Course Management?

Recently, I have moved to a new course.  It is what I would call a shooters course.  You do not have to be long, but your tee shots must be in the right area or else you invite a challenging second shot.  My recent success on the links can be directly attributed to course management…..or can it?

Most people will say that because I am a single digit handicapper that shooting low on any course is a given.  Well golfers who have been around for a year or two know this is just not so.  Many skills are required to shoot low scores; the most important thing to remember when playing a new course is when and what club to hit to produce the best results.

Does this not sound like course management?  The following are three aspects of course management I believe are the most important to shooting low scores on a new course:

First, know your game.  Each player should know how far they can hit each club.  It is very difficult to play to a yardage if you do not know the distances of each swing.

Second, play to yardages.  If your best club is your 8 iron and you hit it 145 yards, they when reasonably possible, play to that yardage.  For example, ir you are on the tee which is 350 yards from the green, hit the club that travels 205 yards.  If that is a 3 iron or a 4 iron or a driver, hit it to your desired distance of 145 yards.  Chances are you will hit better second shots into green and as a result have lower scores.

Lastly, aim for the center of the green.  Pin hunting on a course you do not know is a recipe for disaster.  Most of the time you will end up on the wrong side of the green.  Center is safe and it will put the short stick in your hands.

Well those are my secrets to course management of a new course.  As you play the course more, modify your approached to course management and play to your strengths.

I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links!

7 thoughts on “Course Management?

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  4. Jim,

    Solid points. I think it was Nicklaus (or Jim Flick) who said long ago the “the middle of the green is always a safe play”. As you state, this is never a bad option!

    Playing to distances I like, as well. and that can be a challenge on new tracks, especially if there are no distance markers! Granted, seems like everybody has GPS these days, so perhaps that’s a moot point!

    Do you have a putting routine you roll with pre-round at a new course? Green speed and finding your “feel” can be challenging, too.

    Good post Jim. Play well this weekend 🙂


    • Rick

      Thanks for the comment. I generally hit the putting green and set tees up 3, 6, and 9 feet from the hole. Then I take three balls and putt 12 balls from each spot. Usually after using this routine (takes about 10 minutes) I have a general feel for the greens.



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