A golf course is a place of beauty, but it can also be a battleground. You spend two hours or more trying to get the ball in the hole with as few strokes as possible. Your friends are waiting eagerly for your tee time so they can play too. Pressure! What if you don’t know how to manage your game? Time for some tips!
Manage Your Expectations. You are not Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy, so don’t even try to play like them. Players at this level have years of experience under their belts and can pick up a club without thinking about it. What you need is realistic expectations for your game – remember that golf takes time if you want to play well!
What Does Golf Course Management Mean in Golf?
Quite simply, it is the ability to control every aspect of your game so you are putting yourself in the best position possible to make a good shot. This includes understanding how wind and terrain affect ball flight, as well as knowing which club to use for each situation.
As a beginner golfer, I did not have any idea how to control my game. Over time though, after playing so much and practicing more than anyone else in the world could ever imagine doing with their free time (I think!) I started developing an understanding of what it takes to be good at golf – you need patience!
If a bad shot happens don’t let go or worry about that one moment – turn your attention back on the course again immediately because there are other shots waiting for you just around the corner…
Your next shot is the only shot that matters, so don’t allow past failures to change your present mindset.
Good course management skills ensure that you don’t get stuck in the rough while your friends hit it straight down the middle. But not only that playing smart can also shave strokes off your game which in the end will boost your confidence and make the game more enjoyable.
Why do You Need a Good Golf Strategy
So why is it so important to have a good strategy for golf? Well, let me ask you this. Have you ever lost more than just one stroke because your shot went way off course and deep in trouble–out-of-bounds or into some kind of lake hazard on the hole? If that’s happened at least once before then I know what an ordeal it can be!
Not only do players lose strokes but they also need time to find their golf balls again (which might not happen if playing tournament).
I would say that it’s an unfortunate thing for sure. If you are playing golf with your friends then I know how frustrating this can be but if you are playing in a tournament then it’s really time for you to take control of your game and get things back on track towards the goal.
Good course management tips can help you out in this situation and as you play golf more frequently, you’ll start to develop a feel for the game and what works well for you.
How do you Play a Smart Round of Golf?
Preparation is the key to playing a smart round of golf and that applies to your game overall, not just on the course. You need to have a plan and know what you’re trying to achieve when you are about to hit your first tee shot.
Most golfers turn up to the course with nothing more than a vague idea of what they’d like to do. That’s not good enough if you want to play well. You need to have a strategy for each hole and know what your target is.
If you want to play good golf and shoot lower scores I would recommend checking the golf course layout beforehand. Most of the golf courses have them online these days. Study it and see what the keyholes are and work out a plan on how would you play each hole.
Before I play my next game of golf, I check and prepare my gadgets such as a rangefinder or Garmin G80 which has most of the golf courses in its database and is really handy whilst on the course. This helps me to prepare mentally and plan ahead which shots I’m going to play.
Know your Distance
Knowing your distance is a great example of something that can save you a lot of strokes in the long run. You probably know your yardages by now but if you don’t then I would recommend hitting the driving range and getting a feel for how far you need to hit your club.
When on the golf course, always be sure to take a few practice swings before you hit the ball. This will help give you an idea of how far you need to hit the ball. The key is to avoid danger such as a fairway bunker, water hazard, or looking for your golf ball out of bounds or in the rough.
Find Specific Target to Aim At
Avoid bad shots by finding a specific target to aim at. This will help you focus on the shot and not worry about anything else. It’s also a good idea to combine the target with approximate yardage so you have a better idea of how far away the shot is.
Before taking your actual swing, take the right club and practice swings at the target. Visualize the ball going exactly where you want it to.
Playing golf is not like other sports. Golf is a mental game, and you need to be in the right state of mind before every shot if you want to play your best.
Practice visualization to help with this mental state of mind. It won’t be perfect or something that happens every time, but it will help if you can master it.
Develop a “Go to club” for Emergencies
When you get in a tough situation on the golf course and don’t know what club to use, have a go-to club. This is the club that you know will get you out of trouble and help you save your score.
For most golfers, this is a sand wedge or a pitching wedge. Practice hitting these clubs out of tough lies so you know you can count on them when you need them most.
When you develop a go-to club for emergencies, you’ll feel more confident on the golf course and you’ll be able to save your score when things start to go wrong. So, next time you’re on the course, take a few minutes to practice hitting your go-to club out of different types of lies. You’ll be glad you did!
Keep the Ball in Play
Golf course management can be complex. Heading out to the links with a game plan is key for success. Your goal should not only involve keeping your ball in play, but also trying to stay away from trouble spots like bunkers and roughs that could cost you strokes later on down the line.
If you are not good with your driver then try to use a club that gives you more control, like an iron. A successful golf course management plan is also trying to stay away from fairway bunkers and the rough. The last thing you want to do is waste a stroke trying to get out of trouble.
How Do You Plot Your Way Around a Golf Course?
Tiger Woods famously said, “I play to a standard. The game of golf is the ultimate measuring stick and you are always being compared with history’s greats.”
Tiger is not alone in his quest to hit the perfect shot. Almost every golfer wants to improve their game. So how do you plot your way around a golf course and manage your game? There are a few things that we have not mentioned yet that you need to know.
Tee Box Strategy
Tour players avoid trouble by playing conservatively off the tee. They hit their mid irons or hybrids onto the fairways, knowing that they can save par if they hit the green with their approach shot. Amateur golfers should do the same. Play to your strengths and don’t try to hit the ball too hard. You will have more success if you play to your handicap.
It’s no secret that Tiger Woods is one of the best golfers of all time, and he owes much of his success to his course management skills. With a good plan of attack, even beginners can play like champions.
When you’re on the tee box, take a look at the hole and decide where you want to leave your ball. Know where the hazards are and avoid them at all costs. If there is water left of the green, don’t try to hit the ball over it – play to the right side of the fairway and let your second shot take you to the green.
When playing Par 5’s your long shots are key. If you can hit the ball in the fairway, your approach shot will be much easier. Don’t try to be too aggressive – take your time and make a solid shot. If you can get on in two, you’re almost guaranteed to make birdie. Most beginner golfers try to do too much on these holes and end up making a mess of things.
Remember, golf is all about playing smart. With a game plan and a clear head, you can outplay the competition.
Some of the Par 4’s can be a real challenge and test your skills, especially if they are long. I recommend that you play these Par’s down the middle of the fairway but take an extra club so you can hit the green in two. If you can’t do that, then try to hit the green with your second shot but be aware of the bunkers that are waiting for you. If you can avoid them by hitting the back of the green, then go for it.
If you stick to these two methods then you should be able to shoot a good score and that’s what it is all about. Putting should now be a lot easier because you have a shorter distance to the pin.
Par 3’s are my favourite due to the fact that they are not too long and you can hit your tee shot anywhere to attack the pin. If you are confident with your irons, now is the time to use them and go for a birdie. If you are not, then hitting your tee shot to the middle of the green is your best bet.
In birdie range, you should always be looking to make birdie putts. If the pin is tucked away on the side of the green, then aim for a birdie and if you miss, par is still a good score.
Golf is one of the most popular sports in America, but it can also be a frustrating game. The key to improving your golf game and managing your course lies in understanding how you should play each hole strategically.
If you are not good with your driver then try to use a club that gives you more control, like an iron. A good management plan is also trying to stay away from fairway bunkers and the rough.
The last thing you want to do is waste a stroke trying to get out of trouble. So what does this mean for beginners? Play conservatively off the tee-box; take risks only if they make sense; avoid water hazards at all costs; birdie putts! Implement these tips into your next round of golf and you will see an improvement in your game.