Lowering your scores will require you to hit more greens in fewer shots. Here are a few course-management and ball-striking tips to help improve your distance and accuracy.

Strategy: Cut the green in half

Imagine the green in two halves; play to either the front or the back instead of aiming at the pin. This gives you a much larger target area (half a green) than a hole that is just a few inches wide.

Forget the term “greens in regulation” (i.e., on the green in par minus two strokes) and make it your own GIR. If, for example, you’re an 18-handicap, you get one extra stroke per hole; therefore, you have three shots to get to the green on a par 4, and four on a par 5. This will take the pressure off your approach game.

Always err on the side of choosing more club (e.g., an 8-iron versus a 9-iron). Most people come up short of the green because they think they hit the ball farther than they actually do. The club that gets you there is the one you should use.

Make your last thought before pulling the trigger positive. Repeat simple three-word phrases to yourself such as “on the green” or “right-side green.” This will orient you to the target and help you to visualize a positive image!