‘Take the stress out of difFIcult holes’
There are always di erent ways to play a hole. And often, the harder a hole is, the trickier it is to choose the right option. We all want to make birdies but sometimes the best strategy for a handicap golfer isn’t the one that maximizes the chance of making birdie, it’s the one that minimizes the chance of making bogey. Chasing a low number on every hole can tempt you into riskier and more dicult shots.
If you don’t execute them perfectly, things can go wrong very quickly. Stick to hitting shots you know you can pull o and your scores will improve.
Hit your natural shot
The optimum tee shot here is a driver that draws into the left-to-right camber of the fairway and threads between the bunkers, but how often are you really going to get that right and find the short grass? If you want to play aggressively, use whatever your natural shot shape is. Or simply hit a more forgiving fairway wood or hybrid that you know you’ll get in play.
Leave the easiest putt
Think about where you want to putt from when you’re pitching and chipping onto undulating greens. For example, if you’re chipping uphill on a steep green you really don’t want to be long. Sure, you can’t hole it if you don’t get it past the hole but the chances of that are slim so be sensible and leave it below so you’ve got a much easier uphill putt. Also, think about the line of the straight putt and get it as close as possible to that.
Plan for the good miss
Even if you hit a great tee shot, you’re still going to have a difficult approach so you have to think about where the sensible miss would be. Steer well clear of hazards like these big bunkers and resist chasing the flag so you don’t short-side yourself. Aiming for the middle of the green is the best option in the vast majority of cases. If you hit it, you’ll never be that far from the hole wherever it is on the green.