Archived Newsletters - PLAN AHEAD FOR GOOD GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT :
Newsletter November 2018
PLAN AHEAD FOR GOOD GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT
Do you have a presupposition about the toughness of the golf course you are going to play? Are you visually intimidated by the many water holes, fairway bunkers, tree-lined fairways, mounds, railroad ties, tiered or severely undulating greens?
Intimidation can lead to indecision, which will most likely result in a missed shot. Most golfers think that course management is what you do to get out of deep trouble. It is more than that. Course management comes into play on every shot with some shots being more important than others. A good mental game includes good course management. Efficient course management is your ability to play around the golf course the way it was designed by the architect, avoiding the trouble and placing each shot in the best position to hit the next shot. It requires you to plan and concentrate before every shot. The golf course is set up so you will make hundreds of decisions.
Course management is smart golf; thinking positively to avoid mistakes and managing your imperfection. Golf is about managing yourself around the golf course without letting your ego take over (Tin Cup experience). When you change the way you see the world, your world changes. When you change the way you see the golf course you can see opportunities.
Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr - Team USA 2018 UL International Crown - Photographer Ben Harpring
You see the obstacles and make plans to avoid them. Your course management depends upon a myriad of things including your skill level, your personality, course conditions and the pressure of the situation. It is important to have a strategy for playing each hole so you will be prepared ahead of time to handle the feelings that might arise to deter you.
You can be a genius at course management if you are confident with your wedges and putter. Then it won't matter if you miss greens. You have learned from experience how to manage your home golf course well because you know your plan. When you play a new course, you need to concentrate on creating the shots you want. Golf is a game of maneuvering the ball around the course and having fun doing it.
COURSE MANAGEMENT GOLF TIPS
HAVE A COURSE MANAGEMENT GOLF GAME PLAN
- Plan your strategy according to your ability. Less than 1% of all golfers have shot even par or better. Measuring your performance against par is a set-up for failure for the average golfer. Decide which holes you can par and which you can bogey, etc. and set your own par on each hole.
- In match play, play your own game and the golf course, not your opponent.
- In a scramble, you will probably want to swing all out, unless at least one other ball is not in a good position.
- In a stroke play tournament, you will want to play consistently and perhaps conservatively.
- On a team playing for one best ball, you might want to think about the best ways to make birdies.
MANAGE YOUR MENTAL GAME
POSITION YOUR LONG SHOTS
- Aim for the side of the fairway that opens up the approach to the green.
- Carefully balance what you are risking against the reward. When you plan your shot, allow for a margin of error. Play the percentages
- Know your best lay-up distance. Know when, and how to lay up. Don't try to hit it as close to the green as possible leaving a three-quarter wedge shot. Leave 80 to 100 yards to make a full swing.
- On long approach shots, aim for the center of the green.
- Short par fours usually have subtle trouble. Use less than a driver for position play. Hit your tee shot to a full shot distance into the green.
PLAN YOUR SHOTS TO THE GREEN
- Check the pin placement. There are usually six "sucker" pins, six easy pins and six medium pin placements. Hit to the pin when it is in the middle of the green. When there are "sucker" pin placements tucked behind the bunker or on a shallow part of the green, hit to the middle. Take enough club to hit over the greenside bunkers.
- Put approach shots below the hole on a course with fast, undulating greens. It is almost always better to leave yourself below the hole when possible.
Lizette Salas at the 2018 LA Open | Photographer Ben Harpring
ON SHORT APPROACH SHOTS GO FOR THE FLAG
- Divide the green into thirds or quarters and get the ball into the right segment for the best chance at a one-putt.
- If your shot is halfway between clubs, use the longer club and choke down an inch or so.
- Master one approach shot so you can play it under pressure. Choose one approach shot you are comfortable with; pitch and run, chip shot, lob shot, etc. Don't try and execute a shot you don't know how to hit or have any confidence in.
USE THE PUTTER FROM OFF THE GREEN FOR HIGHEST PERCENTAGE SHOT
- Most people think their worst putt is as good as their best chip shot. If you putt to four feet you think you have hit a poor putt, but if you chip to four feet, it feels good. Play every shot you can with the putter just to get it close enough for a one-putt.
THINK CAREFULLY TO GET OUT OF TROUBLE
Ariya Jutanugarn at the 2018 US Womens Open | Photographer Ben Harpring
WHEN IN TROUBLE, MAINTAIN YOUR EQUILIBRIUM
- Take your time to figure out all your options, what the percentage shot is, what shots you have confidence doing and carefully exercise your pre-shot routine.
- Take the shortest route out of trouble.
LOOK TO SEE WHERE THE TROUBLE IS
- Then turn your attention to where you want the ball to go. If your last look or thought is the trouble, there's a good chance that is where your ball will end up.
- Look at the lip of the bunker and make sure you have a club with enough loft to get over the lip.
- Clip the ball off the top of the sand by swinging with more arm movement and less body turn to avoid hitting the ball fat.
I hope that these course management golf tips have helped you. Don't hesitate to contact me at 828.696.2547 or by email at email@example.com if you would like some personal advice on the mental side of golf.
All my articles on WomensGolf.com
Play "in the zone" with Joan
Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances
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