1. Don’t try to do what you can’t do.
*Research shows you must be less than a 10 handicap to hit a medium sized green from 150 yards out with a perfect lie.
*Unless you can create a clubhead speed of 85mph, you can hit a 3-wood as far as a driver.
*For advanced players, it’s almost as difficult to make putts just outside of 12 feet as it is to make them from 40 feet.
*Advanced players (handicaps of 12 and below) must learn the fundamentals of shotmaking, the ability to hit shots of different shapes and trajectories. Practice the shots you don’t like and play with the shots you like.
*Play to your strengths: 1. Player’s strength vs. Hole’s weakness (look for holes that favor your “natural” shots). 2. Player’s strength vs. Hole’s strength (try to fit your shot to the hole). 3. Player’s weakness vs. Hole’s weakness (play away from what is most comfortable for you; playing away from your natural shot is better than aiming at trouble). 4. Player’s weakness vs. Hole’s strength (avoid this situation at all cost; this situation almost always invites disaster).
2. Don’t aim where a straight shot will get you in trouble.
*Substantially more penalty shots are incurred from poor starting direction than from curve, by a ratio of almost 12 to 1. Aiming at or near trouble almost assures that you will get there.
*Aim away from trouble and curve the ball toward trouble.
*Strategies to fit the shots: 1. Tee shot should be less aggressive than the other shots. The objective is to put the ball in a position to use the easier shots. For most players, the proper club is rarely more than a 3-wood. 2. Advancement shot should make the next shot as easy as possible. For most players, the proper club is rarely more than a 4 or 5-wood. 3. Target shots are ones with which you expect to hit the green. The advanced player’s target zone rarely exceeds 150-175 yards. 4. Partial shots are all less-than-full shots around the green, including putts, chips, pitches and bunker shots. Priority should be “on” first, “close” second and “in” third. 5. Trouble shots are those you need when you have placed your ball where you don't want it. Don’t follow a bad shot with a bad decision.
3. To achieve best results, always follow the same procedure.
*Warm up. Loosen muscles to enhance play and discourage injury. Determine which swings are available that day. Identify ball flight tendencies that might change your planning.
*Work your plan. Don’t try to catch up or push your game beyond your capabilities.
*Get in the proper frame of mind. Select a swing. Select a target. Select a club. Drive a familiar road (develop a consistent pre-shot approach and use it in practice and on the course).