Patton Kizzire - Hitting Over Water (Part 1)

Patton Kizzire shares his process for hitting over the water on a par 3. He explains how players on the PGA Tour will aim at the middle and draw towards the hole.


This could be a bit of a nightmare for the amateur, down a hill a little bit, over water.

Yeah. It's an intimidating shot. A lot of amateurs' eyes go straight to the trouble, straight to the water.

There's two ways to approach it. Aim well away from the water and work it towards the middle of the green, or aim at the water and work it away from it, whichever one you're more comfortable with.

In your shot pattern that day, or your swing action?

Yeah. That's "avoid the water" type of mentality, which is not the way the guys on tour think. We're seeing a shot, starting in the middle of the green, draw in just a little bit, land on the center side of the green, and giving ourself a look for birdie. That's all that enters any of our heads.

There are some-- on a shot like this--

There's some snipers out there.

There are some tough ones out there. The Honda presents a lot of challenges.

17th to TPC comes to mind.

17th to TPC. There's a bit of a survival mentality when it comes to--

Are you visualizing anything here?

I'm visualizing there's a birdhouse behind the green there.

I see it there.

That is where I want the ball. I want the ball to come down just left of that, maybe on the rake that's just left of it. I want to get it on that top plateau, right of the pin, and give myself a pin-high birdie look. And I'll be looking just right of that to baby draw right to that rake.

Is the reason that you're not intimidated by the water because you're just good, or is it a little bit more than that? Because good players can get intimidated by water too.

Right. Yeah, it's a confidence thing, I guess. I've played so many difficult par 3s. And I've hit it in the water. I've messed up before, and kind of gotten past that. I mean, I've had so many scars of bad shots that I'm kind of past the bad shots and now I'm just going for good ones.

Do you think you were just thinking poorly or you were too cocky, or both sometimes?

Yeah, either or. You can get too cocky. You can have not enough confidence. There's--

Not swinging well.

There's a lot of ways to hit good shots, and there's a lot of ways to hit bad ones. But I think picking a line, figuring out exactly where you want to hit it instead of swinging to avoid something or swinging to hope.