June 16th 2021

Playing to your strengths- The Course Management Saga

It doesn't always have to be a Driver

The Course Management Saga. When was the last time you played golf and felt that you left a bunch of shots out on the course? Reflection of your game is always important, creating change from those reflections is.


A typical example of bad judgement on the golf course is the eagerness to hit the ball further, this leads to a catalogue of issues. Off the tee it helps, the further you can hit the ‘easier’ the course will be. But this is not really the truth for the average 15 handicap golfer, why? Simple, most 15 handicap golfers don’t have the skills set to take advantage of the distance they have gained off the tee. Sure it might be easier to play a 9 iron instead of a seven iron, but I would bet that the nine iron would not be that much closer than the approach of the 7 iron. Then we have the problem that the wedge game for the 15 handicap golfer is also not strong enough. So regardless of a 250 yard drive, does the player have the ability to create wedge shots that are within the proximity to the pin that would yield birdies and not soft bogeys. Again I hesitate to say that yes, the player is good enough with a wedge consistently to take advantage of the drive of 250.

Course management comes in many forms, you’ll have a basic idea of what you are trying to achieve, you might even be a great strategist with a weak game, that scores better than the swing lets on.

Personally, I like to teach the idea that you have to learn to split the difference.

For example, you hit our best drive on the long par 5 at your home course in a while, you sense an easy par is possible if you grab the 3 wood and hit it as close to the green. You manage to put a decent swing on the 3 wood but it fades off to the right and leaves you with this awkward 45 yard wedge shot into the green, realistically you know that you don’t have the best skill set hitting a lob wedge up your left nostril and floating it onto the green landing next to the pin like a butterfly with Reeboks. But you try anyway, flub, you’re in the bunker hitting 4, staring 6 in the face. Your mind is spinning, ‘if only I had hit the 7 iron and laid up.’ Truthfully you know you were taking the wrong club standing over the 3 wood from 220 yards out, but the anticipation of that easy par was too much and you left reflection in the bag and made the same mistake last time you hit your best drive on this particular par 5.

So what would be the easiest way of making that simple par? Simple by playing to the strengths in your bag. Chances are you probably hit a PW 110 yards carry, 2 of those into the middle of the green from 220 and you are making that easy par you always think is possible. The logic is too good to be true for a lot of players, until they open their game up to the possibility of change. Another good example of improving your scoring game using better course management is to learn how to play golf with 3 clubs and a putter. See it for yourself, how I manage the front 9 on Wentworth's West course.