This guide aim to benefit a beginner who do not have much experience in Golf. It does not directly tell you how to aim or compensate or hitting the ball, but rather to prepare your mind and attitude toward the game. Golf requires not only skill but also strategy, especially when you lack of skill (like me). A good strategy can help you overcome your lack of skill to get a good score. A skill player with good strategy may achieve even a higher result.
Some of these strategy may require some work of brain cells, if you do not want to think anythings just simply hitting the ball, you may feel boring reading this guide. But if you don?t mind exercising some your brain cells for a chance of improving your score, I hope this guide could be some help.
1) Chart your club properly
Good approach give birdie chance, good chip guarantee a par. Unless you play Mastery mode, there already a circle to guide you the distance. That make our life easier. However, it still good to remember how far the ball may roll. So you may not need to chart all your clubs. The problem is when the distance is shorter than your shortest club ie your SW. The power % in this game is not linear, so it is a good idea to chart your wedge down to every 10%. The distance change everytime you add more power stat (or sometimes when you change your club), so you have to rechart them when they change or at least compensate for what that changed. When you have your chart, then it will be a lot easier to compensate and adjust your shot power from environment effect like bunker or rough.
2) Learn your putting
?Drive for show, putt for dough?, that is one of the most important principle in Golf. If you want to achieve good score, it is important to make sure that your putting is reliable. To make it reliable, first thing to do is to know your putter. Each putter may have different distance. Chart distance of your putter properly, so you know how much % you need for your putt. One good thing is that your toon attributes like Power or Skill do not effect your putter distance. So, unless your you change your putter to one with different distance, you don?t have to rechart it. As for myself, I prefer using the basic newbie putter, because it has shorter distance, it is easier to adjust the power %.
Once you know the distance for your putter, now its time to learn how the putting lie effect your putt. Uphill and downhill is easy to read, since it already shown in number. The problem is the side slope. Probably no one can teach you how to compensate them properly, since the slope show by the moving bright line, it is difficult to understand at which speed someone would call it slow or very slow. Therefore, you have to learn to compensate it by yourself, basicly from trial and error. The more you play, the more precise you can do the compensation. Or if you don?t have good memory, you may do it like me. I take note of many of my putts from several situations. the data include distance, height level, side slope speed, power use, side compensation I give and its error. Most people use the arrow key click to count their compensation, make it easy to remember, then fine tune with the mouse later.
3) Better safe than sorry
In golf, one mistake can lead to another and ruining every good things you have done. In most situation, playing safe is probably better than playing risky for no good reward. Let say you only need a par at 18th par 4 to pass the quest, the pin is hiding behind bunker. Which one you want to do, aim for the open green and get an easy 2-putt for par or aim for the pin risking to be in bunker that may lead to a bogey or worse. If you want to play a risky shot, do it when it counted or when you have nothing to loose.
Late Payne Stewart, at US Open 1999, is good example of playing safe to win. He had 1 shot lead at last hole before he tee-offed into the forest. Ha calmly chip it back to fairway and finally get a par to win the championship. Jean van de Velde, on the other hand, is an example of risk and sorry, with 3-shot lead at the very last hole, kept playing risky shot end up with triple bogey and finally losing in the play off.
There some cases, though, where you should risk your shot. For example, you playing a skin game and your opponent ball land next to the hole waiting to tap in for birdie, there no point for you to play safe any more. Its time to charge in for birdie, par or bogey is the same losing to you anyway.
4) Check the environment
Wind, weather, fairway slope, green slope blah blah blah, there so many things that can effect your shot and ball trajectory. Observe them, and learn how they effect your shot. Compensate all of them will make your shot closer to perfect. Plan your game according to them. I would suggest you read neeway2000?s semipro-test guide here. It explain how environment can effect your shot, with images to make it easy to understand. A must read guide, I would say.
5) Plan your game
Golf is actually a game of strategy, not simply hit as hard as you can to get closest to the hole. Look at the course, check the green and plan your game properly. Hitting ball from 120 yard flat fairway is alot easier than hitting ball from 80 yards uphill rough. If you know your approach shot will be with long club, set up your shot to the side that give you an open green to run in.
6) Know your weakness
There an old chinese proverb said ?Know both your enemy and yourself, fight 100 wars win 100 wars?. Most people learn about there enemy, but often forgot to look at themselves. Plan your game regarding to your ability. If you have low accuracy, try looking for open space and aim away from bunker or rough. If you had a habit of hitting a slide, compensate your slide when you aim your shot. If you want to fix your slide, do it in a practice round or driving range, not in the game that counted. Do not try to be intimidated by a high level long drive or sharp spin, they probably have far higher stat than you do and probably better control/reflex from their long experience.
7) Forget the past
No matter what you did at the last hole, whether it was bogey, birdie, eagle, HIO or you missed an uber easy 1 yard putt, leave it at that green. Clear your mind from them and focus on what in front of you. It is unlikely that you going to do well when you over angry with your last miss or over happy with your unexpected HIO.
8) Be patient
Rome was not built in one day. Your skill and your toon stat may need far less time than building Rome, but it still take sometimes. It is easy to earn exp point by getting help from others in this game. But those high stat or high level equip may not help you much if you don?t know how to use them properly. Don?t become someone who can drive 400 yards but still couldn?t get underpar when playing an 18-hole round on average course. Take your time to learn and practice. Most people, at least on Hollid, will forgive your mistakes when you are a low level. But when you become a high level, if you can?t play properly and wisely, you will become nothings but a noob or laughing stock to other.
It been a long time since I wrote some guide for a game. I cannot say that these are perfect for everyone. But I do believe it should work for most golfers. If there anything you think differently or like to add, I will be appreciate to listen and put them in to the guide if I see fit.