Want shoot lower scores? Sure, you do. Everyone does. Choosing the right golf strategy at the right time can help you do that. It can save dozens of strokes during a season. But choosing the right strategy can be a challenge for anyone. Often, it involves making a tough decision in a critical situation.
Deciding when to go for it and when to lay up is an example of having a tough decision on the course. But strategic decisions often depend on how well you hit individual shots, like a PW from 100 yards out. Hit the shot well and you can go for it in the right situation.
One thing that could help make choosing the right golf strategy easier is to develop “go-to” shots in critical areas of your game. Go-to shots are trusted shots. They’re shots you have great in confidence and hit well almost every time.
Developing go-to shots can transform your game. By developing go-to shots, you simplify your decision-making. You want to create situations that give you a chance to hit these shots. You’re putting your best foot forward as much as possible.
Below are golf tips on five critical situations during a round. Learning to hit “go-to” shots in these situations can slash golf scores.
1. Hitting drives under pressure
Developing a “go-to” shot off the tee is when you’re under pressure is critical. It gives you a shot you can rely on when the pressure is on.
Splitting the fairway with your drive when under pressure pays off, it cuts strokes from your cores, builds confidence on a hole, keeps you out of trouble, and sets up a good approach shot.
Fades work well in these situations. Practice hitting a fade at the range until you can do it in your sleep. It will serve as your go-to drive in situations when you have to find the fairway. You’ll use this shot whenever you’re under pressure on the tee.
2. Hitting an approach shot over water
Does going over water scare you? It scares a lot of weekend golfers. Knowing how far you hit every club in your bag is a godsend here. It tells you if you can go over the hazard or lay up on the shot.
The critical part here, though, isn’t how far you hit the club in total distance. It’s knowing what your carry distance is for each club.
Carry numbers are the only ones you need to know. So, practice hitting a club that you can get great carry on. That club becomes your go-to club when you need to go over a hazard.
3. Facing extra-long putts.
Even good approach shots can leave you yards from the hole. These situations are ideal chances to three-putt. Three-putting can kill you. Learn to hit pinpoint lag putts well. You’ll not only save yourself strokes. You’ll also build confidence in your putting—the name of the game in golf.
Below is one of the best golf drills out there for perfect your lag putting skills. It helps you to focus on putting speed:
Draw a three-foot circle around a hole on the putting green. Take five balls to the practice green. Stick tees in the ground at 30, 40, and 50 feet from the hole. Now try to putt five balls in a row from each tee to within three feet of the hole.
Start at 40 feet. Then move to 30 feet. Then move to 50 feet. Staggering your shots like this prevents you from just grooving a slightly longer stroke as you go. Don’t move to the next station until you get five straight putts within the circle.
4. Shots from 100 yards in
Hitting good pitches from this distance can make or break a hole. It’s the difference between making a birdie or a par and making a bogey or double bogey. So, pick a distance from 100 yards and in and find a can you can hit well from that distance.
Then practice until you become automatic with that club from that distance. Devote 20 minutes every time you practice to hitting that shot from that distance. Your confidence and potential to score from that distance are bound to improve.
5. Chipping from just off the green
Developing a go-to shot from just off the green is another skill that can impact your game. You can use just about any club to hit a chip. But you need to find one that you’re comfortable with hitting and make that you’re go-to club on chips just off the green. Learning to chip well is easier said than done. But learning to hit a pinpoint chip can turn three strokes into two. It can also help you card more birdies and pars.
Also, Read These:
Developing go-to shots can transform your game. They’ll help you chop strokes off your scores. They’ll help you boost confidence in your game. And they’ll help you choose the right golf strategy when under pressure. You can’t ask for anything more than that. Nail down the go-to approach to playing golf and you’ll take one step closer to breaking 80.
Nailing the Bump and Run Makes Choosing a Golf Strategy Easier
The bump and run shot a highly useful shot. It can save you a ton of strokes. It’s ideal when chipping from firm ground under the ball or from a tight fairway. It’s also forgiving. You can stub the shot and still make the green. Plus, it’s a shot that can turn three strokes into two. Mastering this shot makes choosing the right golf strategy when you’re just off the green easier.
Here are seven keys to hitting the bump and run:
- Choose the right club
- Set the ball back in your stance
- Lean the shaft forward stance
- Stand the club on its toe
- Hinge your wrists slightly
- Use your shoulders to make the shot
- Make a slightly descending blow
A good time to hit a bump and run is when you have about 20-25 yards from the green and a clear path to the hole. You want the ball to bounce a couple of times short of the green, then roll to the hole. Try to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
- Start by taking a slightly open stance, with your feet close together and the ball back in your stance. Now lean the shaft forward. That delofts the clubface. You also want to stand the club p on its toe. That takes the club’s heel to be off the ground. Now shift your weight to your front foot, so you’re leaning slightly forward.
- Hinge your wrists slightly during the takeaway. Now come forward. Use your shoulders to make a small, back-and-through swing. Use a descending blow for this shot and a shallow U-shaped swing arc. Keep the triangle formed between your arms hand and club at address intact through the swing. Try to get the ball rolling on the ground as soon as possible.
Practice this shot with three different clubs—sand wedge, gap wedge, and pitching wedge (or 8 or 9 iron). You can even practice with a hybrid. Using this approach to practicing gives you a feel for how the ball reacts with each club. It also helps you develop a soft touch around the greens.
Master the bump and run and you’ll make choosing the right golf strategy when just off the green much, much easier. And save yourself a ton of strokes.
Hit Bombs Off the Tee with this Simple Golf Drill
Can you bomb one off the tee when you need to? Smart golf strategy sometimes demands it. One key to hitting bombs is maintaining “long arms” during the swing. That means keeping your lead arm straight in the backswing and both arms straight in the forward swing. Doing so creates a wide swing arc. That boosts clubhead speed and generates more distance.
The golf drill below trains you to hit solid shots with any club:
Long Arms Golf Drill
Start by finding a vertical obstacle. It could be a wall in your basement, a fence in your backyard, or a garage door in your driveway. Where ever it is, it’s vertical, about shoulder high, and has some clearance to a make mini-swings.
Now take your address position with your 7 iron in hand. Extend the golf club with your lead arm directly in front of you in a straight line. Make sure you have about a six-inch gap between the clubhead and the wall.
Now go from your address position with the club to your follow-through. As you come forward, reach for the wall as best you can. To do it, you’ll have to keep your arms straight and your wrists flexed slightly downward. That’s the motion you want to retain.
After practicing this several times, start making mini-swings. Keep your body in its typical posture as you do the golf drill. You want to make the mini-swings as real as possible. Once you’ve ingrained the feeling, go to the range. Hit some practice shots with the 7-iron, then your driver trying to keep your arms straight.
Mastering this golf tip adds speed and power to your swing. More importantly, it adds distance to your shots—the kind of distance you need to when smart golf strategy demands it.