Course management

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By Speedy

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  • 19 Replies
  1. Speedy

    Speedy
    Newmarket, NH

    Yesterday had my golf lesson, priming up for a fun 2019 season. I'm hearing rumors of an early spring so praying they're right!

    My instructor asked how my off season was going and told him there's not much to tell other then playing simulator golf and had the chance to play in Florida a few weeks ago. He asked how that went and told him I was a little rusty but had a lot of fun and explained my last round, last hole that stood out the most to me.

    I was on the 18th hole Par 4 400 plus yards at Old Corkscrew which by the way is a great course, pricey but worth it IMO. My driver wasn't the greatest that day and wasn't hitting a lot of fairways so not surprisingly I push my tee shot and ended up on the right side in light rough next to a gorgeous palm tree. A very short drive and probably left myself about a 200 yard shot. Looking at the green there's all water on the left side, all nasty junk on the right side and a bunker on right side of green. Old Corkscrew has a lot of tight fairways so not much room for error. Thinking of my 2nd shot, go for it or lay up? I laid up. Grabbed my AP3 8 iron, choked down and hit a nice little draw and left myself about a 70 yard shot to the green. Grabbed my Vokey 52, choked down and knocked it within 12 feet from the pin. One putt for par. Winning!

    2 reasons why I did this; my Vokey wedges was treating me well all day and my Scotty was rolling very well. Period.

    The last 9 holes was the best I played all week. Made a few birds but making par on that last hole gave me a lot of joy and most importantly more confident.

    My instructor loved it. He explained to me course management is a big part of our game and something I should focus A LOT more on versus getting up there and whacking the ball. Take that few extra second and look at the big picture. What's going to give me the best to chance to shoot bogey or better? I need to stay away from the big numbers especially if i'm getting strokes from my buddies :)

    Another goal for 2019 is to improve my course management.

    Cheers

  2. Jerry M

    Jerry M
    Dallas, TX

    Nice story on the 18th hole. You took a double out of the equation. I adopt that as well. I would never go for the green in that situation. What I try to do in a situation like that is to determine the yardage to the hole. Then I select a club that puts me in the perfect yardage position when I hit my third shot. I certainly don't want to be between clubs when I'm going at the hole. "A man's got to know his limitations." Clint Eastwood from Magnum Force.
    www.youtube.com/watch
  3. Course management is a must. Better chance to make par from 100 on in. Finally getting smarter as I get older especially on Par 5’s. Getting more birdie chances. Enjoy the new season!
  4. Course management is key. I often have jibes from my friends at some of the seemingly random approaches I take to holes. I get the last laugh when the scores are counted though.
  5. Barry B

    Barry B
    Lake St Louis, MO

    Course management, or lack of, is the main reason most players end up with a big number or two on their cards. I attribute it to ego. Instead of playing smart when they have put themselves in a poor position, some players go for the hero shot which usually ends poorly. Like Speedy, play smart and you may scratch out a par or at worst you end up with a bogey (much better than a double or worse).
  6. Jim C

    Jim C
    Braintree, MA

    "With age comes wisdom".

    Like you Speedy, I have made it a practice to stop trying to hit the "hero" shot and playing to my strengths. I have come to accept making bogies when out of position, nothing infuriates me more than making a bonehead mistake that results in a double.

    I have tried to pass this "wisdom" on to my 17 year old son with only limited success!
  7. It has taken me many years and a lot of double & triple bogies to understand "course management". I thought it was a college course when I first heard it.... boy was I wrong.

  8. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Thanks Speedy! Totally agree. My handicap runs between a 9 up to an 11. I can barely hit it out of my shadow (as my playing partners from last Sunday's TT event will attest) but i do play smart most of the time. I rarely have a penalty shot or lost ball. If i could improve my bunker play and pitches from around the green, i could shave off a couple more strokes. I realize the game is changing and the new kids are going to model after the "rip it hard" they see on TV. I'm just too old school for that and actually like thinking my way around a golf course. That's why i struggle with Pete Dye courses like PGA West. It fakes me out. Visually you think you are playing away from trouble but the opposite areas are sometimes a worse option. I either make a par or a double, sometimes a triple. Love this game.
  9. No'l

    No'l
    Palmdale, CA

    Cool story!

    Yes, course management is a very cool thing in golf... (but frowned upon my heckling two dollar grabbing buddies) I remember once ago, I followed what my pro suggested, I was having a soulful day on the course, my pro saw me on the seventh alone with a Sunday bag and a few clubs. At the end of the round, I turned in one of my lower rounds in a while. I told the pro I scored better with less than a full bag. He just smiled and said you just gave yourself a very good lesson even though he's the one who suggested I do that. Not knowing what he really meant at the time he would remind me of that round in future lessons and things become more clear and easier to understand.

