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Acuna

Course Management...

60 posts in this topic

CANNOT be overestimated.  I have been working on ball striking so much I figured it would be much easier when I started hitting the ball consistently better, and I am doing that now, but my score isn't changing much.

I was thinking about my crappy 9 hole outing the morning (shot a 59) and I realized that every bad "blow up" hole started with me taking a shot that I knew I should not have tried to make . For example, hitting under a canopy of trees to a green about 75 yards away, I knew if I hit my sand wedge it would get caught up in the limbs overhead, but thought "They aren't that big, you can do it." Wrong.  Yep, sure did hit those limbs and they kicked my ball back behind where I started.  I would have been much better off running that ball onto the green with a five iron way back in my stance.

It really was all about trying to get me around trees today. Had I played smarter shots wit respect to those trees I bet I could have saved myself 5-10 strokes.  If you also take away the three OB penalties I had and I am shooting mid forties. Damn.

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Course management becomes easier as you hit the ball more consistent, but you are correct that you can't be stupid.

FWIW, there is a big difference between a SW and a 5i back in the stance...on a 75 yard shot, I would worry about getting a 5i airborne if I played it back and would be much more likely to hit something like an 8i.

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You said it sister - play smart and your score will fall.  Especially for a higher capper.

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For me it's as much about playing smart as being mindful of my abilities. If I play to my strengths and avoid the hero shots it usually keeps me in play and I don't have to do the problem management part. If something isn't working I don't try to force it in an attempt to get back lost strokes. If I blow a hole up it's usually due to a bad bounce or infrequent chunk. When it happens I take my medicine and play on.

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For me it's as much about playing smart as being mindful of my abilities. If I play to my strengths and avoid the hero shots it usually keeps me in play and I don't have to do the problem management part. If something isn't working I don't try to force it in an attempt to get back lost strokes. If I blow a hole up it's usually due to a bad bounce or infrequent chunk. When it happens I take my medicine and play on.

Well said- playing smart and knowing your abilities go hand in hand.

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Course management becomes easier as you hit the ball more consistent, but you are correct that you can't be stupid.

FWIW, there is a big difference between a SW and a 5i back in the stance...on a 75 yard shot, I would worry about getting a 5i airborne if I played it back and would be much more likely to hit something like an 8i.

Without seeing the shot he had it's hard to say what I would do but I hit anything from a 6 iron to a 3 iron from 75 yards fairly often (more than I would like). Just depends on how low any overhanging limbs are and what kind of terrain is between the ball and the hole. If it looks like I will more than likely get some true bounces I don't mind using as low a loft as a 3 iron but if there are roots and/or very rough ground (as there often is) I might try to push my luck with more carry and more loft.

I would be more likely to take 2 clubs more than the loft I think would barely go under the limbs than one club more since the worst case scenario is to hit the limbs.

When a flop is possible it's just a matter of weighing the odds of running it low or going over. When I'm playing well I am more likely to go with the flop and when I'm not playing well I am more likely to keep it low.

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Course management becomes easier as you hit the ball more consistent

I don't agree.

Course management occurs before the outcome. The outcome doesn't make course management "more difficult."

A player who plans to play a 150-yard 7-iron to the middle of a green hasn't experienced "more difficult" course management when he shanks it into the pond. He's still played the odds. His score suffers, but his course management has not.

Course management is simply playing the odds correctly to shoot the lowest score on average.

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FWIW, there is a big difference between a SW and a 5i back in the stance...on a 75 yard shot, I would worry about getting a 5i airborne if I played it back and would be much more likely to hit something like an 8i.

Agree 100%, it was smooth terrain and clear to the green.  I just needed it to get it out there.  Plus it is August in Texas and if you get off the fairway the ground can be more like concrete sometimes....

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Course management is simply playing the odds correctly to shoot the lowest score on average.

Yep.  Tree limbs are pretty long odds, in my short experience with this game.  I am playing 18 on Sunday. I hope to play smarter.

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Course management is simply playing the odds correctly to shoot the lowest score on average.

I'll be stealing this.

