strategy golf tips

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1. Play within yourself and don’t try to hit shots you’re not capable of hitting. Stick to your style of golf and play the way you play.
Jim Furyk, Tour pro

2. Here’s a great way to help you score. Instead of thinking of your round as 18 holes, divide it into three games of six holes. You’ll find it easier to concentrate and your task feels more achievable.
Gary Marks, Head pro, Worlebury GC, Somerset

3. Know how far you hit each club – especially your short irons – your scoring clubs. I know I hit my wedge 135 yards in Europe but 140 in America because of the heat.
Paul Casey, Tour pro

4. When you find yourself in trouble, on the course, play the percentages. Ask yourself: “Can I get the ball on the green even if I hit a perfect shot?” The answer is usually no so just play out with a wedge, or whatever, take your medicine and move on. As much as you’d like to recover with a real beauty, the odds are probably against you.
Ken Brown, Former Tour pro and TV commentator

5. Stop trying for pars! Take a score card and write down what you believe is an acceptable score for each hole, based on your past experience of how difficult the hole is and how you have played it in the past. Once you havedone this, use this as your guide for eachhole. When I followed this advice I was surprised to find that the sum of my target scores equalled 93 – which would result in a net par for the course with my handicap. When I used this as my guide during a medal I shot a net 66, achieved my first ever sub-90 round with an 89! I believe this tip has greatly helped my mental approach to the game. You see even if I shot a bogey for the hole I did not view this as a dropped shot but a par and in some cases a birdie! This keeps my chin up and I keep playing in a positive manner to the 18th green.
Raymund Bush, TG reader

6. Always take more club than you think. Most amateurs come up short – where the trouble is.
Paul Lawrie, Tour pro

7. Most average golfers don’t take enough club and end up picking the club they have to hit the absolute maximum to get the yardage. If they think it’s a 7-iron shot, they should take a 6-iron, swing easier and they’d play a lot better. Very seldom do they hit the ball over the green. So I’d say swing smooth to control the distance, flight and direction of the ball better.
Butch Harmon, Tour coach

8. Watch your body language between shots. Keep your chest out and your eyes above the flag while you walk down the fairway. That puts your sense of sight into peripheral vision, which helps to keep you relaxed. Act as if you are a good player and it really does help you play like one.
Maurice Campbell, Head pro, Leighton Buzzard GC

9. Here is a tip that has helped me hit more accurate shots on the course. Before you begin to play a competition, work out how many shots you are hoping to take on the front nine. Then on the practice ground, hit that number of shots, trying if at all possible to ‘play the first nine’ with appropriate club selection. For example if you normally hit 3-wood, 9-iron to the 1st, start with those shots on the practice ground. Keep going in this way for the whole of the round. Then, when you start on the first tee, your muscles will already be warmed up as if you had already played the course. When I do this, I always find I play a lot better on both nines.
Jason Shilvock, TG reader