Photo: Stephen Szurlej
How's your ball striking? How well you're hitting it should factor into your club selection. If you're trying to decide between, say, a 6-iron and a 7-iron and you're not feeling particularly sharp, go with the 6. It's not time to play for maximum distance. Plus, you'll usually make a better swing when you don't press.
Where's the trouble? Anytime you have to fly a hazard (water or sand) in front of the green, pick the longer club. You don't need the added pressure of trying to create more carry. If the trouble is behind the green, you might pick the shorter club -- but only if you feel you can get there without overswinging.
Where's the flag? Hole location is an obvious factor, but many golfers overlook it: They pace off the yardage and stop there. But on some of today's big greens, it could be a three-club difference from front to back. When you're truly stuck between clubs, this is the best tiebreaker: When the flag's back, go with the longer one; flag's up, go shorter.