Golf Digest
Par Savers Image Credit: Golf Digest
Par Savers Image Credit: Golf Digest

Par Savers

MASTERING COLLECTION AREAS COMES DOWN TO KNOWING THE BEST OPTION

Mike Adams

MANY COURSE DESIGNERS and superintendents will punish players with deep grass around the green. But some of the best courses in the world—like St. Andrews, Pinehurst No. 2 and Augusta National—offer more subtle challenges in the form of tightly mowed collection areas around their putting surfaces. You have a few options for how to play from these tight lies below the hole, but you better make the right choice, because picking the wrong shot from here is just as big of a mistake as making a bad swing. You might even have the same lie again! If you find yourself standing over the ball with some doubts about what to do, let me help. Fundamentally, there are three ways to play your next shot: (1) You can hit a long putt. (2) You can use a hybrid or long iron as a kind of supercharged chipping club to bounce the ball into the slope short of the green and let it run out. (3) You can use a lob wedge to nip the ball from the tight grass and fly it on the green with some spin that will stop it quickly. Here’s how to know which one to pick, and how to play that shot. —WITH MATTHEW RUDY

1 PUTTER

If the collection area is only a foot or two lower than the green, and you have plenty of room between your ball and the hole, the choice should be to putt. From off the green, even


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