Have you ever wondered why some courses seem to have your number, yet others fit your game? I have that challenge from time to time. I have played many courses over the years and those courses that pose the most challenge for me to score low appear to be random…..or are they?
Of course, there are some courses that naturally fit our game and when we play them for the first time we experience instant success. I am not exactly sure what the commonality is between the courses but I have a few ideas.
Length has very little impact on my score. I play well on courses that are 6800 yards and shorter. My ideal length is between 6400-6500 yards. My middle and short game is strong enough handle 175 yard approach shots. My GIR goes down a bit, but my up and downs make up for the misses. Anything outside 6800 yards starts to stress my game that could have a negative impact on my score.
Greens that are quick. My putting stroke is designed to play quick greens that roll consistently. I do not mind minor breaks or sloping greens, however, undulating greens do pose a problem for me. I also find that quick greens are receptive to approach shots that shortens my roll out after the ball lands.
Courses that force players to carry of a hazard can pose issues. Generally, anything under 185 yards is not a problem. Anything greater than that is a problem. Once the carry distance starts to get above 210 yards, I have to think about where to bail out. Not many courses I play pose this challenge, so I am grateful I do not have to worry about carry distance often.
Courses with many hazards fits my game. I enjoy playing over water, around fescue, or around sand traps. The more hazards, the better. They keep me focused and mentally strong throughout the entire round. Additionally, hazards add a degree of fun over bash courses (bash the ball, walk to ball, repeat).
Lastly, I like courses that are lined with trees vice wide open links style courses. The line of trees helps me focus my aim because I have something to line up with. Courses that are wide open offer a false sense of security that makes it mentally tough for me to stay focused. Tree lined courses are my favorite.
Certain courses work well for my game. I have experience trepidation playing courses that take my game out of its comfort zone. I realize that as a low handicap player, the type of course should not matter. Unfortunately, for my game, it does matter. These challenges will not stop me from playing tough courses, but it allows me to manage my expectations when I hit the links.
Does certain types of courses affect your golf score? If so, how?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!