If you research course management, most topics will discuss hitting to a distance and avoiding hazards. In most cases, course management is all about what you leave for your next shot. Of course, I subscribe to these concepts of course management, but I think there are other important aspects such as picking the proper aim line. Why is this important you may ask, well that is a great question and worth further analysis.
Of course the aim line is related to angle for approach shots, taking advantage of the weather, and avoiding hazards. These are all great things, but there is often an overlooked aspect of picking the proper aim line and that is to maximize the roll. At Osprey Links there are three holes that offer the greatest amount of roll, but with an increase in risk.
On the par 5 fourth hole, the safe and smart shot is down the left. However, down the right side of the fairway provides the most roll and possibly 20 yards to the my drive. Unfortunately, this line brings the water into play. Depending on the day, the right side brings bringing in green in range in two shots. If I head down the left side, there is no chance I can make the green in two. On days that I am feeling adventurous, I take the right side just to see what happens.
The next hole is the 13th. For this shot the aim line for the safe shot is just left of the cart path. If I hit that line then there is a very good chance my ball will end up at 120 yards, but my second shot will be over the sand trap that guards the green. This shot is a bit more difficult than I am making it out to be, but it is challenging. The line with most roll is down the left. If I skirt the trees, I get an extra 20 yards roll and end up around the 100 yard marker or closer. Additionally, I will be in the center of the fairway with no bunker to worry about on my next shot. The challenge to this shot is if I pull the ball just a bit, then the hazard of the trees comes into play. If I hit it a little soft and do not get the distance, then the tress block my approach shot. Greater the risk, the greater the reward.
The last hole where hitting the right aim line to maximize roll is the ninth hole. If I hit down the right side, it is considered the safe side. There are bunkers all down the landing area and the long grass prevents any chance of hitting the ball closer than 130 yards from an elevated green. Hitting down the left side brings water into play for the entire roll out. However, the ball releases the most and I have been inside the 100 yard marker several times. Additionally, it is the good line for my approach shot. This another case where the risk is increased to take the line that improves the roll of my shot.
Course management has many different facets that will improve your golf score. Picking a line that improves roll is one area that is often overlooked. Generally, it adds more risk to the shot and most players avoid this golf strategy. Personally, I like the extra roll approach if I am hitting the ball well because I have confidence that I can lower the risk by hitting the ball straight. Course management is a flexible thing and I will leave my approach to game time decisions.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!