You're Correct!

Should I Aim Straight At Every FlagNot even professionals aim at every flag on the golf course. The US Masters is a great example of this. At Augusta there are many holes where there are water hazards and the golf course includes some huge hills on some of the fairways. Add to this the fact that the greens are famous for being extremely fast and sloping and you have a cognitive as well as a physical golfing challenge.

In these conditions we see a lot of the players playing shots away from the holes to safe portions of the greens, avoiding the dangers of the water hazards or the slopes on the greens. Often we see the professionals using the slopes to their advantage such as; hitting a 3 wood instead of a driver to land on a downhill part of the fairway and kick the ball forward or; hitting to a part of the green where the spin of the ball will catch a particular slope and bring the ball towards the hole.

The key to hitting at flags or not is through assessment of the situation.

Look at the risk v reward situation and assess the dangers of hitting at the flag. Try to work out a percentage chance of success and remember that golf is played over a course of 18 holes and that one hole will not make your game but could severely break your game. Is it really worth it to go at a dangerous flag rather than a safer area of the green?

As a general rule of thumb amateurs should always aim for the middle of every green. Lets look at the maths.
Greens on a normal club golf course are on average 30 yards long and 20 yards wide. Sometimes they are bigger but rarely are they smaller. The flag has to be at least three yards away from the edge of the green.

In such a case, hitting a perfect shot to the middle of the green will only ever leave you seven yards (21 feet) away from the hole. Miss the shot a little (as most amateurs will do) to the flag side and you are near the hole. Miss the shot to the other side and you have 10 yards of space to still be on the green. Either way an amateur golfer should be pleased with the result.

Aiming straight at the flag, hit a straight shot and you are close to the hole, hit it away from the flag and you are in the middle of the green, but hit it away from the flag on the wrong side and you are off the green and playing from trouble.

In both scenarios two shots end up the same distance from the hole but one scenario leaves the ball on the green while the other leaves the ball in trouble.

Aim for the middle of the green and reap the benefits of the percentages to lower your score.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

No, you have to play the shot in front of you. It is not always feasible to hit the shot straight towards the hole.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Birdies do not make a score for a golfer. Rather mistakes ruin a golfers score. Less mistakes means a better score. The average number of birdies per round for an 18 handicap golfer is around 1. The number of shots dropped from errors is far higher. Reduce errors before gunning down the flags.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Look back at your previous games of golf and count how many times you are sat in the clubhouse talking about the amazing shots that you have played. Now count how many times you have sat there and lamented a poorly played round and are cross at the quality of your play. Be solid and consistent and reduce frustration rather than aiming at the flags and hoping to hit those world class shots.