Build A Better Score
Golf Monthly|October 2020
What you can learn from Eddie Pepperell’s strategy and thought process on the course
NEIL TAPPIN

Shooting lower scores is as much a test of your strategy and mental approach as it is an examination of your technique. By devising a smarter gameplan that allows you to play to your strengths, any golfer, no matter what their handicap, can build momentum during a round and return scores that are consistently lower over time.

In this exclusive feature, Eddie Pepperell reveals some of the thought processes that enable him to compete at the highest level. Over the following pages, he talks through how he plays a par 3, 4 and 5 at his home course, Frilford Heath, providing some insights into his game that should also help improve your strategy.

HOLE 1 A Tricky Par 3 Opener

1 Attack or defend?

When playing a scoring iron – 6-iron and down – I’m thinking quite positively about where to hit the ball, as opposed to where not to hit it. The exception is if the hole position or the green complex is so severe and you know you just can’t hit it in a certain place. When I’m swinging well, the ball goes quite straight, so in my mind I know a perfect swing is going to lead to a dead-straight shot. If I’m not aiming at the flag, I find it really annoying. It’s also about picking your battles. If you’re really swinging it well and you know you are dynamite with your 7-iron and in, you should take those shots on – if you stiff two or three in a round, you are gaining a lot of strokes on the field.

Judging the wind on a links course is a lot easier than on tree-lined courses. It tends to float around in the trees and you get so many confusing messages about where it is. I always look at the tops of the trees to see where they’re blowing. Then you have to pick the flight of the shot you want to hit and think about tree height. For instance, this is into the wind and I know if I hit the shot too high, it probably won’t get there.

2 Green reading

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