Miscellaneous - Course Management
While recently on the golf course during
a Pro-Am event, I was shocked at the lack knowledge
a particular golfer I was playing with had in terms
of course strategy. The gentleman in question was a
good golfer (about a 12 handicap) but it took only a
quick question on my part to realize that by applying
some course management skills he could quickly and easily
get his handicap down to single digits.
The situation arose on a par 5 of 527
yds. After hitting a good ball off the tee he was faced
with an unlucky uphill and side hill lie. The ball was
well above his feet. As he had about 280 yds remaining
to reach the green he promptly took out his 5 wood and
lined up the shot. Sitting in the cart I could not contain
myself as I watched him aim the forthcoming shot down
to a very narrow sliver of fairway which had water on
the left and deep bunkers on the right. I interrupted
him (hoping that he wouldn't mind) and plainly asked
what his strategy was.
He replied that he was trying to advance
the ball as far down the narrow fairway as possible
in hopes of having between 70-100 yds remaining.
I suggested he might be better off hitting
an iron to the 150 yard marker, which would leave a
much easier shot - especially given the difficult lie
he was facing.
He looked at me somewhat skeptically but
at the same time intrigued. After a moments thought
he went back to his bag and selected a 9 iron which
he promptly placed within about 5 yards from the 150
yard marker. This put him in a position to hit directly
over the water hazard with a full swing of a 7 iron.
He did so and ended up with a tap in par putt to finish
the hole. After finishing the hole and getting back
into our carts he thanked me for getting him his par.
"I guess I have some learning to do about golf
I replied, "Too may golfers want
to hit the ball as far as they can regardless of the
dangers and the difficult situations that result. It
is always a good idea to think at least one shot ahead.
When faced with a par 5 with lots of trouble, play it
like a par 5. Don't always try and make birdie the hard
way, more often than not you will probably make bogey
All golfers enjoy the game more when they lower their
score, to do so takes more than swinging the club and
hitting a long ball.