Great Play Demands Quality Position – USA Today Article

Great Play Demands Quality Position - USA Today Article (January 29th, 1997)

Most golf tips, books, or videos are designed to help the average golfer or the high handicap player, which makes sense on many levels. Interestingly, it is the good players or single digit to plus handicap golfers that really yearn for help. These players are starved for information useful to them and will go to great lengths to get better. This tip should really help those that already have some measure of control of their golf shots.

In an attempt to become more consistent, two time PGA Tour winner Tom Pernice Jr., has prioritized for 2002 what he calls QP or Quality Position. Simply put, distance from the hole may not be as important to your score as your position relative to it. Let me give you an example. Picture a back left pin on the 16th green at Augusta National. With that pin position and the slope of the green, I am sure you would agree that putting from the right portion of the green to the pin is a scary proposition, and to the same hole position anything short and left would seem easy. If you would look at these scenarios statistically, from lets say 25 feet; you might be surprised at how drastic the difference is to your score. The uphill putt would likely be holed about 20% of the time, while the downhill-breaking putt only 5%. Down a fast slope, the ball just rolls to slowly to hold a predictable line and distance control becomes much more exacting. In addition, you may not three putt from the up hill position more than one in a hundred attempts, while even a good player will three putt the ball in the poor down hill breaking position 30% of the time. It can be tough to accept that we may likely be better off chipping from off the green in a quality position than putting from a poor one. Yet, that is the reality and to shoot consistently low you need to be able to put the ball in a QP and trust your short game.

If you are a good player, QP should be the one of your primary considerations on every shot. Not only should it help you define your target, but it should also influence your shot selection and club choice. Make it a priority and perhaps you will find how much easier it becomes to get all the way around the course without making the silly little mistakes that cost you strokes. Good Luck! James