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I have learned this many times unfortunately the hard way. I have taken shots that I know I COULD hit and have hit that at the moment felt I shouldn't. 9 times out of 10, it goes poorly and I end up kicking myself for it and silently muttering obscenities at myself. I have gotten better at listening to myself and course management, such as taking a 3-wood when I am hitting my driver poorly or don't necessarily need all that distance. But every now and then, I get the best of myself and end up being angry for it.
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I don't agree.

Course management occurs before the outcome. The outcome doesn't make course management "more difficult."

A player who plans to play a 150-yard 7-iron to the middle of a green hasn't experienced "more difficult" course management when he shanks it into the pond. He's still played the odds. His score suffers, but his course management has not.

Course management is simply playing the odds correctly to shoot the lowest score on average.

You and I are looking at things differently again.

I'll agree with you that a guy can make good course management decisions and score poorly because he can't execute.  What I am saying is if you have a consistent or go to shot, it becomes easier to turn good course management decisions into good scores.  It is much harder to do this when you don't know if you are going to hit it right, left, 50 yards or 180 yards (with say a 7i).

Using your terminolgy, it is much more difficult to compute the odds correctly to shoot the lowest score on average if there are 27 different possible outcomes from your 7i dispersed over a 75 yard radius circle than if you can consistently hit your 7i into a 15 yard radius.

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You and I are looking at things differently again.   I'll agree with you that a guy can make good course management decisions and score poorly because he can't execute.  What I am saying is if you have a consistent or go to shot, it becomes easier to turn good course management decisions into good scores.  It is much harder to do this when you don't know if you are going to hit it right, left, 50 yards or 180 yards (with say a 7i).   Using your terminolgy, it is much more difficult to compute the odds correctly to shoot the lowest score on average if there are 27 different possible outcomes from your 7i dispersed over a 75 yard radius circle than if you can consistently hit your 7i into a 15 yard radius.

even still the person instinctively knows the shots they can pull off, doesn't matter if its 50/50, its still their best odds.

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even still the person instinctively knows the shots they can pull off, doesn't matter if its 50/50, its still their best odds.

Sure it matters- it is a lot easier to compute what option is best for a golfer who has fewer possible outcomes with each shot as opposed to a golfer who has a lot more possible outcomes because he has no clue where the ball is going.  It is not simply figuring out if you can pull a shot off or not, it is then weighing the chances of what score you will make if you don't pull it off.

I have never seen Erik agree with me, so he is likely to take your side, but that won't make you guys right.

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You and I are looking at things differently again.

Me more appropriately, you not so much? I agree. :-D

I'll agree with you that a guy can make good course management decisions and score poorly because he can't execute. What I am saying is if you have a consistent or go to shot, it becomes easier to turn good course management decisions into good scores.  It is much harder to do this when you don't know if you are going to hit it right, left, 50 yards or 180 yards (with say a 7i).

That's not the same thing.

Course management is divorced from the results that follow, or to put it another way, past results inform the course management, and what happens after that is irrelevant (except to feed into later course management decisions).

Past results ---> current course management situation. That's the flow.

Poor execution virtually always results in difficulty making good scores.

Using your terminolgy, it is much more difficult to compute the odds correctly to shoot the lowest score on average if there are 27 different possible outcomes from your 7i dispersed over a 75 yard radius circle than if you can consistently hit your 7i into a 15 yard radius.

Not really, no, because there aren't really 27 possible outcomes. There are a few, but the good player has to factor a few in as well. Going from 3 possible outcomes to 4 or 5 isn't "much more difficult."

And I disagree that you're "using my terminology." I'm using the terminology the way it's used - you're the one tying "course management" into execution.

7I all over the place: 1% chance of one-putting for birdie, 19% chance of two-putting for par, 50% chance of missing the green, hitting it on, and two-putting for bogey, and 30% chance of double or worse.

7I to small area: 5% chance of one-putting for birdie, 50% chance of two-putting for par or getting up and down for par, 40% chance of missing the green but chipping on and putting for bogey, 5% chance of double or worse.

If course management requires good to great execution, then nobody should worry a lick about course management until they can play to a 6 or less or something.

