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gfd66

Course management.......

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Got any really good tips? So far the only real tip I've gotten was from a neighbor who had told me to borrow or buy a range finder and figure out "real" distances for every club in my bag. 1/2, 3/4 and full swings. He says that I guess too much and I'm usually a club to two clubs short of what I'm trying to reach.

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More of yardages: Know how far your good shots and bad shots go. My stock 4-hybrid off the tee is about 180. Occasionally, though, I'll send it out to 190 or 200. If I have a forced layup at, say, 185, it's good to know that sort of information. Similarly, a slightly bad shot (not a duff, but a not-so-rare poor hit) with my 7-iron can carry down to 130 yards. That's good to know if I have to carry something that's 135 yards. Also, know your what your bad shot tendencies are. If you struggle with a pull, don't aim directly at a pin that's tucked up against a lateral water hazard on your left. A typical miss will likely be in the water. Know to aim right enough to stay clear of trouble. A lot of it is just various forms of "know yourself". Know what you, realistically, can do, what can't do, and tend to do. Then consult that information on the course when you need to make a decision. Something personally useful: On your lag putts, plan your miss to set up a good second shot. For example, I prefer to leave the ball below the cup if I'm battling a bad slope. If you set yourself up well, you can avoid those downhill 3-foot knee-knockers.

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gfd66,

Your neighbor gave you good advice. It's very difficult to play good golf when the player doesn't know which club to pick. A few people I play with have this problem constantly.

B-Con's advice is also very good.

My piece of advice would be to play with the game you have that day. My game hasn't been very good these last couple years because I haven't put as much time into it as I should. Some days all of my shots want to cut, other days they want to draw. No matter what shot I'm hitting that day, I play that shot!!

Don't try to fix stuff on the course if the shot you're hitting is at least reasonable. Whether the ball is cutting 5-10 yards or drawing 5-10 yards is irrelevant to me. I play with what I have that day.

Another tip I have is to make a mental note of a shot after you hit it. How well did you hit it, what distance did you hit it, etc. Many times this will help me pick a club on a later hole. If I hit 9 iron from 140 on that last hole and came up short, I probably shouldn't hit 9 iron from 142 on this hole......or whatever it is.

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Knowing club distances are important. However, think your way around the course. Example, you have a short par 4 that a good tee shot with a driver leaves you with less than 100 yards to the green. But let's say there is water on the right and trees on the left with a less than generous fairway. Is your driver your most accurate club? Probably not. Hit a 3W or 20* hybrid, lay up and hit a 8 or 9 iron still giving yourself a chance of birdie, but a safer play off the tee. Thinking your way around the course will save you strokes. Leave the ego to your opponent.

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In addition to what has been said layup to distances you like. If you have a shot that you are very accurate with lets say from 120 yards then play to that. Instead of just going for every shot and hitting it as far as you can and as close as you can get play to your strength. For me the 100 yard shot is my favorite. I have about 4 different clubs I know how to hit that distance exactly depending on the type of shot I need, more roll, less role, etc. Many times I will try to play to that distance. On some of our par 4's a 5 iron and 3 wood will put me right next to the 100 yard marker so instead of always going driver to get it as far as I can I will pull out the club to get me to the distance I want. We have a very narrow par 5 but it is also very short, a big driver hit and you have a chance at driving the green but it is tight all the way down with the green surrounded by trouble as in woods/bunkers. A 6 iron will put me at 100 yards out on the nose so that's what I do and chuckle at everyone that puts their drives in the woods.

As I tell my kids, it's about playing smart, knowing where to layup, knowing when to be more cautious, and then knowing when to just go for it! You first have to know your own game though!

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The biggest tip I have is be realistic about your skill.  Your not going going to hit many greens from 175 from a perfect lie.  When you get yourself out of position and you "could" hit the green but chances are you are going to pull it/push it/heavy/thin take your medicine.  get yourself in position where you can make a bogie.  Side hill lies are extremely difficult.  You can hit wild shots.  When I have a really tough shot, I often hit it 120 yards, 60 yards short and try to make a par the hard way.  But that lay up shot/pitch out has to be done well.  I've made many o doubles being sloppy trying to play smart.

