How to make sure you make the right decisions on the golf course with ex-LET player, Sky Sports commentator and coach Sophie Walker.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Don’t mess up on the course due to making wrong decisions. Follow these tips to give yourself the best chance of success.

Where to stand on the tee box

Do you have a hole where your ball seems to be a magnet to the water?

Here is a thought process to avoid another lost ball:

  1. Change the angle of the hole
  2. Stand the same side of the tee as the water
  3. Aim away from the water, by turning the hole into a small dog-leg
  4. Pick a target, like a bunker on the left half of the fairway
  5. When aiming the feet and shoulders left, make sure the clubface and swing commits to that line and doesn’t push towards the water

Hybrid versus Long iron

hybrid versus long iron

Hybrids are the single biggest performance enhancing technology to the women’s game ever. You only have to look at the bags of female professionals on TV to see they’re full of head covers. If it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for you. I commonly call it the cheating stick.

hybrid versus long iron

Reasons hybrids suit women golfers

1. Our swing speed is slower

2. Our ball speed is slower

hybrid versus long iron

Why they’re better than irons 

  1. They have a higher trajectory due to weight being at the back of the clubhead
  2. The head is built to glide and be more stable through the rough
  3. They don’t need as steep an angle of attack

Never up, never in

Professional golfers are praised for their ability to hit it pin high. How often do you hit the ball pin high or past the pin? When playing your round, mark down how often this happens, or when the course isn’t busy, practise by hitting balls to a green. The purpose is to get you more aggressive and positive in your approach play, and ultimately get your ball closer to the hole.

Sophie Walker instruction

Laying up – the hardest shot in golf

Laying your ball up short of a hazard can often be mentally difficult, as you aren’t aiming at a pin. Players often mishit or under club due to lack of concentration and wondering what ifs.

Sophie walker laying up

Strategy to overcome this: 

  1. Plan the following shot (how far do you want into the green)
  2. Treat the lay-up like a par-3, pretend there is a flag to aim at
  3. Commit fully to the execution.

Approach shots to the green

You need to be aware of where the flag is on the green - front, middle or back. These are often highlighted by a colour.

Sophie Walker approach to the green

You then need to play smart.

  1. Pin at the front of the green - make sure you club up as there is a lot of green beyond the flag
  2. Pin at the back of the green - make sure you club down as all the green is short of your target.

The aim is to leave yourself a putt on the green and not a chip.

To find out more about Sophie Walker or to book a lesson visit You can also follow her on Instagram here.

The above Instruction article was taken from the Sept/Oct 2019 issue of Women & Golf magazine.

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