Recent adventures on the links makes me wonder if I really have a handle on golf or have I been kidding myself for years. Course management is definitely a key aspect to success on the links. Knowing when to press or play defensively can determine whether you score a birdie or a bogey. But is course management really important to having fun and improving your game?
Well of course it is! Or at least I thought so!
It is the distinguishing factor between low and high handicap golfers. Determining how to play a hole, which club to use, whether to fire at the pin or to lag putt are all aspects of course management that are developed over time. Thus, experience and the willingness to improve your course management skills are extremely important aspects of successful golf.
So, why am I going on about course management and its importance. On the weekend I was playing with my friend and his brother. As per normal, we were talking golf and how best to improve our game; which shot would be best in certain situations; and which club to use at certain times. Through our discussion, we were basically talking about course management.
As we plodded along, the conversation turned to a earlier shot where my friend chose a 3 wood instead of an iron out of the long grass. Additionally, he went on to describe how the ball was in a bit of a hole, but he really wanted to get to the green that was 220 yards away. When challenged about his selection he responded, “I knew what the smart shot was but chose to not to do it!” I stopped dead in my tracks and looked at him and said what? He coolly said, “I know, but I just wanted to put the ball on the green and the knew I would not make it with an iron….it was not the smart shot, but oh well, I am still having fun.” I chuckled out loud and walked to my ball with a smile on my face.
So my friend chose not to make the right shot! Never a good idea to throw stones when you live in a glass house, I think we have all been in that situation. Taking the low percentage shot over the smart play….it still makes me laugh.
The “so what” to this story is that choosing to actively participate in course management is the first and most important step to course management. Although I never really thought that it was an option, apparently it is. Sometimes playing golf is about making the impossible shot and having fun doing it! I guess that day was not wasted because I learned something new!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!