Course Management

The one place that my game has really struggled in is course management i'm a good ball striker and i am consistent but i always tend to find my self in the wrong places on the golf course. Can i get some tips or something that could help me?

Play one hole at a time, and forget about what has already happened.  One thing you can do to help your course management is by selecting the right club.  Say you have 430 yard dog leg with a fairway lined with trees that you can't get over.  Instead of being the hot shot with the driver, take the fairway wood so you don't have to worry about overshooting and hitting your ball into the trees.  It has helped me a numerous times.  Just being smart, and not showing off will help your course management greatly.

Sean,

Really good question, but the answer has multiple levels.

Take an inventory of what shots you are good at and what shots you are bad at.  On the golf course is not the time to practice your bad shots so pick shots to keep you out of those areas.  For instance, Jack Nicklaus was a mediorcre sand player so he picked shots to minimize the risk of ending up in a bunker.  That may have meant picking safer shots into the green and two putting, but that was a better play for him than going after a sucker pin and short siding himself.

Take a look at each hole and work backwards from green to tee.  Where do you want to be on the fairway to have a good look at the green?

On a given shot, think about your typical ball flight (right to left or left to right).  Pick shots so that if you make a small mistake, you don't short-side yourself.  If you are facing a pin on the left of the green and typically hit a left to right shot, don't aim off the green in order to get as close to the flag as possible.  If you happen to hit it straight, you'll have a very difficult up and down for your par.  Pick a line maybe on the pin or a little right.  If it fades, you may have a longer putt or you may be off the green on the right, but you'll have a much easier time getting up and down.  On really quick greens, plan to leave yourself below the hole if at all possible.

On par 5's, look where the pin is before planning your second shot.  If it's a front pin, laying up to 80 yards may be your best bet as you can hit a full shot and get more spin.  Trying to hit a 30 yard shot to a front pin can be really tricky.  Again, figure out what shot you are better at and play to your strengths.   Also, pick shots to avoid trouble.  If there are deep bunkers 260 yds out, consider hitting short of them with a 3 wood.  Same thing for greens.  There is a hole at my home course where the green is surrounded by deep bunkers.  With an 8 iron, I can go for the pin, but if I hit a bad drive and I have to hit 6 iron or higher, I've found I'm best to hit to the front apron and chip on.  I still have a good chance for par from there.

Lastly, work on your short game.  Many "course management" issues are really issues with the short game.  Have a consistent shot that you can make from 30, 50, and 70 yards.  Get comfortable enough with your short game where you almost always get down in 3 from within 50 yards and have a pretty good chance of getting down in two.  Doing so will take a ton of pressure off the rest of your game.

Good luck!

Thanks Guys for your help i'm playing in a tournament this weekend so i'll be sure to take these tips and put them into play.

The only 2 things Ruben A didn't cover exceedingly well are -

1. Know your average distance and play within yourself.  In his example with the bunkers at 260 - you can really crank it and get 280 2-3 times out of 5.  That's at least a 40% chance of being in the wrong spot, assuming you also hit it straight overswinging.  Go for high percentage shots if you can't match Bubba's playmaking.

2. Jack N. is famous for forgetting a shot as soon as it is hit - especially miss hits.  Dustin J. won this year with killer drives on the holes following going off course.  Your next shot is the one you will do great on.  Always.

Course Management to me= Play to your strengths. Thats the best advice that I could give you.

Figure out what your favorite scoring shot is. Mine is my 52* wedge from 105 yards out. I'd take that shot all day long!

No point in pounding my 2nd shot on a par-5, leaving myself a 45 yard half-wedge when I can stick my 52 from 105!

Same thing on a short par-4, say 340 yards. Hitting driver probably opens up the possibility of missing the fairway, ending up in a fairway bunker, whatever, but a hybrid or 3-wood gives me a better chance to keep it in play and to leave myself with a shot I'm comfortable with.

Play smart, Play with a game plan, and don't be influenced by what your fellow competitors are doing.

absolutely correct.  there is nothing wrong w/ being the first guy to hit (i.e. being the furthest away) especially if you are the only one in the fairway and the BOMBERS are spread all over creation.  a few extra seconds and clear thinking will dramatically lower your score.  remember to play YOUR game, not someone else's.

 

 

That was some great advice from everyone...This is a great community...Hit-em-straight...

Don O

The only 2 things Ruben A didn't cover exceedingly well are -

1. Know your average distance and play within yourself.  In his example with the bunkers at 260 - you can really crank it and get 280 2-3 times out of 5.  That's at least a 40% chance of being in the wrong spot, assuming you also hit it straight overswinging.  Go for high percentage shots if you can't match Bubba's playmaking.

2. Jack N. is famous for forgetting a shot as soon as it is hit - especially miss hits.  Dustin J. won this year with killer drives on the holes following going off course.  Your next shot is the one you will do great on.  Always.

Your next shot is the one you will do great on.  Always.

Great advice. I started playing like that 2 months ago and have been playing my best golf ever...It feels redeeming when I flush the ruff or chip in from the fringe after a bad shot...have fun