How To Choose The Correct Club From Elevated Lies
This year’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions will be contested at the Plantation Course in Kapalua where last year’s winner Patrick Reed finished with a final score of -21, where he won in a playoff over Jimmy Walker. Patrick Reed was four shots behind with four holes to play and finished the last four holes with a birdie, eagle, bogey, birdie to tie the clubhouse lead. He then birdied the first playoff hole to win the tournament.
The Plantation Course is unique in that it is the only course on the PGA Tour that plays to a par of 73. It’s also the only course with seven holes of more than 500 yards. There are many elevation changes on the course that are highlighted when looking at the 1st, 17th, and 18th.
Playing golf shots from various elevations can be very difficult at times if you don’t have very much experience. Most of you tend to come up short when the green is elevated and hit too far if the green is much lower than where you’re hitting from. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind to choose the correct club when hitting to various elevations.
Your club selection is probably the most important variable to remember when hitting from various elevations because the selection will vary greatly depending on how much higher or lower the green is where you’re hitting the golf ball.
As a general rule, for every 10 feet of elevation change, you will either take one more or one less club.
For example, if you normally hit your 7-iron 160 yards with no elevation change to the green, you’d want to hit a 6-iron if the green is 10 feet above from where you are hitting from. The opposite would be true if the green is 10 feet below from where you are hitting from. If the green is approximately 10 feet below from where you are hitting from, you’d want to hit an 8-iron instead of a 7-iron.
Regardless of where the pin is located on the green your approach to the shot should be pretty simple – aim at the middle of the green. The elevation adds an element to miscalculate your yardage so play it safe.
Club Selection – For every 10 feet of elevation change you’ll either take one more or one less club. 10 feet above you’ll want to club up and visa versa for 10 feet downhill.
Distance – Aim at the middle of green regardless of the pin location. This gives you the best opportunity to sink your putt.
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Emmett Brantly has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2003. He graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Golf Management. He has worked in Public, Semi-Private, Private, and Resort golf facilities in Raleigh and Pinehurst North Carolina. He has also worked in various retail settings, as well as holding positions of PGA Teaching Professional at various academies including the Pinehurst Golf Academy. Emmett has a strong passion for growing the game of golf by displaying his extensive knowledge in club-fitting, teaching, fitness, and product knowledge.