How to Develop a Strategy to Play Tough Pin Positions

By Laird Small

Here we are at the seventeenth hole of Pebble Beach, a 180-yard par-3. During all four US Opens we have had at Pebble Beach this played as the most difficult hole to par.

How to Play the 17th Hole at Pebble Beach

Now the flagstick you see is located on the left-hand side of the green. When you are playing golf look for the flag locations from this standpoint, as red-light, yellow-light or green-light.

This flagstick is on the left side of the green and it almost looks like the flagstick is in the bunker. Now that is a definite red-light flagstick, you don’t go for it. Especially late in a round when you go for a shot like this and you can make a huge number.

Course Strategy: Red-Light, Yellow-Light or Green-Light

A conservative play is to play out to the right, which is more of a green-light type shot, and the chances of getting par a significantly higher. Now if you are playing, one of the things you should think about is, if you do go for that pin, don't beat yourself up for it if the shot does not come out the way that you want to. Just go ahead and play it.

So look at the golf course as red-light, yellow-light or green-light flagsticks. I think that it will help you shot better scores and manage your emotions and your game on the golf course.


Category: Course Strategy
Sub Categories: Psychology

About the Instructor

Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650