Saturday, March 28, 2009

Course Management Tips

“One of the worst mistakes you can make in golf is trying to force the game.”
-Jack Nicklaus

• When teeing off, use approximately 85% of your full power for better accuracy. Swing with enough force to hit the ball a sufficient distance, but keep your swing in control and maintain your balance. Hitting the fairway is the first step to making a good score on the hole.

• For approach shots, aim at the middle of the green, regardless of where the pin is located. Doing this will help you hit more greens over the long-term.

• When the pin is on the far left or far right of the green, be wary of short siding yourself. This is when you aim directly at a pin, miss the green on the short side, and leave yourself a difficult chip or pitch without much green to work with.

• If you are a more advanced player, you may be able to control the shape of your shots as well as the trajectory. If this is the case, when the pin is located on the front of the green, play a high shot. If the pin is located on the back of the green, play a lower shot and have the ball run up to the cup. When the pin is right, start the ball at the middle of the green and fade it into the flag. When the pin is left, start the ball at the middle of the green, and draw it into the flag.

• Again, if you are advanced, try to hit the proper side of the fairway with your tee shots. For instance, on a par 4, let’s say the pin is on the far left of the green. You will want to aim for the right side of the fairway with your tee shot, giving you the best angle to the pin with your approach shot.

• When questionable shots arise, always assess the risk and reward of the shot.

• When playing on fast greens, try and leave the ball below the hole with your approach shots. This way, you will have uphill putts in which you can be more aggressive.

• Stay within your comfort zone on the course. Don’t attempt crazy shots that you have never practiced before, unless you are willing to accept the risk.

• If you get into trouble, play the smart shot back to the fairway. This way, it may only cost you one stroke. If you go for a shot with long odds, you may end up in a worse spot and put up a high number on the hole.