What Does Short Sided In Golf Mean?

by Jordan on October 23, 2013

My last post talked about the importance of where you tee the ball up. So I wanted to continue on with golf course strategy and onto the approach shot.

A former golf professional turned Victoria Real Estate Agent Todd Mahovlich once told me golf is game is misses.

It’s a game of many different things but this  statement is true and very overlooked. Most of this post will talk about course management and opening your eyes to what really is a good shot. And what is a bad one. When referring to bad a one, i’m not talking how close it is the flag.

If you watch golf on TV, you’ll hear a commentator talk about a player being “short sided”. This refers to a player missing the green where there is very little green to work with. So even though you may have hit the best shot of your life, you might actually be left with a chip that has little green to work with. Where as you could have hit an average shot to the proper side of the green and easily two putted.

The easiest way to avoid getting into situations where you are often short sided is to aim away from tucked flag sticks on greens. Many golfers think they always have to aim at the flag. Are you one of them?

Below is another picture of a hole at Chambers Bay with tucked flag on the back left of the green and a bunker on the left as well.

Golf strategy where to miss

Even though the flag stick and cup are the end goal, it’s best to aim away from this flag stick in this situation since it’s a high risk shot.

Chambers Bay is hosting the 2015 US Open and if the pin was in this position, my guess would be that 5% of the field would actually aim at the pin. Pro golfers rarely play at “sucker pins” like this.

So the play is to try and hit your ball as best you can to the right side of the green. This gives you the best angle to hit your second shot close and get up and down for a par 3.

If you were to aim at the suckers pin and go into the bunker left of the hole, a 4 would be a really good score. Unless your a good bunker player, a par 3 would be rare.

Once again you must create your own targets based on your playability and comfort ability. A target is not always a pin or the center of a fairway.

If you were a really good bunker play and felt comfortable hitting a shot in the flag with a desired  right to left ball flight, go at the pin and see if you can make a birdie. But if your not comfortable with that ball flight or bunker shots, aim at the wide open area of grass to the right of the hole, it’s a much easier shot!

One thing to note is that the yardage to the pin might be 145 yards but for the target that you are hitting at (the big round blue circle) it will be only 110-135 yards so the shot will play shorter making it easier all around.

So there you have it!  Stay away from sucker pins and come up with your own target.


Jordan J. Caron is a former Canadian PGA Class A member who still wants to help golfers shoot better scores. He is also the President of Meaningful Marketing. In his downtime he likes to read, play squash and drink wine.

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