Golf Strategy Tips For Improving Golfers

In this video, TeeTimeTips founder Nick Dougherty shares his strategy advice with an improving female golfer

Nick Dougherty and Golf Monthly reader Amanda Rowley on the 11th tee at Wentworth
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

It's easy to give in to temptation when you're fairly new to golf. Once you've started to hit some good shots at the driving range, it's only natural for thoughts of rapid improvement to creep in. However, that can actually stifle progress. So, in the video and article below, TeeTimeTips founder Nick Dougherty shares his strategy advice with improving golfer Amanda Rowley...

Resisting the urge to force it when you've caught 'the bug' can be one of the hardest things for golfers who are eager to improve quickly. Amanda is no exception. Off 18 and with a clear natural ability, her target is to breach single figures, but it's only going to happen if she avoids some of the common pitfalls that plague amateurs.

Have patience

As Nick explains, he is in a good position to give advice having lived through the ups and downs of life on tour. He's enjoyed some extreme highs but is also humble enough to say he took some wrong turns along the way. Now, he's keen to help Amanda - and others in a similar position - get the most out of her game as she improves.

"For Amanda, the best thing for her to focus on is strategy and building her way around the golf course playing to her strengths, which is her driving," says Nick. "It’s a great way to get better.

"Have the patience that you’re naturally going to get better and you can alter your target lines as you go, but make it easy for yourself."

Nick Dougherty giving a lesson to Golf Monthly reader Amanda Rowley

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

It's a philosophy Nick admits applies "across the board", and one that is rooted in common sense, but as anyone who has ever picked up a club before knows, common sense and golf rarely go hand-in-hand. Luckily for Amanda, she has a naturally laid back demeanour that will help her on her quest to single digits. The key going forward, is to maintain that outlook.

"We could see it on the course on the 11th at Wentworth where she was hitting up the hill. The pin was tucked left but we picked the shot that gave her the most amount of room, which really helped her on what is a tough hole.

"The great thing with Amanda is that she's still in the moment of thinking things are great as they happen and she's happy with that, which is a great way to be. I became guilty of getting carried away thinking I had cracked it and then I’d overdo changes because I couldn’t help myself."

Play smart like Tiger

While the vast majority of golfers can't pull off the kind of shots the best players in the world make look easy, there is still plenty to be learned from them that can be applied to an amateur's game. And when it comes to strategy, nobody has done it better than Nick's fellow TaylorMade ambassador Tiger Woods.

"It’s one of the biggest misconceptions about Tiger," Dougherty adds. "We think he is this box-office golfer, but he was actually one of the most conservative players of all time. He rarely went at the flag if it didn’t fit in his dispersion pattern and he hardly ever took a risk.

Nick Dougherty playing at Wentworth with Golf Monthly readers Amanda Rowley and Andy Edom

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

"He played smart and always picked the right side of the hole to aim at to give himself a buffer. But we remember the great shots like the one out the fairway bunker at the Canadian Open. He pushed it, but he was aiming in the right place so his push still found the target. If he was going straight at the flag and hit that shot, he'd have gone in the water. 

"Don’t put yourself under pressure to make it harder than it needs to be, even if you think you might be able to pull off a risky shot. That’s fine in practice but in tournaments, play smart.

"It gives you room for error, and if Tiger needed that as arguably the greatest ever, then we should probably take note. As much as it’s fun sometimes to go for the hero shot, when push comes to shove and we’re talking handicap, let’s play smart."

Andrew Wright
Freelance News Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he decided to go freelance and now covers a variety of topics for Golf Monthly. 

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as,, and

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Mizuno mp32 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x