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Become the middle man

April 10, 2012
JOHN?WICKLINE TEE?TIME ( , The Inter-Mountain

Too many times on the golf course, a player gets too focused on an approach shot at the very small target known as the hole. In an attempt to hit the golf ball close to the hole, players often times will miss the green on what is known as the "short side" and leave themselves with an almost impossible chip shot.

Then, in an attempt to make that impossible shot, they waste even more shots when the solution to the whole problem (pun intended) is very simple. In fact, I have given this advice to a very good friend who just happens to be a seven-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Danielle Ammaccapane. Danielle used this advice just a few years back following a poor performance where she missed the cut in South Carolina and the following week at the LPGA tournament in Williamsburg, she led the tournament following the second round and finished in the top 10.

An average-sized putting green at most local golf courses (not resort courses) is about 2,500 to 3,000 square feet. That translates into a green that is roughly 50x50 feet up to 55x55 feet. So if the player will attempt to hit the ball in the middle of the green, then the longest putt possible - if that happens - is less than 25 feet. Also by doing this, the player can miss left or right by 25-27 feet (8 1/3 yards to 9 yards) and still be on the putting surface. Trust me when I say that a shot off-line 8 yards is really off-line, especially when you are hitting it with a short iron. Once safely on the putting surface, you putt the ball to the hole, which is generally placed toward the edges of the green.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
he par-4, seventh hole at the Deerfield Country Club requires golfers plays 355-400 yards, depending on which tees the golfer chooses.

TEE TIME TIP: Hit to the middle and putt to the edges. If you do this, you will lower your golf score.

Mike Rogers, the owner and operator of Riverbend Golf Club in Buckhannon, is an award-winning PGA professional.

HOLES?IN?ONE: Aaron Gainer, of Buckhannon, scored his second-ever hole in 1 on April 2 at the Riverbend Golf Club. He used an 8-iron to ace the 185-yard, par-3 ninth hole.

Upcoming Tournaments and Events: The Christian Golf Association will host an outing on April 12 at the Bel Meadows Golf Course. The event is open to the public. For more information, call 304-472-4047. Additional outings will be held April 21 at the Stonewall Resort and April 26 at Riverbend.

n The fifth annual Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Central West Virginia Center for Pregnancy Care will be held at 10 a.m., April 28 at the Riverbend Golf Club in Buckhannon. Entry fee is $50 per golfer, and includes green fees, cart and lunch. For more information, call 304-473-1122.

n The West Virginia Strawberry Festival Golf Challenge will be held May 6 at the Buckhannon Country Club and the Riverbend Golf Club. Registration begins at noon, and golfers will tee off at 1 p.m. at Riverbend. After completing nine holes, each team will travel to finish their round at the Buckhannon CC. Entry fee for the four-person scramble is $200 per team, which also includes a dinner after the round. For more information, call 304-472-5444.

n The Hank Ellis Golf Classic will be held at 1 p.m., Monday, May 7 at the Stonewall Resort. Entry fee to the four-man scramble event is $125 per person, and it includes green fees, cart, lunch, event program, T-shirt and buffet dinner following the round. The tournament benefits West Virginia Wesleyan College athletics. For more information, contact Randy Tenney at WVWC at 304-473-8000.

n The Highlands at Fisher Mountain Golf Club in Franklin will host a benefit golf tournament for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at 9 a.m., May 12. Entry fee for the four-man scramble is $90 per person, which includes green fees, cart, dinner and prizes. Golfers must register by April 20. For more information, call 540-478-4326.

n The Valley View Golf Club in Moorefield will host its annual spring tournament on May 19. For more information, call 304-538-6564.

n The Pete Dye Golf Club will host the Teen Challenge Golf Classic at noon, May 21. The entry fee is

$250 per player, which includes golf, gifts and dinner. For more information, call 304-933-3209.

Hole of the Week: The par-4, seventh hole at the Deerfield Country Club requires golfers plays 355-400 yards, depending on which tees the golfer chooses. There is a slight dogleg to the right, and the green is guarded by a small stream which runs in the front and a sand trap to the right. Though the fairway is lined with trees on both sides, there is room to the left to the tee shot without getting into too much trouble.

Parting Shot

You probably wouldn't look good in a green jacket anyway. A sweatshirt will do just fine.



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