By Colin Fisher

In my role as a Performance Coach for Scottish Golf, I work with young players who are very low handicappers who play at or are on the fringes of National Squad selection.

A vital part of that coaching isn’t so much technical, as the other skills which support this.

How do you prepare for a tournament? How do you go about creating proper strategy for events? How do you deal with adversity when you meet it? On the flip side, how do you deal with being in with a chance of winning a prestigious event? There are many other factors, but these are just a couple of examples.

This week, I’m heading to Blairgowrie to help a few of the players prepare for a new event. We will use blank yardage charts (see picture) to compile sound strategy notes based on the course set up and the player’s strengths and weaknesses. How can we reduce the effect of the weaknesses and maximise the benefit of their strengths?

We will look at Tee shot strategy. How wide is a fairway at the player’s average driving distance? Is it less than 40 yards between danger on either side of the fairway? If so, is it much wider with a slightly shorter tee shot? If not then a driver is still the best bet, but if there is a far wider target with a slightly shorter club and the green is still reachable in two on a par four, then hitting a shorter tee shot is a good option.

What are the situations on and around the green? Is there anywhere which would mean a really tough shot to recover if a green is missed? (see the ‘X’ on the picture). Playing more towards the safer side of the green is a wise choice if so.

Golfers the world over are generally fairly self-critical about their form, yet still take on shots way above their ability level and bring disaster closer because they might just hit that one in a million shot.

Playing the percentages will yield lower scores on average and it is easier to avoid running up big scores than it is to make birdies.

Next week we look at statistics to see how knowing your strengths can allow you to practice smarter and make better decisions on the course.