Importance of a Go-To Shot for Junior Golf Academy Students

BGGA Senior Coach Scott Shaffer talks about the importance of having a go-to shot for junior golf academy students.

What is a go-to shot?

A go-to shot is a stock shot that a player feels comfortable hitting in pressure situations. Playing your go-to shot creates less anxiety and apprehension because you are not thinking about if you can pull the shot off.

Some players might have a lower trajectory, or the ball flight might be left to right or right to left. It depends on the person hitting. It is a shot they have been able to pull off many times in practice that they know they can hit without too much thinking.

Why is it important to have a go-to shot?

Go-to shots are for situations where you feel more pressure than a situation when you might think a lot less. When you think less, your performance might be better. There is less nervousness, pressure, and anxiety. You know what is going to happen, so it takes pressure off you.

How does a junior golfer figure out what their go-to shot is?

It requires practice and failure. Through repeated practice you can figure out the shot you feel most comfortable hitting. If a high draw is not something you are comfortable with, then it would not be your go-to shot. It might also depend on the area of the world you are from. If it is windy where you have grown up practicing, then your go-to shot will probably be a lower ball flight.

Should you practice your go-to shot often?

Yes, you should practice it a lot. With strategy and using DECADE (DECADE is Scott Fawcett’s golf course strategy system) here at BGGA, our junior golfers are using their stock go-to shot a lot. Media coverage of great professional players makes it seems that players are always working the ball shape, but they are basically hitting their go-to shot around the golf course.

When should junior golfers utilize their go-to shot?

I wish junior golfers would utilize their go-to shot more. You should use your shot shape to get around the golf course instead of changing your shot shape for the hole. When a player is in a situation where they are trying to reach a goal, whether that is to shoot a certain round or have a top finish, they will find that hitting their go-to shot can help them get closer to attaining that goal.

Junior golfers may think they have to shape the ball both ways and try to do too much with the golf ball. That creates anxiety and more thoughts on things that cannot be controlled. Nerves and frustration then come into play. So, I think the go-to shot should be used more than it is.


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