4 keys to avoid the water on island green holes every time

Hitting an island green can be a daunting proposition, but it doesn’t have to be.

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Island greens make everyone uncomfortable – even the pros. Take the famous 17th at TPC Sawgrass for example. Although the hole rarely requires more than a wedge, the hole can give pros.

Last week’s Players Championship showed us that. Fifty-eight balls hit the water at 17 during the PGA Tour’s flagship event, and the scoring average was just a touch over par at 3.13 for the week. Pretty tough for a hole playing under 150 yards.

If island greens make you uncomfortable, don’t worry. The threat of a wet grave for your Pro V scares even the best players in the game. But just because island greens are daunting doesn’t mean they’re impossible. All you have to do is use the right strategy.

Here are four tips for conquering island greens from GOLF Top 100 teacher Brian Mogg.

1. Choose the right yardage

Zeroing in at the right distance is always important, but it’s absolutely critical on island greenholes. Too long or too short and you’ll find yourself in the water. To give yourself the maximum margin of error, get the yardage to the center of the green.

“Forget the front and back numbers,” says Mogg. “Split the difference and get an average yardage and then find your best rhythm.”

2. Play your favorite shot

Everyone has a hitting form that they’re comfortable with, and now’s the time to pull it out. Hit the shot you’re most comfortable with to give yourself the best chance of keeping your ball dry.

“If you’re playing a natural soft fade, stand there and play a soft fade,” says Mogg. “Don’t try anything you’re not good at.”

3. Tee off

When you’re ready to hit your shot, serve the ball. Some people like to play ball on par 3s, but this is not the time. A t-shirt ensures that you lie perfectly – so take advantage of it.

“Put it in the ground and give yourself a big lie,” says Mogg.

4. Focus on your goal

It can be easy to get distracted by the water surrounding the green, but don’t fall for it. Focus on where you want the ball to land instead of where you are not want the ball to land.

“The architect was paid a lot of money to distract you with fear,” says Mogg. “You want to hit that shot that focuses on what you want to do rather than what you’re scared of. 125. In the middle of the green. You will see that with the winner on Sunday.”


Zephyr Melton

Golf.com editor

Zephyr Melton is Associate Editor at GOLF.com, where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Before joining the GOLF team, he attended the University of Texas, followed by stints with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists in all areas of instruction, covering amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.

https://golf.com/instruction/4-keys-avoid-water-island-greens/ 4 keys to avoid the water on island green holes every time

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