There's little doubt that proper swing fundamentals and short-game techniques are important parts of a consistent golf game. Good golf, however, isn't purely about perfect mechanics; it's also largely about strategy. Fortunately, there are several key strategies anyone can easily utilize to produce lower scores. Better yet, using your smarts is a lot easier than trying to create a fundamentally perfect backswing or impact position. In this regard, the title of this story holds true—you can score better without changing your swing.
Below are five nontechnical techniques you can employ to achieve more consistent results the next time you step on the course. They encompass the areas of shot and target selection, tension-free mechanics, tempo and rhythm, mental toughness and score-saving (rather than pride-saving) decision making. If you can master these strategic musts, you'll be well on your way to a decent round even if your swing isn't in tip-top shape. And when it is, watch out!
1. Hit To The Fat Part Of The Green
Far too many golfers aim for the pin without considering its location on the green. Better golfers understand the importance of playing to their ability and, therefore, think twice before firing at a pin that's tucked near the edge of the green. This may not leave them with a better chance for birdie, but certainly lessens the chance for bogey or worse.
To make better decisions concerning when and when not to go for the flag, divide your clubs into three categories: 1) play it safe, 2) proceed with caution and 3) go for it. The clubs in the play it safe category are your fairway woods and long irons. For most golfers, these are the clubs that present the greatest challenge when it comes to consistently controlling distance and direction. Therefore, when you have a shot to the green that puts a fairway wood or long iron in your hands, always play it safe by aiming at the middle of the green. Proceed with caution with the clubs that are toward the middle of the set (5-iron through 8-iron). These clubs require a judgment call on your part based on how you're swinging on a given day. If you're swinging well and feeling confident, you can be more aggressive if you have a mid-iron in your hands. If you're a little off, take a more conservative approach and aim for the fat part of the green. Most golfers are the most accurate with their short irons, which are the go for it clubs. If you have a wedge distance to the flag, be unafraid in taking a more aggressive line to your target.