Consider the setup and conditions on every hole.
The design of a hole is important, but a lot depends on the course set-up as well, such as how heavy the rough is, how soft or firm the course is playing and the pin position on the green. These factors will change from day to day and around the year so your strategy must also change to suit the set-up and conditions on that day, as well as the style of the hole. A smart strategy will use these conditions to your advantage, whether that’s being more aggressive when the rough is light or using shorter clubs off the tee when the fairways are firm.
Know your yardages to take hazards out of play
When you have lots of fairway bunkers in play and they are staggered on either side of the fairway, you have to know how far you carry each club and how far it will run out so you can pick the correct option off the tee. In this instance, you ideally want to use a club that will carry the fairway bunker on the left so you can favour that side of the hole and open up your second shot.
Balance risk and reward for your approach
If the rough is thick, greens are firm and fast, or the pin is tucked then aim for the middle of the green to avoid short-siding yourself. If it’s lighter rough, softer and an easier pin you can be more aggressive because you’ll still have a decent chance of saving your par if you miss the green.
Tailor strategy to the rough and firmness
If the rough is heavy and the greens are firm then it’s more important to hit the fairway, so I might take a safer club off the tee. But if the rough isn’t too thick or the greens are softer you can afford to be more aggressive off the tee because you can still hit and hold the green even if you miss the fairway. Firmer fairways will run more so you can usually hit a shorter club off the tee to help you find the short grass while finding the yardage you need.