July 2016 Newsletter

www.martinrathbone.co.uk – martin@martinrathbone.co.uk – 07958785326

Knowing your Yardages!

A very common question I will often ask a client/pupil during a lesson is, ‘How far do you hit that club?’ Its amazing how vague many of the replies I get are. What I can tell you is there are normally three things I gain from asking that question, and from most amateurs they are:

How far they think they hit that club!

How far they wish they hit that club!

How far they actually hit that club!

Trust me, everyone thinks they hit the ball further than they actually do and quite a few think they hit the ball further than the guys on the main tours!

After warming up hit around 10 balls with your first club and ask your friend to stand in the middle of the group of balls to give you the average distance hit. You can then use the range finder to zoom in on them to give you the distance. If you are on your own then walk out to the balls yourself and measure the distance back to your golf bag. Most golfers have range finders these days but if you don’t then you can do the old fashioned method of pacing it out.

To check your yardages these days is really quite simple and requires just a little time and effort on your part. The way I do it is as follows:

If you can, ask a friend to help you and offer to help them with their distances, make your way to a grass range (make sure you use a flat area) with a range finder, a notepad and around 20 balls of the type you use. Try to do this on a day when there is no wind and average temperatures

Knowing your yardages is such an important part of the game, even whilst technically improving your swing. If you know these distances then it will help you to get closer to flags with your approach shot, hit more fairways, loose less golf balls, lay up to a correct yardage as opposed to guessing, and believe it or not, lower your scores!

Golf Range

Because its important to know how far we carry the ball as opposed to total distance try to measure from that spot the balls landed, if this is difficult them take away 10 yards from you total distance. This is the figure which you should note as your carry for the club in question. Ideally repeat for every club in your bag. If this is too tedious use every second club to obtain a progression and interpolate for the clubs in the gaps. For example wedge, 8, 6 and 4 iron will give a good framework to work from.

So to re-cap on the benefits of knowing your yardages: The first thing is knowing your exact distance with each club will obviously make it easier when hitting approach shots into the green as choosing a club to travel a specific distance should be easier. This will also be a huge advantage when hitting safe shots or lay ups off the tee so you are certain you will carry the hazard or come up short of the trouble, again making you loose less balls and shoot lower scores.

Doing this work will also highlight any gapping areas in your clubs be it too much distance between clubs or even too little. The Pro-Shop is always happy to help if you need any advice on this.

So finally, knowing how far you hit the ball is one thing, but knowing how far you have got to the intended target is another. With technology readily available at very competitive prices these days, the best investment any amateur golfer can buy is a range finder or GPS system. Starting at around £100 this will change your game. With this alone you will start to learn how far you hit every club and how far you have to a target.

Bushnell Range Finder

Good luck with this tip and happy golfing!

Martin Rathbone PGA - Head Teaching Professional - Surbiton Golf Club

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