Sure it matters- it is a lot easier to compute what option is best for a golfer who has fewer possible outcomes with each shot as opposed to a golfer who has a lot more possible outcomes because he has no clue where the ball is going.  It is not simply figuring out if you can pull a shot off or not, it is then weighing the chances of what score you will make if you don't pull it off.

I have never seen Erik agree with me, so he is likely to take your side, but that won't make you guys right.

I disagree that it's a "lot" easier. In fact, as a player gets better, his course management often becomes more fine-grained - what kind of SHOT does he want to play with his 7I? What trajectory? How much spin? What shape? What exactly is the wind doing? How firm are the greens? Will that slope feed the ball in or is it not steep enough? What if you get the wrong side of that ridge? Where's the easiest chip shot? What's the lie like? Any mud on the ball? Do I need birdie? I could easily make the case that the scratch golfer has MORE difficulty choosing the type of shot they want to play because they're more aware of some of these things and they can control their shots better. I won't, but I could.

Your last paragraph is unnecessary. These are opinions - there's no right or wrong.

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I would think course management is even more important for the higher cap.  If you are really good, you might pull off some great shots that were lower percentage plays.  Where if a high capper starts making risky decisions - recipe for a really high score.

I'd think the mistakes could be magnified too.  A 5-cap questionably taking driver instead of 3-wood might pull it off or maybe just get in a little trouble.  And once in trouble is more skilled at getting out of it.  A high cap doing the same thing (but maybe having 5i as the alternate club I'd think) has a much greater chance of getting into trouble / will get deeper in trouble b/c the should could be so errant / and then will have less skill to get out of trouble.  High caps hitting into trouble usually leads to more trouble and more wasted strokes than just the initial bad idea.

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You and I are looking at things differently again.

I'll agree with you that a guy can make good course management decisions and score poorly because he can't execute.  What I am saying is if you have a consistent or go to shot, it becomes easier to turn good course management decisions into good scores.  It is much harder to do this when you don't know if you are going to hit it right, left, 50 yards or 180 yards (with say a 7i).

Using your terminolgy, it is much more difficult to compute the odds correctly to shoot the lowest score on average if there are 27 different possible outcomes from your 7i dispersed over a 75 yard radius circle than if you can consistently hit your 7i into a 15 yard radius.

Course management has little to do with results, it has to do with planning.  If I'm 250 yards out I can hit a 7i 150 yards then a SW 100 yards which is the best option for me or I can try a lower percentage shot like a 2h and hope for an up and down.  If I chunk the 7i that probably results in less trouble than slicing my 2h.  Course management IMO is selecting the lowest risk option to put you in the best position to shoot lower scores.

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Course management is divorced from the results that follow, or to put it another way, past results inform the course management, and what happens after that is irrelevant (except to feed into later course management decisions).

If course management requires good to great execution, then nobody should worry a lick about course management until they can play to a 6 or less or something.

I disagree that it's a "lot" easier. In fact, as a player gets better, his course management often becomes more fine-grained - what kind of SHOT does he want to play with his 7I? What trajectory? How much spin? What shape? What exactly is the wind doing? How firm are the greens? Will that slope feed the ball in or is it not steep enough? What if you get the wrong side of that ridge? Where's the easiest chip shot? What's the lie like? Any mud on the ball? Do I need birdie? I could easily make the case that the scratch golfer has MORE difficulty choosing the type of shot they want to play because they're more aware of some of these things and they can control their shots better. I won't, but I could.

Your last paragraph is unnecessary. These are opinions - there's no right or wrong.

Yep, the are mutually exclusive. Its called hindsight is 20/20. We can always sit back and say, "Oh shit, i should have done that". Its like saying a coach shouldn't have gone for it on 4th and 1, just because we get to say so after they failed, yet we claim brilliance if its pulled off.

Given there are times to step on the gas pedal and times to ease up. But for me, its just being comfortable with your own game. For me, as I got better it expanded the amount of things i can do. I know now the trajectory of every stock iron shot i hit. I know the trajectory of every low or high shot. I can easily get a feel for if i need to pick a 6 or a 7 iron to get under the tree. This experience comes from mistakes as well as practice. I try to get information out of every shot. So if I ever get that same height hanging branch i know next time to take one club stronger to keep it lower.

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