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Best Golf Course Strategies

If you play golf, you know it’s among the most challenging of sporting pursuits. Of all the technical upgrades you may entertain to hit better shots, there’s an equal number of non-technical strategies to help you play a better game. Here are the best golf course playing strategies you can put into play right now, without any practice at all, that will lead to lower scores.

TALK LIKE A CADDY

That is talk to “yourself” like a caddy. This tip is all about mindset. You wouldn’t pay someone to carry your clubs and tell you how much you stink, so why do it to yourself? The best players know how much their success is rooted within their emotional state and caddies often help them stay on top of their mental game. Follow a player and caddy on tour and you’ll hear four to five hours of, “You got this shot. This is the perfect club, You can’t be beat.”

You wouldn’t pay someone to carry your clubs and tell you how much you stink, so why do it to yourself?

EMBRACE THE BEND

The secret to good scores lies heavily in your ability to navigate your ball through all the nasty places golf course architects would love you to hit into. For top players, hitting the ball with a predictable curve in either direction allows them to more easily find safe landing areas.

Say for example your ball is slicing from left to right. Forget aiming down the middle and trying to straighten it out. Instead play the ball flight you have that day. Good players understand when you aim toward the boundary of the fairway or green you increase the available landing area as the ball curves to the target. An average fairway is about 30 yards wide. A ball aimed down the middle played with a curve really only has 15 yards of fairway to hit, whereas a ball aimed left to the boundary has 30 yards.

MAKE A DECISION

The number one thing that will ruin any type of performance is doubt. Great players are decisive in their action. Stand over the ball thinking you’re in between clubs or try and stroke a putt when iffy about the break and you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s the commitment that is key. So much so, you’ll actually perform better when fully committed to the wrong shot versus partially committed to the correct one.

GET REAL

Okay, so one time you mashed your 7 iron so hard it was just like they told you it would be in the commercial. Plan the rest of your 7 irons around that magical hit and you’ll spend your life short in the sand or plunking into the pond. When making a club selection, choosing one more over one less will most often pay off. Even small mis-hits will cost you yardage. Get real about your average true yardages and enjoy the benefits of sitting pretty on the green.

USE YOUR HEAD

This tip is about checking your ego and taking your medicine. When you find yourself in a really difficult spot, your best play is most likely the safest one. Granted, zipping your ball unscathed through the trees or bombing it across a deep ravine can be really fun. In most cases it ends up being a terrible decision for your score. It was once said, “Trying to accomplish in one shot, which requires two, will often end up in taking three.” Remember this and you’ll save a few strokes.

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