When you’re left with tricky little shots from around the green, it’s easy to become flag-obsessed.
You see where it is and try to fly it all the way there. Unless you slam dunk it, though, that’s not going to do you any good.
Instead, sizing up the green - how it slopes, where it slopes and so on - and picking a sensible landing spot is all you should be focused on.
The flag should be nothing more than a frame of reference for where you want the ball to stop. Its chances of getting near it, though, depend on your ability to do everything else right.
To help you get used to this, give this drill a go. Place an alignment stick across the green where you think the ball should land. From now on, consider the alignment stick the edge of the green for you and everything else between it and you is OOB.
Your job is to pitch the ball so that it lands just the other side of the stick. Doing this forces you to commit to a spot on the green that you want to hit and, so long as you have commit fully, you have less chance of thinning or chunking your shot.
The more you do this, the better you will become and the tighter your ball dispersion will be. REMEMBER: Clean your grooves before you play your shot. This will help put some spin on the ball.
Develop that feel…
Flying the ball ten to 15 yards over an alignment stick isn’t as difficult as you think. In fact, it’s not that much different to throwing the ball underarm over it.
To teach yourself what that feels like and how much is required to fly the ball the distance that’s needed, try throwing a few to give yourself a better idea.
Richie Ramsay is a three-time European Tour winner and former US Amateur champion. Follow him on Twitter @RamsayGolf.