The quickest way to break 100 is to take advantage of the short holes on your course. Think about it: On a par 72, you could double bogey all 10 of the par 4s, take 6s on the four par 5s, and still shoot 96—if you get through the shortest holes in even par. Provided you play the right set of tees, they should be simple iron shots anyway. To pencil in more 3s, remember this checklist.
How To Put More 3s On Your Scorecard
1. TAKE ONE MORE CLUB
The common tendency is to overestimate the distance you hit the ball, so take an extra club to ensure you don't come up short. Grip down an inch for control. With more club, you'll flight the ball lower, which limits how much it veers off line.
2. TEE THE BALL HIGHER
From a slightly higher tee, you'll make more of a sweeping swing. This will improve your distance control and accuracy by taking spin off the ball and increasing carry. Good, because you usually have to fly a par-3 shot all the way to the green. This helps.
3. AIM FOR THE CENTER
Forget where the flag is, and try to put the ball in the middle of the green. Also, you should adjust your aim to allow for your typical shot shape. Hit the middle, and you should have an easy two-putt to just about any hole location.
4. FINISH IN BALANCE
Your playing partners might give you grief for posing, but hold your finish. Remember, it's not distance, but distance control you're after. There's no reason to swing violently. Go at a pace that allows you to keep your balance all the way through.
David Leadbetter is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional.