GOLF DIGEST SCHOOLS

Strategy Basics

1  of  4

Lesson 1: Before and After a Round

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

What you do before you play makes it easier or harder to have a satisfying round. Things like taking cues from your warm-up and going to the first tee with a playing mind-set can have a major impact. After your round, the right thinking is critical to set up your next day on the course. In this video, teacher Jeff Ritter covers strategy basics in the pre- and post-round.

SWING THOUGHTS

As you warm up, watch the shape of your shots and use that when you play
Prior to a round, condense the number of swing thoughts you have
After a round, focus on something you did well, like one great tee shot
Try to identify a lesson after the round, like your lag putting needs help
Lesson 2: From the Tee
2 Lesson 2: From the Tee
  • How to pick realistic targets
  • Using trouble areas like road signs
  • The art of aim and alignment
  • Straightening a slice—or a hook

Strategy Basics

2  of  4

Lesson 2: From the Tee

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

One of the main keys to playing better golf is reducing stress, and that starts on the tee box. Learning to look at trouble areas and hazards as directional aids and not round-wreckers is a good first step. Then comes a commitment to understanding your tendencies and playing your best shots. Here, Jeff Ritter teaches you how to get in the right frame of mind on the tee.

SWING THOUGHTS

On the first tee, imagine you’re making the turn and coming off a great front nine
Look at trouble areas off the tee as road signs that direct you where to go
Block anxiety by taking in your surroundings; count the shades of green you see
Before shots, elevate your mood by thinking of something that excites you
Embrace the opposite. If you’re slicing, approach shots like a player who hooks
Lesson 3: On the Approach
3 Lesson 3: On the Approach
  • Thinking one shot ahead
  • Making good use of waiting time
  • Taking what the course gives you
  • Flag hunting vs. avoiding blow-ups

Strategy Basics

3  of  4

Lesson 3: On the Approach

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

Unforced errors are the worst score-killers in the game. Taking a line to the flag that’s foolishly bold or trying to hit a crazy recovery shot to the green can lead to big numbers. It’s OK to swing aggressively, as long as your pre-shot planning is conservative, or at least realistic. In this video, teacher Jeff Ritter demonstrates the most effective strategies on approach shots.

SWING THOUGHTS

While waiting to hit, practice something positive, like rotating your lead arm toward the target
On approach shots, try to make a confident swing to a conservative target
When the pin is tucked, mentally remove it and focus on a safer area of the green
From tough spots, like sand, find your balance and ball position and stay with the shot
If you drive into trouble, plan on getting to the green in two; don’t try the hero play
Lesson 4: Around the Green
4 Lesson 4: Around the Green
  • Giving yourself more easy shots
  • Swing keys: bottom and bounce
  • Letting situation drive technique
  • A mind-set for better putting

Strategy Basics

4  of  4

Lesson 4: Around the Green

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

Short-game shots look simple, yet they can turn a good hole into a bad one very quickly. To improve your greenside play, you need to be able to make predictable contact and to use the club as the situation demands. You also need to access your creative side and be open to new challenges. Here, Jeff Ritter gives you the strategy tools you need on and around the greens.

SWING THOUGHTS

Around the green, tap your creativity: Think of three ways to play every shot
To shoot lower scores, play the easiest shot you can around the green
If you can putt, putt. If you can’t putt, chip. If you can’t chip, pitch
It’s OK to take several rehearsal swings around the green; try to feel out the shot
On short putts, take less time and try to care less about the outcome
Be flexible with your putting grip and stroke; let the putt dictate your style

Strategy Basics

Lesson
1 / 4
Lesson 1: Before and After a Round
2 / 4
Lesson 2: From the Tee
3 / 4
Lesson 3: On the Approach
4 / 4
Lesson 4: Around the Green
Strategy Basics INDEX
Lesson 1: Before and After a Round
1/4
Lesson 1: Before and After a Round
  • What to look for in your warm-up
  • Simplifying your swing thoughts
  • How to head off strategic errors
  • When to give yourself a break
  • What to look for in your warm-up
  • Simplifying your swing thoughts
  • How to head off strategic errors
  • When to give yourself a break
Lesson 2: From the Tee
2/4
Lesson 2: From the Tee
  • How to pick realistic targets
  • Using trouble areas like road signs
  • The art of aim and alignment
  • Straightening a slice—or a hook
  • How to pick realistic targets
  • Using trouble areas like road signs
  • The art of aim and alignment
  • Straightening a slice—or a hook
Lesson 3: On the Approach
3/4
Lesson 3: On the Approach
  • Thinking one shot ahead
  • Making good use of waiting time
  • Taking what the course gives you
  • Flag hunting vs. avoiding blow-ups
  • Thinking one shot ahead
  • Making good use of waiting time
  • Taking what the course gives you
  • Flag hunting vs. avoiding blow-ups
Lesson 4: Around the Green
4/4
Lesson 4: Around the Green
  • Giving yourself more easy shots
  • Swing keys: bottom and bounce
  • Letting situation drive technique
  • A mind-set for better putting
  • Giving yourself more easy shots
  • Swing keys: bottom and bounce
  • Letting situation drive technique
  • A mind-set for better putting