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Golden rules to playing the course

Playing the course

I’m often asked what a player should concentrate on when playing a golf course. It's a difficult point to advise on, as there are so many areas that a player's thoughts can get wander off to when playing the game of golf. The one thing I am certain on is that in order to achieve the best results on a golf course, the golf swing is the last thing a player should concentrate on.

Becoming a good match-player is difficult to achieve. Consistency does help, but keeping to certain guidelines or rules is also the key. In this article, we will focus on a couple of points that should help you play better golf.

30 footers

Putting is often thought of as one of the most frustrating parts of the golf game. We’ve all had an occasion where we've missed what seems like an easy putt and walked away berating ourselves! In my mind, any shot has the same value, whether you hit the ball 300 hundred yards down the fairway, play a miraculous shot from out of the trees, or putting the ball into the hole from two inches away the value of the shot, especially putting, should never be underestimated.

When focusing on putting, the first rule you should try and adhere to is that you should never 3 putt, from 30 feet or less. This is a hard point to achieve on a regular basis but it is definitely worth striving for. The condition and size of a green and the weather on playing day will alter the dynamics of the surface of a green. Therefore, it's a good idea to get a feel for the green before you start to play to give yourself the best opportunity when it comes to putting.

The 60/80 or the 100 yard 'pitching' shot

The second point is the 60/80 shot, which may go up as far as the 100-yard mark. It is a shot that any player is likely to have to face on several holes during a round of golf. This shot is often referred to as the pitching shot.

This is a shot that we know we should be getting close to the flag, but that doesn't always happen due to bad technique, lack of confidence, or uncertainty on how to play the shot etc. Missing the green from such a short distance is definitely something for any player to avoid. And maybe just aiming to hit the green instead of aiming for the hole, is what you should be striving for.

When working with a client who wants to play like a golfing great. and can hit the ball for miles. I will first ask them to hit around 20 to 30 shots from 50, 60, or 75 yards, playing to a flag. If 80% of the shots are not within 10 feet or less, then I already know the problems we'll be facing. This may sound harsh but it just depends on what level the player aspires to play at. If you're a relatively new player, then just hitting the green from those distances is always a great benchmark for achievement.


To recap, keep it simple by aiming to never put from 30 feet or less or to miss a green from 75 yards or less. If you can achieve this, you will increase your chances of improving your scores and having a much better overall game.


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