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Golf scoring strategy - what it is and what to include

Golf Scoring Strategy - What It Is And What To Include In It

golf strategy

Once you have your golf swing down and you understand the basics of what it takes to get a golf ball in the hole, it's time to start learning how to score. Scoring is something that many players struggle with because it requires a solid mental game in addition to a strong physical game. I have put together some of my favorite tips for golfers that want to improve their golf scoring strategy and are ready to lower their golf handicap.


Figure Out Your Weaknesses

A big part of golf scoring strategy is knowing your weaknesses. Your weaknesses on the golf course are what will create your bogeys and double bogeys. Sometimes this may be a random sliced hybrid or a chip that goes across the green a few times.

To develop the rest of your scoring strategy and be sure that you can actually go low, the weaknesses need to be analyzed and worked with.


Look At The Entire Hole

One of the most common mistakes that amateur players make is they look simply at hitting their drive in the center of the fairway instead of considering the entire hole. Each hole has an ideal way to play it, and that way may be to hit a drive down the left or the right to have a better attack angle to the pin.

When you are ready to start scoring low on the golf course, you must consider the entire hole, the hazards, the green location, and what your plan is.

Even if you do not have complete confidence in your driver off the tee, start to plan to hit a perfect drive and aim it where you want that drive to land. Looking at the entire hole will change how you play every hole and the club selection off the tee.

golf scoring strategy from tee


Par Is Not Always Worth Playing For

Par is simply the expectation for the hole, but it's not always a realistic one. Sometimes golf holes are designed to be played for a bogey or birdie! Many women golfers have a par four with a water hazard in front, and they will simply play it like a par 5. This is entirely acceptable and will help to keep large numbers off of your scorecard. Golf scoring strategy doesn't mean you need to be aggressive on every hole...

There are also times for golfers with a more developed game where par is not low enough. Some golf course holes are birdie holes, and if you don't take advantage of your chance to make a birdie, you may end up shooing higher than you wanted for the day.

Think of the professionals you watch and how they will all try to birdie or even eagle certain holes; they know they need to take advantage of all opportunities.


Pin Placement Matters

When working on scoring, you must start to pay attention to where the pin placement is on the green. Hitting a shot on the green is great, but getting that ball five feet from the pin is an entirely different accomplishment. The pin placement on the golf course matters.

Pay very close attention to where golf pins are and use a distance measuring device to give you accurate yardages. When you play a course often, try to think about the location of the pin and how slopes and ledges also impact this.

Some greens have several tiers, and if greens are fast and you are putting from an upper to a lower tier, you could hit a putt off the green. However, if you learn your greens and then pay close attention to pin placement, this shouldn't be a concern.

pin position in golf scoring strategy


Know When To Get Aggressive

A golf hole that is resting three feet beyond a water hazard that you are approaching with a 4 iron in your hand is not a situation where being aggressive makes sense. If you want to get aggressive, save it for the times when you have a wedge in your hand and nothing in front of you.

Golfers that are not smart about being aggressive end up with large numbers on their scorecard. Think about the percentages and the chance of you making the shot, and then decide if being aggressive will be more beneficial than being safe.

To score low, there are times you will have no choice but to be aggressive.


Set Realistic Expectations

It is essential to set realistic expectations while on the golf course. I would all love to shoot 72, but this is not realistic for all players. One of the best scoring strategies is to look at your round after you played and see where you could make up one or two shots.

Chances are you made a mental error at some point or missed some short putts that could have easily been made. The next time you go to play, try to focus on these areas and ensure that you are no longer making the same mistakes.

When implementing a scoring strategy into your game, you can't go from shooting 90 to 80 in a day. You can, however, go from shooting 90 to 88, then 87, 85, etc.


Get Good At Chipping

Everyone talks about the importance of putting. I can't disagree; putting is the ultimate way to score. However, if you can get good at chipping, you will make more putts. The idea of getting a chip shot within just a few feet of the pin not only lowers your total number of putts but also helps you save par.

Missing a green is not a big deal if you can chip on and make a putt. When you become good at chipping, hitting the green with your iron shots even becomes easier.


Don't Be Afraid To Go Low

Going low on the golf course can be scary at first. This probably sounds ridiculous to some golfers that can only dream of making a few birdies and pars in a row. However, being afraid to go low is a real issue that some golfers struggle with.

If you have a few significant holes in a row, it's likely not a fluke, and it's something that is caused by your attention to detail and your skill level. Challenge yourself to keep going instead of waiting for that triple bogey to sneak up on you.

Don't hit the ball ten feet from the pin and be happy with a par; make the birdie putts, and try to get under par. Set your mind in a place that allows you to go low without fear.



As you can see, golf scoring is a complicated process with many different steps and strategies. You have to find something that works specifically for your game. It took me many years to develop a scoring strategy, and it's still a concept I work on as equipment changes and my swing is modified through the years. You will find that golf scoring strategy is something you can almost always work on.


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