The modern game of golf seems to be focused more on distance then anything else. While striking a perfect tee shot with the driver remains one the best feelings in golf, there are many occasions when hitting the ball long is not the answer.
One of these occasions is when you are playing a target style golf course. This is a golf course which punishes anything that is not accurate and often features many target areas on a hole, where you can land the ball.
If a shot happens to veer off line, then it will usually end up in trouble in the form of water, rough or vegetation.
You will not find many fairways on a target course which run right up the front of the green and this can eliminate many of the shots you are used to playing.
So, what can you do when you are faced with a challenging golf course like this?
When playing tee shots, you want to try and limit the roll on the ball once it has landed on the fairway so it does not end up in trouble. The best way to do this is by hitting the ball higher off the tee, which results in a softer landing, with less roll.
So, try setting up the ball a little further forward in your stance and widen your stance slightly. You can also try adding to height to your tee, so you are hitting the ball more towards the top of the club face.
When playing shots towards narrow or small targets, some players tend to tense up and while they can hit the middle of wide fairways almost in their sleep, finding a small target area on a narrow golf course proves to be very challenging.
Clearly the pressure increases when the margin for error is small and this often leads to over thinking when playing the shot.
Before playing the shot to a small target area, think about what you would do if this shot was to a nice, wide fairway. You would back yourself to make the shot every time and have little hesitation in stepping up to the ball and playing the shot.
Do not change your approach to the shot just because the target area is limited.
Changing the way you think and go about your pre-shot routine is partly why the shot will go wrong. If you stick to your usual set-up and pre-shot routine you have a much better chance of making an accurate shot.
Think clearly about what you want to achieve with the shot, such as hit a high, straight drive and then go about your pre-shot routine in the normal way. If you can master this, you will be able to bring your best golf to several different situations, including playing to small or narrow targets.