Are You Dependent on Your Range Finder?
By: Jayde Panos
Are you range finder dependent?
Sure, a range finder reads your distance, but it doesn’t factor in wind, exact carry, roll-out, etc. We solely rely on a range finder to tell us which club to use just based on distance. The secret to shaving shots off your game is to trust your feel.
My caddy and I played every single competitive round without a range finder…incredible right? We used the yardage book, our surroundings, and feel to create what we thought would be the best shot to play. You can’t make the decision to hit a punch cut into a tight pin on the corner of the green without feel. If you ever have the chance to play in Europe, you will know that hitting a punch or low 4-iron from 130 yards is sometimes the only way to get the ball near the flag to even have a chance at making a birdie.
Why are we so reliant on the range finder?
It’s simple, it removes the need to think. We rely on the range finder because we get to skip the “hard” process of trusting ourselves and deal with the outcome of failure easier because a “perfect” machine calculated it for us. We have created a process that has totally disabled our ability to problem-solve and provides us the answer immediately. It isn’t easy to play professionally, but some of my best shots were 100-percent feel. I believe that good shot-feels comes from great visualization and a creative mind. Can you visualize the shot? Create a practice swing that assists the brain to connect to these visuals? Are you able to bring the shot together under pressure? You won’t know that answer until you’ve practiced this enough to find out.
Work on it! I challenge you to view a range finder as another tool in your toolbox and not rely on it. You can’t build feel unless you work on it. Knowing your distance from pin is crucial, but don’t rely on it for the “ultimate playing number.” Next time you go out to practice, leave your range finder in the bag and use your feel and creativity to work on difficult shots. You may be surprised to realize that you have a whole new bag of shots to play next time you tee it up!