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Golf strategy tips for mid handicappers

Golf Strategy Tips For Mid Handicappers

golf strategy

Mid handicappers make up the largest population of golfers and are those that shoot anywhere from 80 to 90. Golf strategy tends to be one of the things that mid handicappers struggle with the most. So what are the best golf strategy tips for mid handicappers?

Most mid handicappers are capable of hitting the golf ball far, mostly straight, and even have some great short game ability. The problem I see with most mid handicappers is poor decision making. Let’s look at some important golf strategy tips for mid handicappers that will change the way you play, encourage lower scores and make the game more enjoyable.


Do Not Aim At The Pin

One of the most important golf strategy tips for mid handicappers is don't aim at the pin! The pin is not always the best spot on the green to aim. If you are a mid handicapper who fades the ball aiming at the pin could mean that you will miss your target to the right. Aiming at the pin can lead to you hitting the ball in the bunker or having a very difficult putt.

not aiming at the pin golf strategy

Instead, find a safe area on the green that allows for a simple putt to the hole. This strategy takes some time to get used to, but it will help eliminate large numbers from your scorecard.


Practice Lag Putting

Lag putting is an essential strategy to practice. When you have a thirty or forty-foot putt, the goal is to get the ball within a two to three-foot radius around the pin. Three putts are not good for the score, and they are wasted shots.

If you practice lag putting, your chance of a three putt is slim. Golfers that three putt often are typically made because they miss their second putt that is between 5-8 feet long. The question is, why are you in this position to begin with the first putt that causes the issue.


Develop A Plan For The Hole

When you stand on the tee box, have a plan according to your strategy for the entire hole, not just the tee shot. Take a look at where the pin is and where it would be easiest to hit the pin from. For instance, if the pin is on the right side of the green, it is best to approach to the pin from the left side of the fairway.

Hit your driver on a line down the left side of the fairway, and then you will have an easier time getting the ball to the pin on the right side of the green.


Accept Bogey At Times

Bogey is an acceptable score on certain holes. If you have a bad tee, shot and are able to recover and make a bogey, accept it and move on. In addition, if there are par 4 holes that are very difficult to reach in two, play them like a par 5 and make things simple for yourself.

Accepting bogey is ok, especially on a difficult golf course. You can also read more about how to play o bogey golf HERE.


Get Accurate Yardages

Great golfers will get accurate yardages using a rangefinder, and then they will know exactly which club that yardage corresponds to. Essentially if you have a rangefinder that tells you it is 150 yards to the pin, you can make a decision based on where the green is, whether your 145 or 155 yard club is the better choice.

A personal golf launch monitor can help you narrow down exactly what your carry distances are. If you want to play better golf, you must become an expert of your own game.


Calculate Layup Shots

Have you ever said, “I'm just going to layup,” and had it work out worse than if you had gone for it? You are not alone. So many golfers mess up the layup shot, and this typically is because they didn’t do any math. When you hit a layup shot, you must do the math.

layup zone for middle handicappers on a par 5

Let’s say you are looking at a long par 5, and you know you won’t hit the green in two shots. Instead, a layup makes much more sense. After hitting your drive, you won’t necessarily want to take out your fairway wood and hit the ball as far as you can. In this particular case your goal is to hit it on the fairway past the tree so that it won't get in the way of your next shot.

It makes more sense to calculate the distance you want for your third shot and then work backward to get the proper yardage. If you want 100 yard shot for your approach, and you are 275 yards from the pin, hit a 175 yard layup.

Look in the area where you plan to layup and make sure there is no additional trouble. DOn’t be reckless about your layup shots; play them smart, and you will end up in less trouble. Sometimes a layup shot may just be an 8 iron, and that is entirely acceptable.


Track Your Stats & Setup A Goal

All mid handicappers should be tracking their stats. Whether it be putting greens in regulation or fairways hit, you must know your stats and your weaknesses. Tracking these stats while on the golf course may give you more focus and a general goal to keep in mind.

If you find that you struggle with staying focused on the golf course, set up these trackers on your scorecard or with a GPS watch and track them on the course, you will stay more focused.


Be Careful Of Club Selection

Last but not least mid, handicappers need to start being very careful about the club selection they make. Some golf clubs should not be hit out of a difficult lie, like a 3 wood. Also, a full swing with a lob wedge may be a poor choice compared to a half swing pitching wedge.

Remember that just because a shot is a certain distance does not mean you are limited to one single club. Play the golf club that makes the most sense based on the lie, yardage, your confidence level, and the golf course conditions that day.


Properly Loft Gap Your Equipment

One of the best things a mid handicapper can do to be sure they are set up to play a great round is to properly loft gap their golf equipment. With modern golf equipment, you may have a large gap between your pitching wedge and sand wedge. Use also a gap wedge for example. In addition, there could be a large space between a five iron and a fairway wood.

Do some research on the clubs in your bag and make sure you don’t have any large loft gaps. These loft gaps lead to problems with consistency in your golf shots and large distance gaps that you can’t hit. Don’t leave yourself without a 100 yard shot or a 185 yard shot; we have room for 14 clubs; make sure you are choosing them wisely.



These golf strategy tips for mid handicappers will not be something that you can implement all at once. I suggest taking one strategy on each of your next rounds and seeing if it can help take your game to the next level. The good news is when you start focusing on strategy as opposed to striking the ball, you are well on your way to becoming a lower handicapper.


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