Mental Tip for More Precise Approach Shots

By Dr. Richard Coop

Play Smart

When playing short iron or approach shots to the green one of the most important things to think about is where you are aiming. The logical thing that most people think about is just aim right at the flagstick. But for most amateur golfers this creates a lot of tension because they try to be very perfectionistic with their swing. They get very tight and try to overly control their golf swing. Even Tour Players can't always aim directly at the golf stick.

Divide the Green

What we have found to be most helpful is to have the player divide the green into quadrants. This should be done into North, South, East and West. Then what you try to do is just put the ball in the quadrant of the green where the flagstick is located. Think about this, if you are successful you will have a birdie putt, and that is not a bad result for any approach shot. Remember, do not overly control your approach shots; give yourself some margin of error. Divide the green into quadrants and merely put your ball into the quadrant that the flagstick is located.

About the Instructor

Dr. Richard Coop
Dr. Richard Coop
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Education
CB 3500 Peabody Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3500
Dr. Richard Coop is a mental instructor to countless PGA Tour professionals, including Payne Stewart, Ben Crenshaw, Mark O'Meara, and Nick Faldo. He is also the author of The New Golf Mind and Mind Over Golf.