Some days you have command of all the shots, while other feel like day one of golf for beginners. One thing is certain, specific shots are needed on specific courses. The contestants in the 54th Porter Cup this week will need five specific shots in their arsenal to ensure success. Here they are, with no further delay.

Shot #1: The Flop Shot
With the dearth of rain of late, the rough promises to be manageable at Niagara Falls Country Club. As a result, competitors will be more likely to shoot at tucked hole locations, knowing that the penalty for short-siding will not be as severe. Unless you land in the sand.

Shot #2: The Explosion Shot
Niagara Falls Country Club, probably thanks to Robert Trent Jones, Sr., is loaded (around 90) with sand traps. Most of them protect the putting surfaces. The likelihood of a missed green resulting in a found bunker is highly probable. The old second green now serves as the practice ground for sand and short game, so see who is practicing there to get a sense of which golfers have a leg up on the field.

Shot #3: The Long Putt
No hole is unreachable at NFCC for the Porter Cup players. All of the par five holes will be hit in two, albeit with long irons or hybrids. This leaves many a long putt. Come to think of it, the same thing happens on the long par four holes (5, 8, 9 and 17) so there are at least 8 holes where the players will leave long first putts.

Shot #4: The Downhill Tickler
No, this is not some continental, after-hours notion. NFCC has many a green (13, 15, 16 and 18 come to mind; there are others) where putting from the high side of the hole is not only treacherous, but unavoidable as well. Since you can’t blow on the ball to get it started (two-stroke penalty for influencing the shot, ball replaced) the touch of a china-shop bull tamer is needed to negotiate the slopes.

Shot #5: The Driver
NFCC is a wide course, meaning that drivers of the ball need not be concerned about sacrificing length for accuracy. A miss here or there never hurt anyone. Funny thing is, they can’t practice driver on the range, as their shots easily reach not only the deck on the far end of the range, but also the 8th fairway!

There you have five shots that will be critical to success in the 2012 Porter Cup. Put these five arrows in a competitor’s quiver and you will offer quite an advantage.