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Golf Question How Can I Decide Which Shot To Play When Im Near The GreenWhen playing shots from near the green, golfers should take into account a number of different factors.

First of all, players need to assess the ground conditions and how the ball is lying. The ground conditions will have a major effect on the type of shot a golfer is likely to play. For example, if the ball
is sat down on a bare lie, the chances of playing a successful high floating shot will decrease significantly.

The amount of obstacles between a golfer and the pin should also be looked at. If there are no obstacles (bunkers, rough) then there may be no need to hit the ball high in the air and a simpler shot could be played. However, if there are a number of different things which lie in the way of the hole then players may need to take a more aerial route.

The risks that come along with the shot should be a key concern for most people. These risks include the obstacles a player is trying to negotiate but also other risks such as has the golfer attempting the shot tried it before. It sounds so simple that a player who has not practised a Phil Mickleson style flop shot should not attempt to play one in the heat of competition, but most people have tried a shot during a round that they have never practised before.

All of these different factors should be included and practised by adopting a successful pre-shot routine which should be carried out before every shot near the green. Try this pre-shot routine the next time you play.

1. Begin the routine behind the ball and assess all the different elements which could affect the shot such as lie, wind direction, weather conditions, obstacles to overcome, current position in match, etc.
2. If the shot requires it, dont be afraid to go and see where the ball will be landing on the green. The green conditions when chipping and pitching can greatly affect the outcome of the shot. If the green is wet and receptive, for example, the ball is likely to stop quickly and not roll out as much.
3. After the different elements have been weighed up, select the club
to be used and the type of shot you want to play. Its vital to commit to the shot you want to play.
4. Stand behind the line of the shot and imagine the ball traveling towards your target. Really try and see it fly through the air. Imagining a great shot is a way for your brain to tell the body what to do.
5. Imagination and seeing the shot is vital to commitment and the outcome will definitely be more likely to be positive.
6. Take a few practise swings imagining the ball flying towards the target.
7. Set up to the ball after aligning yourself to the target and let the shot go.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Too often amateur golfers will try and look for the shot which requires a high floating ball flight when other more effective options are available. Try to choose the simplest way to the target. This is more often than not a lower trajectory of shot.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Although taking on the miracle flop shot every time is not recommended, just hitting a shot into the centre of the green to be safe is also not ideal. Weigh up the risks and find the easiest way to the hole.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

There are times when players need to have a little more guile and subtlety about the way they approach a short game shot. Top professionals, for example, when playing at The Masters understand that attacking the pin even from a short distance can be dangerous and will select the safest option to get the ball as close as possible. Use a solid pre-shot routine and lots of imagination to hit good shots from around the green.