Below we have a standard golf guide aimed at all golfers. Its well designed with plenty of yardage information but it would not be very helpful to a pro. Pro’s place emphasis on the green structures as we can see in the second picture.


A strategy is created from the green back to the tee. The first action is to locate the pin position. It’s location will decide what angle or distance a golfer must come in from to make a good birdie. It will decide if he needs to shape the ball and what height of trajectory it needs to be.

Pro yardage chart

At his peak Tiger Woods ranked as the most successful player from the rough which some will credit his strength and technique for. This was undoubtedly a factor but further analysis demonstrated his tendancy to miss the fairway strategically. To explain better with an example, lets take a dog leg left with a front left pin position in the green pictured above.

Missing the fairway on the left side or even being in the left half of the fairway creates difficulty in getting close as the greenside trouble waits ominously for any shot that lacks distance by only a couple of yards. Tiger, playing from either the right half of the fairway or the right rough is left with a much simpler approach. With less danger in front of him he has a bigger margin of error when attempting to get close to the flag.

Another common strategy tip that will suit better players is to try and leave yourself ‘below the hole’. Often heard in tv commentary, the intention is to leave yourself an uphill putt when playing your approach from the fairway. The faster the greens the greens the more valuable this theory becomes. Putting uphill is so much easier to judge. Committing to a target that isn’t the flagstick will go against the better players instincts of attacking. Club selection is crucial too in creating a margin of error to finish the correct side of the flag.

These less than obvious strategies require mental discipline, creativity and foresight. Creating a bigger margin of error for yourself gives you a much better chance of consistent scoring and an improved ability to deal with rounds where your swing feels loose. Enjoy managing your game like a pro!


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