A wise man once told me that good course management on a golf course will help shave strokes off your game.  The only problem was when my father was teaching me this lesson I was still young and dumb and wanted stand over the ball and hit is as hard and as far as I could.  It wasn’t until a few years later that I remembered the lesson that he taught me on the 10th hole at Francis Byrne Golf Course.  The lesson was basically to think about the risk in the shot you are about to hit, and is the risk worth the reward.  So can good course management help out your game?  Well here are some of my thoughts on managing a round that I have learned over the course of my golfing career either through playing or a playing partner. 

Most of the time on a par 5 I leave myself about 225 to 250 yards away from the green on my drive, assuming I hit the fairway (and that’s a big assumption).  If I do leave myself 225 yards out, I may be able to hit the green with a three wood, but I would have to hit it perfectly off the fairway, which doesn’t happen too often since I don’t hit the three wood too many times in my round.  Plus I just don’t feel comfortable hitting that club in that spot.  There was once a point in my young golfing career in which I always would have went for the green I would estimate 90% of the time I would put myself in great danger because of how inconsistently I hit that club and walking away from the par 5 with a 7 or 8 on the score card.  These days I pull out iron, which when I hit it leaves me about 75-100 yards away from the green.  I feel most comfortable from that distance on the course and feel that I have the best shot from that distance to walk away with either a birdie or a par, and worst case scenario a bogey.  Thats not to say I will never go for a green in two on a par 5, I am just saying that there is a time and a place to go for it, you just have to be smart about it. 

During any given round I can be a disaster off the tee, which usually leaves me in some treacherous spots on the course.  One of the toughest lessons I have learned on the course is to take your medicine when you hit an errant shot.  I used to be the type of golfer that thought I could hit the miracle shot through the tiny break in the trees by keeping the ball low, hooking around a tree and onto the green.  Yeah the type of shot that only Tiger of Phil can pull off.  The majority of the time I would hit the tree and the ball would land behind me in an even worse spot than I was just in.  I have learned over the course of years to play it “safe” and punch out of trouble even if it means hitting it sideways in order to give yourself a decent third shot.  My thinking here is I might hit a decent third shot and give myself a decent look at par, but chances are worst case scenario I am walking away with bogey, which I will take in that spot.        

Finally, look at the danger in front of you.  There are always shots on the course that look so inviting and tempting to try.  Don’t let the course fool you, it is usually these shots that if you miss you will find yourself in some serious trouble.  There inviting for a reason.  Take a step back and think if I miss my intended shot, what type of danger can I expect to be in?  This seems like common sense, but I see it time and time again on the golf course where people attempt to take dead aim at a pin that is tucked away in the back corner and surrounded by bunkers instead of aiming for the center of the green, or trying to hit a cut shot on a dog leg left when they haven’t hit a straight drive all round.   By playing the safer shot and avoiding the trouble the course brings, I believe gives us the best shot at shooting more consistent rounds.
7/15/2011 11:05:01

Enjoy your videos and commentary; however, you're in need of a bit of editing. I am offering to edit your written bits free, just for the sake of the game. I'm so altruistic. Are you still in business, or is it just the old stuff?

Ok, stay cool.

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4/22/2012 23:08:35

the golf is very perfect game and it is very interesting game for the golfers. I wanted to thank you for this great article. I enjoyed every single part of it and I will be waiting for the new updates.

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10/29/2013 13:52:10

It's a good golf course is a real challenge

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1/25/2014 07:00:50

Managing your game is probably the most important aspect in improving your score. As an amateur it is so hard to not "go for it" when a shot is clearly out of your range. If you can stay disciplined you can certainly knock a few strokes off your score.

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