• Learn from the Pros

Guaranteed Birdie: How to Up Your Golf Game

There's no better feeling than marking birdie after birdie on your scorecard. You're in the zone, hitting every fairway and sinking putts like you never have before.

No, this isn't just an impossible dream—it can happen! But improving your golf game takes practice, precision, and strategy.

With the advice below you will be able to improve your golf game, impress your friends, and leave frustration in the past. Read this guide and you'll shave a few strokes off your game in no time.

The Basics

If you are new to the game of golf, there is some terminology you should learn first. A birdie is a score of one shot (or stroke) below par for any given hole.

Par is the number of strokes "expected" for each hole. This number is based on the length from the tee to the flag and the overall difficulty. If you reach the hole in 3 shots on a par 4, that's a birdie! Or 4 shots on a par 5, etc. 

Even for professional golfers, birdies are hard to come by. The best professional golfers birdie holes less than a third of the time. 

But don't get discouraged! There are strategies and drills you can use to make birdies more common.

For a Par 3

The key to a birdie is playing consistently from drive to putt and making adjustments based on the course. So let's review how to play a par 3 for a birdie.

For an approximately 180-yard hold, think about using a 3-iron to get on the green in one drive. On a par 3, you can usually see the flag and aim for it directly instead of hitting a layup shot first.

If you notice any hazards like sand, water, or rough grass, hit the ball to the opposite side of the green. You may end up with a longer putt, but it's better than taking your chances with a hazard.

Once you've hit a successful drive, it's time to putt. 

You will need to perfectly line up your putt, judge the slope, and take into consideration the wind and grass conditions. Becoming a good putter will drastically improve your chances of a birdie, especially on a par 3.

There are several putting drills you can use to get better at reading greens and making putts.

For example, to practice for par 3 putts, use a 3-8 foot range. Set up a few balls from each direction and pay attention to how they roll based on the terrain. You will start to get the feel for how hard to putt the ball based on the distance and conditions.

If you are serious about improving your putting skills, think about signing up for lessons with a pro.

For a Par 4

Hitting a birdie on a par 4 is just as challenging, but doable!

Start with a drive for the green. Unlike the par 3, for a par 4, you should avoid the temptation to hit directly for the flag. Instead, hit a comfortable shot onto the green.

Adjust your club choice based on the exact distance of the hole and be realistic about your expectations with that first drive. For a par 4, you will likely need a mid-iron or wedge.

Once you've hit your first shot, you may need a setup shot before putting. If you've missed the green, landed in a hazard, or find yourself in tall grass, aim your second shot to set yourself up for an easy putt.

If you hit the green on your first shot you have two opportunities to putt. For these putts, you'll need to practice longer 8 to 10-foot putts. Add these shots to your putting drill reps for the best results.

The par 4 offers a great opportunity for birdies. Remember to aim that first shot for the green. Avoid hazards and be patient with your first putt.

You have 3 strokes to hit the pin, so be patient and make good choices based on how you have been playing so far that day.

For a Par 5

Par 5s can be tricky. You're potentially dealing with a long fairway, several hazards, and maybe even some tall trees.

Stay calm and stick to the plan. Your first shot should be straight down the fairway. Put yourself in an ideal position for your second shot to potentially hit the green.

The second shot on a par 5 is often the make-it-or-break-it shot. You will probably be using a fairway wood for the second shot. You want the second shot at a good angle to the hole and away from hazards.

If your second shot ends up in the rough, but close to the green, you are still in a good position.

Similarly, if you find yourself too far from the green after your first shot, that's okay. Take your second shot to get as close as possible while avoiding potential hazards. You won't have the same luxury on the third shot, but a birdie is still within reach.

The same strategy applies if you have limited visibility to the flag. If you have to be conservative on the second shot, you can use your third shot to set up the birdie.

How to Execute a Great Golf Game

You know the old expression, practice makes perfect?

Well, that has never been more true than for the game of golf. Using the strategies above you can increase your skill, but it still takes practice.

Practice using your mid-irons and work on straight drives. And don't forget about putting! You can set yourself up well with great drives, but if you miss the put, say goodbye to the birdie. 

A great golf game is about using these strategies and making good choices based on what you know about the course and your own game.

Golf's Birdie Little Secret

So there you have it: The key to a great par 3, par 4, or par 5 resulting in a birdie.

Pick the right club, the right spot to aim for, and be precise with putting. Never underestimate the importance of practice!

Looking for a great course to start using your skills? Book a tee time at Blue Sky Golf Club today.