It is no surprise that every golf course offers its own unique challenges. Regardless of which course I played over the past 45 years, each track I noticed that they offer something. Many times, the bunkers or longer rough will play into the mix. Other times, the greens provide challenges I did not normally encounter. The list is endless. The best part about what each course offers is that provides a new and sometimes unique challenge to my game. It is those challenges that drives my desire to play different golf course and on a fundamental level, golf itself.
I like to have a plan when I play golf. I generally play to my strengths as they compliment the course itself. Unfortunately, there are times when I overlook what the course is presenting and play a plan that is not conducive success. I ignore the challenges and just play my game. I figure I can bend the course to may will and by golly, I will not give up my plan regardless of the results.
I remember playing Wildfire Golf Course in Peterborough a few years back. The first time, I just banged my ball off the fairway and tried to hit all other shots as long as I could. Well, let me tell you that that plan was complete folly. As looped around the course, I was in every hazard, most bunkers and the long rough for most of the day. It was a day of grinding and boy was that a long 4.5 hours.
As you can see, the bunkers on this course were strategically placed and the first time I played it I visited quite a few of them. The second time I played, I throttled back a bit and hit to distance. This approach complimented Wildfire’s layout better and as a result my score the second time was 8 strokes lower and much easier to play.
Another example would be the Loyalist Golf Course in Bath, Ontario. Instead of a great deal of bunkers, the course architect used the undulations of the land to add to the difficulty. As you can see above, hitting to distance was important. Where I fought the course was pin hunting on every shot. I thought that this was going to be the approach needed, however all that did was add to my scores. I was on the wrong side of the hole (if I made the green at all) most of the time. Looking back, I should have followed the play book they provided. It recommended driving locations and what side of the hole to be on; of course I knew better and well it really cost on the scorecard.
There are many other examples where I decided to fight the golf course layout instead of going with the flow. I realize I should do this all the time, but my ego sometimes gets in the way. I am hoping that next year that I have learned my lessons and will accept what the golf course gives provides. If I can, then there well much less fighting and more enjoyment during my round.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!