You have probably heard the saying, “Risk vs Reward”, from your coach, instructor or perhaps your parent. What does it mean? How do you know when to be aggressive and when to play a bit more conservative? This does not happen just on a reachable par 5. It happens on tee shots, approach shots and even on shots from trouble. To a certain extent, each shot you hit has a risk vs reward value. Properly assessing the value of each target with appropriate club selection will improve your scoring. The goal is to get as much reward for as little risk as possible.
Critical thinking and decision making is a big part of golf. The criticality of the decision depends on the risk factors and your comfort with the potential result. So, how do you analyze situations and weigh options? Ask the below questions.
Questions to ask/answer on each shot:
- What is the lie of the golf ball? Uphill, downhill, sidehill, fairway, rough, etc.
- Can you get a club on the ball? Is there grass behind the ball?
- How will the ball react when it lands? How much roll, spin?
- Where is the trouble? High grass, bunkers, water, slopes, etc.
- Where is the best place to play your next shot?
- What is the ease of the chosen shot? Are you hitting it well enough to comfortably execute?
- What is your comfort level with the possible outcomes?
Whatever your decision, never play doubtfully/scared to an aggressive target. If you choose to take the risk and choose an aggressive line or distance, make a committed swing. To increase your success, choose conservative targets and play aggressively/confident to them. String successful shots together and lower your scores.
If you want to get a lot of reward for little risk, develop a sharp short game. Remember, a solid short game will turn a good day into a great day and a poor day into a good day! Get the Will2Golf Scoring Guides and get practicing!