What would you shoot if I was playing for you?
Ever wondered what score you might shoot if I played all your shots from 100 yards in? Here’s a PGA Professional doing just that for a 14-handicapper, with amazing results.
The aim was to compare a mid-handicapper’s score for nine holes against the score he would have had if the PGA Pro played all his shots for him from inside 100 yards. Wherever his ball landed, he played the shot – and then the Pro placed his ball in the exact same position. Here are some examples from the first nine.
Information about our amateur and our pro
14 Handicapper: Fergus McClure (handicap 14)
PGA Professional: Guy Shoesmith, Club Professional , West Hill GC, Surrey
Equipment: Fergus carried a pitching wedge and sand wedge of unknown lofts. Guy carried a pitching wedge (48 degrees), Gap Wedge (52), sand wedge (56) and a Lob Wedge (60), and a Nikon rangefinder.
Hole 1, Par 4 (339 yards)
Fergus: Hit a solid drive, leaving 98 yards to the pin on a small but slightly raised green. He knew his pitching wedge was too much club, so he tried to hit it with reduced power and landed just over the green
Pro: It was the perfect distance for a full Gap Wedge, which he hit pin-high for a par four.
Hole 3, Par 4 (421 yards)
Fergus: three yards off the green after his second shot and was left with 16 yards to the pin. He elected to play the ‘safer’ shot and putted. But the ball snagged in the longer fringe and pulled up 20 feet short, resulting in a three-putt bogey.
Pro: From the same spot decided to play a chip shot with a pitching wedge, carrying it five yards through the air and allowing it to run up to the hole for a short par putt.
Hole 4, Par 3 (157 yards)
Fergus: Found sand off the tee and was faced with an 11-yard bunker shot, with a downslope all the way to the pin. With his only weapon being a sand wedge, even if he had played it perfectly it would still have run all the way through the green – but he hit the sand too far behind the ball and it barely escaped from the trap. Result: bogey four.
Pro: Played the shot with a 60-degree Lob Wedge, which flipped the ball up high and landed it softly to stop it running away down the hill. Result: par three.
After completing the hole the Pro drew a line in the sand between Fergus’ feet and asked him to try to play a shot and strike the sand on the line. With each attempt Fergus entered the sand either before or after the line, which imparts varying amounts of momentum to the ball. The lesson was that Fergus would only benefit from different lofted bunker clubs once a coaching session had helped him hit the line consistently.
Hole 9, Par 3 (145 yards)
Fergus: With the pin back right, Fergus landed in the front-left trap, leaving 33 yards to the pin. He splashed out with his sand wedge to the middle of the green for a two-putt bogey.
Pro: Opted to use his 52-degree Gap Wedge. It had sufficient bounce to use as a bunker club, but produced a more penetrating flight to fly the full length of the green. The Pro’s 15-footer lipped out and the pair shook hands on an eight-shot short game differential.
Fergus realised that he could shave four shots from his 9-hole score by improving his putting, chipping, pitching and bunker techniques. He was amazed at how the Pro’s four-wedge system provided him with an armoury of different shots to reduce his score by four shots. A short game coaching programme and a proper wedge system would have a dramatic effect. Even an improvement of two shots over nine holes would reduce his handicap by four shots.
Letting me help you find the right wedge system for your golf game on our golf course will put you on the road to lower scores. If so many of your golf shots are played from 100 yards in then an investment in improving your game seems to me to be very worthwhile. Putting the right equipment in your bag is a start. Learning and practicing good technique will also be an investment that promises spectacular results.