Golf may not be a game of inches, but modern-day golf has certainly become a game of yards. Whereas Hogan, Nelson, and Snead played essentially by feel, today’s pros never hit a full shot without knowing the precise distance they have to cover.
I, of course, subscribe to this ball-to-hole measurement, but I also like to know two other distances on every approach shot I hit. First, I want to know how far I need to hit a ball to clear any fronting bunkers or hazards. Second, since I’m an aggressive player and often hit the ball with a lot of backspin, spinning my approach shots back toward the hole, I like to know the distance to the very back of the green – how far I can fly the ball and still keep it out of the trouble beyond.
For amateur players who don’t have the same consistency or distance control as pros, I recommend this three-yardage approach. For each hole on your home course, it pays to know not only the pinpoint yardage but the depth of the safety zone as well.