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Make your mistakes only cost you one shot. When you hit a bad shot, get back in play. Take your medicine and play on. If you can make up for that mistake by pulling off the shot of your life, don't try it.

On the fifth hole of my home course there is a drop area if you hit in the creek. The drop leaves you 220 to the middle of a narrow and deep green. There is junk on the left near the green and that creek runs up the right. Bad things all around the green. Can't be left, right, or long. Most of the high handicappers try and play that perfect shot to the green in order to have a shot at par. Never happens. It is one very hard shot. The smart play is to simply hit a wedge over the creek leaving another wedge to the green -- which is still a tough shot. Never going to get par but you give yourself a chance at a five. And after hitting it in the water off the tee, a five is a good score. As the #1 handicap hole on the course, most high handicappers would take five every time if you offered it before their tee shot. Don't get sucked into trying the shot of your life.

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All the advice above is excellent.  I would include:

Don't try things on the course that you haven't practiced unless it's a practice round.

With a particularly difficult shot, or bad lie, ask yourself, "do I have this shot at my current skill level."  If not, choose a shot you are comfortable with and move on.  Long approach shots from the rough come to mind.  If I have a bad drive in the rough, and I'm 180 yards out from an elevated green, I know I can't get there with my 3 hybrid in more than 1 in 10 tries.  So I will lay up to 70 to 100 yards and try to get close with my best clubs, which are wedges.

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From the best golfer I've ever played with: "Take more club. Play more break."

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I break the hole into thirds. Off the tee I round holes off to the nearest 50 yards and base my ideal tee shot on that. It seems to be where the widest part of the hole is (it doesn't work on par 5s).

Yardage

2 thirds (ideal tee shot)

1 third (ideal approach)

300

200

100

350

233

117

400

267

133

450

300

150

500

333

167

I also break things into thirds left to right off the tee (left 1/3, middle 1/3, and right 1/3) and front, middle, and back 1/3 on shots to the green. I started playing to the proper 1/3 and my lost ball count started to go down. Sort of balk at the "take more club advice". I say take LESS club off the tee and play for the front to middle 1/3 on the green. Staying in play and below the hole is my go-to play.

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Originally Posted by Stretch

From the best golfer I've ever played with: "Take more club. Play more break."



I like Stretch's advice.  But my favorite course management tip is to "take your medicine when you need to."

Translation:  Pitch laterally or even behind you from a bad lie if it gets you on the fairway and sets up the next shot.  Don't try for the miracle shot.

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Great thread. It's nice to see that I'm not the only one that hits driver at the most 2 or 3 times during a round and that's on par 5s. Most of the time I hit off the tee with my 3 wood which I can hit within a range of 250 to 300 yards comfortably without the notion that I have to drive the green. I gave up on going for the green on short par 4s when I found myself in the woods or lateral water hazards.

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It is all risk and reward and you have to understand that your swing is different every day.  You might be 215 out on a par 5, but have you been hitting your hybrid very well lately?  are you sure you will carry the water?  have you been on from 70 yards?

Another big one is to concentrate on scoring, not on your swing.  That doesn't mean you don't want to know what you are doing, or not to make adjustments.  But your mind needs to be on scoring and you can't let swing thoughts get in the way of that.

It is amazing how bad you can chip and putt in a round when your mind is in full swing thought mode.

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Best bit of advice I ever had was from one of the pros we had here a while back:

"how often do you hit your Sunday best?"

By that he meant you can't play a hole based on hitting your best shot with any given club all the time.

One other bit of good advice came from my father many, many years ago:

"there's no pictures on score cards".

Two great shots and two putts or two mediocre shots and a chip and a putt, both add up to 4.

