As a general rule, the degree of difficulty on a resort course rises as you play more holes. That way, golfers have a better chance of feeling good at the beginning of the round so they can build some confidence. Water is used for visual appeal as much as for a hazard, and greens tend to be larger and flatter on resort courses.

Here are some tips to help you score well:

* Ask for a yardage guide - Most major resorts have golf guides that offer a hole-by-hole description.

* Ask the pro about hazards and types of lies-The pro can inform you about the height and type of rough, hilly terrain that makes for problem lies, and where the most difficult hazards are located.

* Practice before your round-You might be excited to get started, but hitting just a few balls on the range will help you relax and build confidence.

* Use enough club. When in doubt, use more club than you think you'll need.

* Shoot for the middle of the green-Aiming at the pin puts additional pressure on approach shots. Just get on the green first, then maybe you can gamble on sinking a long putt instead of a safe lag.

* Finally, enjoy yourself. Golf is supposed to be play, not work!