Every golfer wants to fire at the pin, but that’s not always what’s called for. Pardon the expression, but a “sucker pin” is named that way for a reason. Some hole placements are meant to test restraint. When pins are tucked into corners and hidden behind hills, it may be best to hit to the middle and putt to them from afar. This isn’t as much about playing safe as it is simply the proper way to score. When the pin is in a diabolical position, the odds of making a birdie with a putter are much higher than with an approach shot. Pride can get in the way though. That’s what the designer and superintendent had in mind when they created certain pin-able areas. Sometimes the exam is based more on strategy than ability. Just because you can hit it close doesn’t mean you should always try to do so. When the margin for error is small, it’s smart to make the target as large as possible. There is always more green to work with than the tricky pin would have you believe. Thanks to hubris, it can be harder to make the wise swing than the daring one, but we chase the sucker pin at our own peril. Instead of aiming for corners, it’s better to work off the middle.
If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.