Lower Your Score with these 5 Golf Course Management Tips
Posted on: 29 August
Looking at ways to lower your golf score? Check out these five handy tips on course management.
1/ Have a ‘Go-To’ Tee Shot
Tiger’s stinger is one of the most well renowned shots the golfing world has ever seen! This tee shot has been Tiger’s go-to when he needs to find the fairway or when tournaments are on the line. So this being said, having a ‘Go-To’ tee shot of your own must be worth something? Having a trusted back-up option is something you can call upon when your driver may be off, or you just can’t find the short stuff. Whether your go-to is a low 3 wood, a punch 2 iron, or even a draw hybrid, having an option you trust will ensure that you hit more fairways and ultimately give yourself a better chance of keeping the ball in play.
2/ Know Your Yardages
Who can confidently say that they know exactly how far their 7 iron will fly in the air? Knowing your yardages is an extremely important part of the game and can help you lower your scores. Knowing your yardages can ensure that you can limit potential damage out on course, helping to develop a plan of attack for difficult holes. For instance, if you are 130m out on the 15th hole needing to carry the hazard, knowing what club will fly far enough is important. If your 5 iron rolls out to 130m but only travels 100m in the air, this club may not be the correct choice. Knowing your yardages will help you chose the correct shots and allow you to play within your limitations.
3/ Knowing the Safe Place to Miss
Playing to the fat side of the green simply refers to keeping your ball to the side of the flag, which will allow you to have the most amount of green to utilise. For example, if the pin is positioned on the back left plateau of the 18th green, the ‘fat side’ would be anything short and to the right of the flag. From the ‘fat side’ of the green, it will provide you with numerous options for your next shot. You could choose to play a bump and run, a standard chip shot, a putt or even a flop shot for those feeling fancy. This will increase your likelihood of getting up and down to save par, or worst-case scenario it will keep potentially big scores off the card.
4/ Assess Your Options
Golf is often compared to the game of chess – you must think multiple steps ahead to ensure your best score. Assessing your options is simply looking at your shot and developing a plan of attack. E.g. you pull your tee shot left into the trees on the 10th and have 150m into the green. From this position, you could try to find an avenue through the trouble to create a direct line at the green. Alternatively, you may also have the option to take your medicine and bring the ball out sideways back into the fairway.
The shot directly to the green may have greater upside but also brings in greater risk of compounding the mistake and bringing high scores into play. But the shot back to the fairway is a safe option, which will give you a clear look into the green for your next shot and limits the possibility of a round altering score. Therefore, if there is no high percentage play towards the green, taking your medicine is always a safe option and one you need to weigh up in order to lower your scores.
5/ Play to Your Par
Playing to your par is simply keeping in mind your handicap when you play each hole. Every golfer would love to walk off each green with birdie or par, but unfortunately this is an unrealistic outcome for 99% of golfers.
For example, the 1st hole being rated at index 12 for men means anyone playing off a handicap of 12 and above should be aiming to make a bogey. You can view the first hole as a par 5 rather than the par 4 on the card, this makes the hole look slightly easier. Playing it as a par 5 may open up more realistic options, such as utilising your ‘Go-To’ shot off the tee rather than trying to hit driver as far as possible. It may even mean that rather than trying to fly the bunker for two and winding up in it and making a wipe. You may play to the left of it, chip it on the green and give yourself an opportunity of a nett par or even birdie.
Your handicap is there for a reason, use it to your advantage!