During my collegiate golf career my coach, Pete Coughlin, taught me a game that helped me learn to control my wedges and gave me the confidence I needed while competing. In order to play the game you need nine holes of golf, three clubs, a putter, and a couple golf balls. The game is played from 120 yards and in on every hole. With each hole that you play you reduce the yardage by 10 yards.(Ex: Hole#1-120 yards, Hole#2-110 yards, Hole#3-100 yards, etc) See below for a full yardage chart. Typically, I played the game with my 9-iron, 52 degree wedge, and 60 degree wedge. Each hole that you play has a Par of three and the nine hole par is 27. I would recommend choosing a club you can comfortably hit 120 yards, a couple wedges, and your putter.
To begin the game walk down the first fairway to a spot 120 yards from the flag and drop a ball. From here you hit your shot. If your shot finishes nine feet or less from the hole, you will mark the ball as you would in a regular round and putt from there. If your shot finishes nine feet or more from the hole, pick your ball up and walk off the green keeping the point where your ball finished in between you and the hole. You will walk five paces, drop the ball, and play it as it lies. (Note: if this means you are dropping in a hazard then you take a penalty stroke and proceed under Rule 26) If this shot ends up nine feet or less then you mark it and putt out just like you would in a round of golf; but if you mishit the shot and end up further than nine feet from the hole you proceed by picking up your ball and walking off the green keeping the spot where it finished between you and the hole. You continue this process until you hole out. Take a second and reread that paragraph! Now that you did you should fully understand you may be walking back and forth across the greens a lot throughout the game. I surely did!
The purpose of the game is to practice your short game and to give you experience hitting shots that you would likely face during your regular rounds. It will also teach you course management by helping you learn that short siding yourself will likely lead to multiple trips back and forth across the green. Last but not least, this game will provide you an opportunity to get out on the golf course and maximize your practice time. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself shooting higher scores than you would with 14 clubs and the course being Par 36 at regulation length. This game was very humbling at first, but the more I played the better I became and found it to be quite useful.
Please let me know if you have any questions with the procedures of the game and as always let’s make 2014 your best golf season yet!