Play short for better positions

2013 08 Tip Dsc 61226124Merged

You don't need to nuke every shot to stand a chance of posting low scores.

Having good course management can save you plenty of shots on the golf course. Some amateur golfers I speak to during lessons and those I see on the course seem to be fairly obsessed with distance.

• Revisiting an old classic

• Elbows in, not out

They either have a burning desire to drive a par-4 or want to get as close to the green as possible in two shots on a par-5. There's nothing wrong with wanting more power and trying to add yards - it has its benefits - but it is very important to remember that both those decisions can lead to trouble.

Before trying to drive a par-4 or going for a par-5 in two shots, evaluate the risk and reward associated with each shot. 

Where possible, always try and play to your strengths. The majority of amateurs will be better at pitching the ball than playing out of bunkers. Therefore, when making a decision this should be taken into account.

In the picture above, I have played the hole two different ways. With the first shot, I was overly aggressive which left me a 40-yard bunker shot - one of the toughest shots in golf. The chances of getting the ball up and down successfully are pretty slim.

• Set up around the clubface

• A simple grip check

However, with the second shot, good course management has left me in an ideal position in the fairway. From this position I can attack the flag with confidence and hopefully get the ball up and down.

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