Sandy Leach/Mark Wickenden
by Q: What is the hardest shot in golf?
During the course of a recent round, someone asked me how I refined my game to a point where I had confidence in every shot. I was astonished by that. I think I play scared as much as anyone. I try to be confident before a shot, but doubt creeps in more often than it should. In fact, I think all golfers have shots that they would consider difficult, regardless of their skill. Thus, I put the question to three of our resident pros. "In your opinion, what is the hardest shot (that the typical golfer will face in a given round) in golf?"
Some days, all of them! But typically for me, it is a putt of one kind or another. I say that only because it is the part of my game in which I have the least amount of confidence. A 15 ft. downhill left to right downhill putt get my attention more than a 180 yd. shot out of deep rough with a 20 mph left to right wind to a small green surrounded by water.
Answer-1: In every round, a player will face a shot he/she has not practiced; whether it be a sidehill downhill pitch over a bunker to a tight flag or a 100 yd. punch 3 iron through the trees. Therefore, the expectation level isn't relatively high for those shots - though the shot might be harder than a long putt with 3 feet of break.
Sandy Leach, Head Pro, Formely @ Marietta CC
Answer-2:The most difficult shot in golf is the one you can't do! For example, a chronic slicer would find an intentional draw a very difficult shot, a high ball hitter would have difficulty playing a low boring shot into the wind. Playing these specialty shots requires knowing your game and it's limitations - even the pros on tour have their limitations and don't attempt shots they are not confident with or haven't practiced previously.
Mark Wickenden, Head Pro, @ Cooblestone GC
Answer-3: Besides the first shot of the day, the hardest shot in golf in my opinion is the 80-100yd bunker shot. The reason is that it is very difficult to judge distance for this shot and also not hit behind the ball. The key to this shot is to get a very balanced and solid stance. You want to make sure your feet don't slip as you swing so dig in about three inches. This should give you the much needed base to make a good swing.
Jeff Krohn, Head Pro, Formely @ TPC Sugarloaf