    Great reminder, sir, Thank you!
  10. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    At the young age of 72, course management is my best friend. Always try to play to my strengths. Hope I have learned something by now but still never to old to learn something that can help my game........ Thanks speedy.
  11. Tom B

    Tom B
    Northborough, MA

    Jim, you are so right that "with age comes wisdom". Your son probably sees Tour stars hitting the "hero" shot and some of them make it look easy. Speedy, Like Lloyd Benson telling Dan Quayle, "....you're no Jack Kennedy.....", our kids have to discover on their own that "....they're not Tour players". Then understand that the advice we impart on them, comes from experience, many times, not good experience. I hope you're right with Spring coming soon.
  12. Frank P

    Frank P
    Port St. Lucie, FL

    Course management is a lesson that everyone needs to take with a pro. Usually 6-9 holes it's well worth the money.
  13. Cal K

    Cal K
    Newbury Park, CA

    A bogey beats a double any day!
  14. Steve S

    Steve S
    Tuckerton, NJ

    Great post Speedy! Gives me something to think about. Leave the ego in the truck. Play Well,
    Steve S.
  15. Speedy, Great post and great topic! My Dad always told me to "Play the holes backwards." Which really put things in perspective for me. No reason to take big risks with little reward.

    While on the tee, I find myself playing to a yardage range that I am comfortable with and allows me to attack flags. Typically something that allows me to pull a Vokey from the bag!
  16. Yeah.. Appreciate the point...
    Not advocating going full Rambo every hole, but occasionally, just every so often, against all the odds, you might have your very own "Seve" Moment...
    Sometimes it's just fun to take the course on see if you are up to the test.
    JT
  17. Lance P

    Lance P
    hillsborough, NC

    I will think of all these comments next time I play. Smart golf is better than hero golf and I thank all those who shared their wisdom.
  18. Elson C

    Elson C
    Southgate

    Speedy said:

    Yesterday had my golf lesson, priming up for a fun 2019 season. I'm hearing rumors of an early spring so praying they're right!

    My instructor asked how my off season was going and told him there's not much to tell other then playing simulator golf and had the chance to play in Florida a few weeks ago. He asked how that went and told him I was a little rusty but had a lot of fun and explained my last round, last hole that stood out the most to me.

    I was on the 18th hole Par 4 400 plus yards at Old Corkscrew which by the way is a great course, pricey but worth it IMO. My driver wasn't the greatest that day and wasn't hitting a lot of fairways so not surprisingly I push my tee shot and ended up on the right side in light rough next to a gorgeous palm tree. A very short drive and probably left myself about a 200 yard shot. Looking at the green there's all water on the left side, all nasty junk on the right side and a bunker on right side of green. Old Corkscrew has a lot of tight fairways so not much room for error. Thinking of my 2nd shot, go for it or lay up? I laid up. Grabbed my AP3 8 iron, choked down and hit a nice little draw and left myself about a 70 yard shot to the green. Grabbed my Vokey 52, choked down and knocked it within 12 feet from the pin. One putt for par. Winning!

    2 reasons why I did this; my Vokey wedges was treating me well all day and my Scotty was rolling very well. Period.

    The last 9 holes was the best I played all week. Made a few birds but making par on that last hole gave me a lot of joy and most importantly more confident.

    My instructor loved it. He explained to me course management is a big part of our game and something I should focus A LOT more on versus getting up there and whacking the ball. Take that few extra second and look at the big picture. What's going to give me the best to chance to shoot bogey or better? I need to stay away from the big numbers especially if i'm getting strokes from my buddies :)

    Another goal for 2019 is to improve my course management.

    Cheers

    Course management is one of the items I am also focusing this year, I have, finally, realized that a 240 yard drive on the fairway is a much better deal than a 280 yard on the rough behind a tree.
    I won the golf league at my work, and I think a big factor for it, was that mid season, I decided to play smarter and give myself more changes on bogeys and pars, rather than doulbes and triples.
    even struggling with some putting late on the season, I still had some decent scores.
    So this season my priorities are:
    Course management and improve my putting,
  19. League play, tournament play, Sunday matches, then yes.
    If one is simply focusing on lowering their handicap index, then yes.

    But in practice rounds, it is GO time! Try those shots. Push the envelope. See what you are capable of. It is a great way to enforce your self belief in what is possible and it will remind you what is low percentage.

    What's losing a few balls?
  20. Hotsauce

    Hotsauce
    Georgetown MA

    Know your situation and play to your strengths. Cheers to a great 2019 Speedy

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