The question, “Why Does Target Have Red Ball Flight,” is answered in the third installment of the PGA Tour’s Web site called “The Biggest Mistake in Golf.” It also happens to be the seventeenth most popular article on the internet on any subject in existence. Okay, I admit I wrote it and did the copywriting for it. I actually just typed the words as they came to me and not looked at a copywriter or a book publisher to make sure it got printed. I didn’t realize at the time that golfers everywhere would take this article as the basis for their own question about the value of red in their golf game.
You see, there are a lot of variables you can tweak to get the kind of effect you are after. For one thing, you can increase the length of the tee off by a mere four inches. You can also reduce the number of bunkers and putt woods you use, which will lower the trajectory of your ball flight. All of that will have an effect on your score. But what does the target have to do with it?
The fact is that the target is an important parameter for all golf courses. If you look at the PGA Tour schedule, you’ll see that they don’t put very many tees out there at all in the front of the green. In other words, they place them pretty much in the middle of the fairway. That means that most of the red balls you see out there on the golf course have come from the fairway bunkers. That’s why I always tell my patients that if they hit the fairway bunker with a sand wedge and it goes into the water, it is almost guaranteed to leave the green.
The same holds true for driving greens. You really don’t want to drive into the water behind a tree. That can cost you the round. At the same time, you don’t want to hit the rough as well – that costs you a hole. As long as you have seen how the green slopes and watched where the hazards are, then you should be fine. What you shouldn’t do is start to throw your clubs into the water on the backswing because that will not help your game.
So, that brings us to target. Have you ever walked up to a tee box and asked yourself why does the target have red balls outside? I think you would have just told me that it was because there are hazards out there and the green slopes away from the fairway. Now, when I explain that you might have hit a hazard or two while trying to tee off, you start to realize why I am saying all of this. That’s because you’ve been hitting those red balls right out of the water!
Try to picture a golfer trying to tee off from a sand trap. It won’t happen most of the time. The problem is that the golfer has been hitting those things straight out of the water for years. That’s why you want to use a pin or chipping off the fairway and into the rough. If you just try to hit the ball straight at the green on most occasions, you are going to be very disappointed with your golf game.