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Course Management... - Page 4

post #55 of 60

I have a large group of buddies that usually all play at the same time, so we often play 2-3-4 man scrambles. It took me a while until I realized I wasn't seeing much improvement because I'm normally longer than nearly all of my playing partners and would normally hit last, this would cause me to "go for it",  The end results were that my personal game just could not improve because I was never looking to make the "smart" play. When instead of scrambling we would play heads up and keep individual scores I started realizing I had nearly zero "course management" skills and my score would suffer mightily for it. 

 

I came to a decision to start playing the higher percentage shots that I knew I had a higher probability of pulling off and nearly immediately my scores starting improving at a very please rate. I know that I am not very smart, but I have figured out - (at least for myself) - ""TRYING TO BE A HERO WON'T GET YOU CLOSER TO ZERO""!!! 

 

God Bless!!! Ray

post #56 of 60

Here's a counter-intuitive take on all this. It might be BS, but it's a thought I've had for a while.

 

While most of us want to lower our average scores, these ideas are great- play the percentages, play the smart shot, etc.

 

But for those who want to succeed and make a living, they are almost forced to play a different game. If you play smart, you may have your optimum lowest average score, but you might prevent yourself from having that one round or that string of four rounds where you are absolutely on fire (i.e., win a tournament).  

 

When guys are competing to get on tour, it does them no good to have lots of good finishes. They must win. They must make money, and it's better to win a tournament and miss a few cuts, rather than finish middle of the pack.  Through that natural selection, we have pros that get to the top by playing aggressively. And to make it big on the PGA, at any given tournament, somebody is shooting lights out. To win, you must go for it. Play it safe, and you're middle of the pack, and history and sponsors and fans reward the winners.  There is a baked-in need for aggressive play. Playing it safe may be the smart thing for the the best average score, but that's not the goal. The goal is to win individual tournaments, not finish the year with low averages.

 

Just some thoughts- I'm sure others have pondered before.

post #57 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallT View Post
 

When guys are competing to get on tour, it does them no good to have lots of good finishes. They must win. They must make money, and it's better to win a tournament and miss a few cuts, rather than finish middle of the pack.  Through that natural selection, we have pros that get to the top by playing aggressively. And to make it big on the PGA, at any given tournament, somebody is shooting lights out. To win, you must go for it. Play it safe, and you're middle of the pack, and history and sponsors and fans reward the winners.  There is a baked-in need for aggressive play. Playing it safe may be the smart thing for the the best average score, but that's not the goal. The goal is to win individual tournaments, not finish the year with low averages.

 

Just some thoughts- I'm sure others have pondered before.

 

Jack won a lot of his 18 majors by playing conservatively and letting his opponents self destruct by being too aggressive.  

post #58 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post
 

 

Jack won a lot of his 18 majors by playing conservatively and letting his opponents self destruct by being too aggressive.  

 

Yep, there is that. And it seems that during the majors, the winners say that they played smart and only took the opportunities that were there. In the LSW book, there's a great story of Dave Wedzik setting a course record by playing the percentages.

 

I'm not really advocating playing poor course management, and I'm actually far too conservative a player myself (as I've learned from reading LSW).  It's just that it seems to me that in the process of working your way up to the PGA in various "proving ground" tournaments and tours, if there is parity in talent,  a "go for broke" attitude might help you stand out occasionally even though it more often results in a bad week. Isn't it at least possible that it's more "successful" for up and coming players to be birdie hunters and to have those big weeks where they are recognized and get those points and money for the win?

 

For players here on TST who have won tournaments, is it typically rounds with good course management, or is it that your are in your zone and naturally being more aggressive because you are simply feeling it that week?

 

Again, I'm sold that my best personal scores will be from applying the principles from LSW, I just wonder sometimes if we have set up a system that to advance in golf through the ranks in golf up to the big leagues, you must win. Does that winning (and beating 100+ others in a given week, some of whom are shooting lights out) necessitate stepping outside your comfort zone of smart course management. Must you take risks, because if you don't, some other guy will and get lucky? Or over the course of 18 holes or 72 holes, does it work out that the smarter plays typically pay off?

post #59 of 60
It must depend, mustn't it, on context? If you have a good lead, you might choose to do a Nicklaus and play conservatively, because you know your opponents have to take risks to catch you and the chances are that some of those risks will land them in trouble. If you're chasing, you haven't always got the option of the safe play because that won't close the gap. if you're a rookie with a prospect of a top-ten finish in a major, you're going to protect that position rather than take silly chances trying to make up eight shots on the leader. And so on.

I'm never likely to play in a 72-hole, 4-day tournament. But I imagine one's strategy is to play the percentages for the first two rounds and try to make sure of making the cut, taking opportnities as they arise but no stupid risks unless one is a shot or two above the projected cut line. Then review the situation as it develops, taking account not only of one's position relative to others in the field but also of the difficulty of the pin positions, weather conditions etc. I'd be surprised if many professionals stuck to one strategy - "go fo broke", "super cautious" or whatever - irrespective of the circumstances.
post #60 of 60

If you had 3 OBS there is your answer.  If you know there is an OB in play off the tee pull out a 3 wood or something you can get out there straight. 

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