Too many golfers hurt their score by trying to get out of tough situations with the type of shot they should attempt only from a fairway lie. `For instance, say a golfer drives into the heavy rough—more than this, that his ball ends up on a down-slope. Nine out of 10 people pull out a spoon or four-wood intent on making up for the distance they have lost by hitting a really big shot. The same pattern holds true when a golfer drives into a trap that flanks the fairway on a par-4 hole. He spurns the sensible recovery in favor of trying to reach the green in one stroke. What usually happens is that the player follows the first bad shot with a worse shot. Before he is finished with the hole he often plays a damaging number of strokes.
Play the difficult shots conservatively. Forget about distance from a tough lie. When you drive into the rough or a trap, don't try to reach the green with a "wonder shot" with your wood. Take a medium iron, like a 5 or a 6, and try to place the ball in a good position for the next stroke. Then, if you play a fine shot from that position, you can redeem your par after all.
from NOBLE CHALFAUNT, Park Hill Country Club, Denver
The sensible recovery
The wayward press
NEXT WEEK'S GUEST PRO: JULIUS BOROS ON STAYING DOWN