of all the innovations in clubs, balls and instruction, the average golf score is ... still 100. In fact, only 20 percent of all golfers will ever break that mark.
Here’s the problem: Even with all the improvements, the one thing we haven’t been able to improve is the golf intelligence of the players. Most hackers—and more than a few better players—just play dumb golf. So here’s a series on playing smarter golf. I’ve been collecting mental game golf tips for years in a series of notebooks, on my palm pilot and in various computer files. They’ve helped my game. I know they’ll help yours
This tip is an excerpt from The Five Inch Course: Thinking Your Way To Better Golf. The complete book is available in Kindle format at Amazon.com.
Golf Blog Category:
Mental Golf Tips