Short Game Tips: Select the right club for the right shot
There are two main inputs to determining which club to hit for a particular shot: your distance to the target and the space you typically hit each. There are several ways to calculate your yardage to the green or other marks. Knowing your club distance takes time and experience, but you can start at the driving range; most ranges have markers set at specific spaces, such as 50, 100, 150 and 250 yards. That's it.
Start with the shortest club (bunker wedge or split driver) and aim for the nearest target.
As you hit the ball in a steady and fairly straight manner, estimate the distance it will fall in front of or behind the nearest target - for example, 5 yards after the 100 yard mark is a 105 yard shot.
After you have three reliable measurements of the ball hit, average them down - this is your yardage for that particular club.
Generally, most golfers will find a distance of 10-15 yards from one club to the other. For example, if their 8-iron flies an average of 140 yards, their 7-iron will hit the ball between 150 and 155 yards.
Write down the average yardage of each club on a small piece of paper for reference on the course. Before long, you will know them by heart. As your swing improves, you will hit the ball further, so keep an eye on the shots that fly over your target and adjust your yardage accordingly.