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Course management is probably the most overlooked aspect of the game. Most people just tee it up and rip it. They try to hit over a bunker to a tight pin. They don't recognize that a green might be teired or have a false front. They don't know how far they hit there driver then they are shocked when they don't carry the water or bunker.

course management is knowing the RIGHT information about your swing and applying what you CAN do on the golf course. If you try to hit a draw, but only succeed 25% of the time at hitting that draw, guess what you shouldn't do, hit a draw. If the shot calls for it, then just play a fade away from the danger and get out with a par. Stop thinking about flags, and start thinking about shot shapes. You know your fade or draw fits in this cone. It you hit it straight you know it will go to the right edge of this cone, and it will draw from there to the left side. Now lets say you have a tight pin placement on the left, and its gaurded by water on the left and bunker in the front. What i would do is, imagine that your cone is just right of that flag. So if you hit your farthest left draw you wont come close to the trouble. If you hit it straight you just bailed out a bit. But most people take dead aim at that flag and wonder why they drew the ball into the water.

Its knowing the ball flight laws, its knowing your swing (the correct information, don't inflate your golf game because you have a big ego), and its knowin what you can do. From there its gaining experience. take the highest probability shot..

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This is one of my main goals for this season.  Learn my game better and play the course to my game.  Not make my game fit the course.  I agree with everything that has been said above and have heard most of it several times.  The hard part is actually sticking to it.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

Course management is probably the most overlooked aspect of the game. Most people just tee it up and rip it. They try to hit over a bunker to a tight pin. They don't recognize that a green might be teired or have a false front. They don't know how far they hit there driver then they are shocked when they don't carry the water or bunker.

course management is knowing the RIGHT information about your swing and applying what you CAN do on the golf course. If you try to hit a draw, but only succeed 25% of the time at hitting that draw, guess what you shouldn't do, hit a draw. If the shot calls for it, then just play a fade away from the danger and get out with a par. Stop thinking about flags, and start thinking about shot shapes. You know your fade or draw fits in this cone. It you hit it straight you know it will go to the right edge of this cone, and it will draw from there to the left side. Now lets say you have a tight pin placement on the left, and its gaurded by water on the left and bunker in the front. What i would do is, imagine that your cone is just right of that flag. So if you hit your farthest left draw you wont come close to the trouble. If you hit it straight you just bailed out a bit. But most people take dead aim at that flag and wonder why they drew the ball into the water.

Its knowing the ball flight laws, its knowing your swing (the correct information, don't inflate your golf game because you have a big ego), and its knowin what you can do. From there its gaining experience. take the highest probability shot..



Based on the guys I play with, "most" guys would either 1.) yank one straight left into the water, 2.) duff one into the water, 3.) hit a big power fade (slice) that looks like it might get there, but no, sploosh, or 4.) they'd bail out hitting a push slice into the trees/rough/OB on the right.

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I really learned a ton watching the Pebble Beach AT&T; and how they managed their game on Pebble versus how I played it months earlier.  I was way too aggressive on on several holes.  Partly due to not having a caddy and not knowing the smart play, but I was still way too aggressive.  Length is the strongest part of my game, but it gets me in tons of trouble when I rely on it too much.  I will say that I still hit my driver on most holes, but I have learned a little 2/3 low dead straight ball.  It still goes 260 or so.  I will swing fully a few times a round with the driver but not as much as I used to.  The other thing is don't get too cute with hitting cuts, draws, and different ball flights unless you are playing just for the fun of it/practice.  If you want to score well, hit what you hit 98% of the time.  I hit a 5-10 yard draw(when playing well)  because that is what I hit consistently.  The other thing as said above is to take more club and don't base your yardages on your clubs based on what you hit a club with a 100% swing and 100% flush contact.  I hit a 7 iron over 190 yards today on the range with a vein popping swing and a perfect strike.  How is that going to help me on the course?  I hit a seven iron 165ish with an 80% swing and solid contact.  Don't try to be macho with your friends and hit a club that you really shouldn't hit.  Hit what you can realistically hit.

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