Forget The Dream Shot

Kim Anders
Director of Instruction
John Jacobs Golf Schools and Academies Estrella del Mar Golf and Beach Resort
Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, AZ

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A few months ago I did an article about Joe Pro who tried to hit a 3 wood out of long Bermuda grass rough. Needless to say, it didn’t work and Joe went for a big number on the hole. This month I want to take this a step further.  

Like Joe Pro, for some reason, we think we can carry the ball more than 200 yards over water, off a downhill lie, with the ball below our feet, when our normal club for a 150 yard shot, off a perfect lie, is a 5 iron.  

We all dream of hitting great shots like our favorite TOUR player – the fairway metal you have to hit your absolute best to get to the green – the one in one hundred shot. When I think about my dream shots I always pull them off, it always stops next to the hole for an eagle or birdie. But, I have learned it is most often a different story when I try these shots on the course.

It only took me about 30 years of playing golf to be able to control the temptation to try my dream shots on the course. I have donated a thousand balls to the Water Gods, thousands more to the owners of property along the fairways, hundreds were eaten up by long rough after going about 1/10th of the distance I had hoped for, and 4 have been swallowed by palm trees I was trying to carry, never to be seen again.  

It is important to remember, attempting a dream shot will usually cost you at least 1 stroke, plus the price of your golf ball. It’s pretty tough to score well when you start adding an extra stroke every hole, let alone counting by 2’s because of a stroke and distance penalty.  

This is where course management comes in. If you hit your ball into deep rough, the trees, a bad lie or any other adverse situation on the golf course, you are almost 100% committed to taking 1 more shot on the hole than normal. Use that stroke to get back on the golf course – in the fairway where you can play, and maybe even save your normal score. Try your dream shot and at best you might save 1 shot, but the odds are much greater you will add 1 or more shots to your score.  

If you must try a dream shot remember it is just that, and your odds are worse than making a lot of money at the tables in Vegas. If the shot doesn’t work out, suck it up and move on. Go find it and hit it again. You tried a low percentage shot so don’t be upset – you knew the odds before you made the swing. Next time consider getting back to the fairway where the Game is tough enough.

Kim Anders is Director of Golf at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at or call 1.888.587.0609, Ext. 3010. Find out more about the golf resort by visiting