To start playing smart golf takes getting familiar with your strengths and weaknesses. Then ideally when you check out for a round of golf, the strategy you use on the course should include playing to your strengths and trying to avoid your weaknesses. There is no such thing as two golfers being alike, each with a different approach. Believe me there are 1,000 ways to make par, you need to find the most secure way you can make that happen.
How is this done?
From this day forwards, instead of just writing your score for a particular hole, give yourself more information about that number. It surprises me how much golfer’s neglect taking stats during or after a round of golf considering how easy it is to do. Stats will draw out how the day went on the golf course and what needs attention. How was your ball striking? How many times did you get the ball up and down after missing a green? After 10-20 rounds, you will begin to see a pattern form of averages. This will give you an idea of your strength and weaknesses. You can then check these averages along side tour pros on http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/
Under your name where you will be putting your score create a new column and write Fairways, GIR (Green in regulation), Putts, and up/down. If you are playing with three other players and want to keep track of their score it would be a wise idea to use a different scorecard just for stats.
For an example:
On Hole 1, you make par by just missing the fairway to the left, hitting the green below the pin, and 2 putting from 25 feet up the hill. Since you missed the fairway mark “L” to show you missed the fairway to the left. Under GIR, simple put a dot to show you hit the green, and 2 for putts.
This sounds simple, but most golfers don’t take the time to collect this information and so their results suffer. Once you start to get an sense of your game, you can begin to practice on your weaknesses. The stronger you can make your weaknesses the better golfer you become. Get to work, Good Luck!