Middle of the Green

Many great golfers, including Phil Mickelson, are notorious for aiming at almost every flag. No matter where the pin is placed, they zero in on it with practically every iron shot.

These players tend to make lots of birdies, but also put themselves in precarious positions several times each round.

Pros can get away with over-aggression thanks to their superior chipping, pitching and putting. For most golfers, though, a more cautious approach yields better results. In fact, playing to the middle of the green is a wise choice on most occasions.

Here’s why:

The average golf course green measures approximately 25-30 yards from front to back and 20-25 yards across. For everyday play, pins are rarely placed less than five yards from the edge. That means a ball in the very center of the average green will be no more than 40 feet or so from any pin -- and will usually be much closer.

Having this knowledge can make you think twice about aiming for flags that are tucked behind hazards or nestled against the rough. Play for the center of greens and you’ll have more birdie chances, fewer three-putts, and put less pressure on your short game. In other words, it’s an easy way to lower your scores, – and your stress.