Hitting an approach shot to the short side of a tucked pin is not a good feeling. It takes ample space to make a proper pitch. Having none doesn’t bode well for the prospects of an up-and-down. In such tight spots, hope for a par save seems like wishful thinking. The rescue effort still must be made though. The only priority is to get a putter in hand as soon as possible. A bad chip can take par out of reach. It’s best to sell out for the putting surface no matter what. Getting to the green is essential to the save. While it may be tempting to try something risky, the prudent path is to play well past the hole. The flat stick is a much more likely hero than the wedge. With little room to operate, the wise golfer will insist on finding salvation through a long putt rather than risk falling short again. There is no greater test of course management than this. Unfortunately, most players fail. The passing grade is awarded to the golfer who plays the odds correctly. A reasonable putt for par is all we should aim for.
If you enjoy these musings, you’ll probably like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this year as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.