Use Your Head & Play Smart Golf

  • Identify your own strengths and weaknesses
  • Be realistic about your skill level…don’t play with the idea of hitting shots that you HOPE to pull off
  • Avoid low percentage shots. Never attempt a shot that you have not practiced
  • PAR is the number of strokes taken on a hole by an expert golfer! Are you an expert? If not, play for bogey and be pleased when you make a better score
  • Develop your own pre-shot routine and stick with it
  • Change your concept of keeping score. Don’t always fixate on the gross score; instead focus on your GIR (greens in regulation) and FIR (fairways inĀ regulation), and the number of putts you take and how often you get the ball up and down from around the greens
  • Stay focused. You only need to concentrate during the 20 – 45 seconds when it is your turn to play
  • Develop some confidence by thinking and saying positive things
  • Learn to relax because tension absolutely destroys the golf swing

First tee jitters:

  • Always arrive at the tee after hitting some balls at the practice area or, at least, after doing some stretching exercises
  • Take some deep breaths; then, slowly exhale
  • Always take a practice swing…make it a dress rehearsal of your actual swing
  • Leave the driver in the bag. Use your 3 wood for the first few holes until you develop some rhythm and confidence

Tee Shots on Par 4’s and Par 5’s:

  • The goal should be to keep that ball in the fairway
  • Divide the landing area into a 3 lane highway…eliminate the lane on the side of trouble and aim at the other two lanes
  • Always tee up your shot on the side of trouble
  • Good golfers stare at the target and glance at the ball; while, poor golfers glance at the target and stare at the ball
  • Don’t try to hit the ball 300 yards. Remember the woods are full of long hitters!

Approach shots to greens:

  • From 100 yards or more…always aim at the center of the green
  • Most greens are 3 clubs in depth…always use enough club to get to the center of the green
  • Make your club selection once you have a clear mental image of the shot and after you’re sure of the proper distance
  • Be content with any shot that comes to rest on or near the putting surface

Par 3’s:

  • Pay close attention to the wind…it can make a 2 or 3 club difference
  • Aim your shot at the center of the green
  • Most of your misses are going to be short and right of the green

In Trouble:

  • Your first and only thought should be…to get the ball back in play in the fewest amount of strokes


  • A 3-putt is worse than missing the ball…Learn to detest a 3-putt
  • Develop your own putting routine and use it
  • Remember that there are only two issues involved; Distance and Direction.
  • Putting is the most individualistic part of golf. Putting is not a science…Be an athlete, not a robot!

Characteristics of Great Putters:

  • Weight slightly toward the hole
  • Head remains steady
  • Eyes over the ball (from the target line view)
  • Stroke is smooth…tension free
  • Light grip pressure
  • Ball position is forward in the stance

Additional Thoughts:

  • Have a Practice hat and a Practice glove…a Playing hat and a Playing glove. Don’t mix the two!
  • Play by yourself. Play a 3 ball scramble…Hit 3 shots from each location.
  • Play a few rounds from the forward tees and get use to shooting some lower scores.
  • Get comfortable playing with better golfers. It will bring out the best in you.

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