golf strategy tips and tricks
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Are you someone who rarely scores well when playing badly? If so, these golf strategy tips and tricks from Graeme McDowell's coach, Clive Tucker is sure to help

There is far more to building a good strategy than meets the eye. Clive Tucker, coach to Graeme McDowell and David Howell offers some fascinating  golf strategy tips and tricks to help you shoot lower scores in the easiest way possible.

1 Carry & Run

“I hit my 7-iron 150 yards.” If you’re like most golfers, you’ll have thought, if not said something very similar in the past. However, there is a problem with this sentence. The total distance you hit each club in the bag will depend on ground conditions – so you won’t hit the ball as far when it is wet as you will in the height of the summer. That’s why smart golfers rely on carry yardages. They will know the exact yardage they carry each club in the bag. Your 7-iron might be 135 yards. Knowing this means you can then build a strategy based on how far you expect the ball to roll when it hits the ground. Sometimes you will hit your 7-iron 135 yards, sometimes you’ll hit it 160 yards. Crucially, by knowing your carry yardages you’ll be far more precise and accurate with your distances.

Watch: Golf Swing Tips Videos

2 Spot The Dead Zone

Every smart strategy starts with knowing where the card-wrecker lies on each hole. Sometimes this is obvious – water short of the green or out of bounds running down the right side of the fairway - but often it requires more thought. Is there a bunker 50 yards short of the green, or a deep hollow to the left of the green with deep rough lying in wait? Knowing where the dead zone is, is step one in building a strategy. It might sound negative but it will certainly help you avoid hitting shots that will immediately cost you shots.

3 Never Aim Where A Straight Shot Will Find Trouble

“I’ll aim at the bunker and hit my usual fade.” Cue the straightest shot you hit all year. This should be an error you never make. If you want to aim at that bunker, select a club that you know will not get there. Again, knowing your carry distances is crucial in this scenario.

4 Never Pick the Wind By Throwing Grass

Picking the wind when you are playing tree-lined golf courses is notoriously hard. The breeze always swirls through the trees and often this can fool you into picking the wrong target for a shot. The best advice is to have a look at the overhead course map (usually on the card) before you play and draw an arrow across the map in the direction the wind is due to blow. So if there is a south westerly wind on that day, draw a big arrow across the golf courses denoting that fact. While you are competing for real, ignore what the wind is doing at ground level and consult your wind map. Never picking the wind by tghrowing up grass is one of the most important golf strategy tips and tricks.

Watch: Golf Driving Tips Videos

5 The Fall Line

Picking the break on greens with subtle slopes is one of the great challenges facing every golfer. One of the best golf strategy tips and tricks is to find the fall line. So, as you approach your ball, take a look at the green and try to pick where the dead straight putt is. Once you have found the straight putt, you have the line to which everything will want to break – this is the fall line. The greater, the angle between your ball and the fall line, the greater the break.

6 Find The Trend

How often do you review your game? Do you reflect on each round, think about your most consistent misses and look at where most of your shots were dropped? For most, the answer to this is no but reflecting on your game is the best way to build a strategy that works for you. It might well be that you often pull your mid iron shots. Knowing your most likely miss is one of the most important golf strategy tips and tricks will help you hit much more sensible shots off the tee and into the greens.

Neil Tappin

In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf. 

Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X