‘Keep it in play and ac­cept that bo­gey can be a good score’

Golf Australia - - AUSTRALIA’S NO. 1 GOLF MAGAZINE -

Ama­teurs and pro­fes­sion­als need to un­der­stand their lim­i­ta­tions. A pro­fes­sional player might be able to shape a draw around the cor­ner if he’s a good driver or take it over the cor­ner if he’s one of the longer hit­ters and turn it into a birdie hole but that’s such a small per­cent­age of the golf­ing pop­u­la­tion. It’s huge for all golfers to re­alise that some­times par is a good score and bo­gey isn’t that bad. There are al­ways holes on a course that you don’t look for­ward to be­cause they don’t suit your eye but you’ve got to fig­ure out how you can get out of there with the least dam­age pos­si­ble. A right-to-left dog-leg like this is one that a lot of ama­teurs will find tough be­cause they fade or slice the ball.

Don’t hit driver if you’re a slicer

My ad­vice is al­ways for ama­teurs to get off the tee with as lit­tle dam­age as pos­si­ble. If you slice it, you want to take more loft – your favourite fair­way wood or hy­brid – so the ball doesn’t curve as much and you can hit the fair­way with­out hav­ing to start the ball too close to the trees on the left. It might leave you fur­ther back but it will help you avoid a card-wreck­ing score.

Some­times a bo­gey isn’t a bad thing

If a hole doesn’t suit your eye and shape then play for par, maybe make a bo­gey and move on. You can make par or birdie on holes that are more suited to your game. Mak­ing a sim­ple par on ev­ery hole – or bo­gey on the shot holes you don’t like – then that’s when you’ll start to shoot some good scores.

Be pre­pared to miss greens

You have to be more ac­cu­rate on your sec­ond shot be­cause the green is so nar­row. But some­times your misses get big­ger when you get too up­tight about hav­ing to hit it on the green. I al­ways tell ama­teurs that they’ve got to spend more time work­ing on their short game. Be ready to miss greens be­cause you’re prob­a­bly go­ing to miss more than half of them. A sharp short game is a big ad­van­tage.

Don’t worry about be­ing too pre­cise

Mid-to-high-hand­i­cap­pers don’t hit it well enough of­ten enough to be re­ally con­sis­tent with yardages. Find some­thing you can rely on to get the ball some­where around the green. Play more by feel and keep it sim­ple.

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