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I had the pleasure to play 5 rounds with @iacas during our Sand Valley trip. 3 on the Sandbox, and then once on Mammoth Dunes and Sand Valley. He is the best player I've ever played with, and it was interesting to notice a few things that were different in our games beyond our golf abilities. Specifically, there were a few course management things I noticed that he did really well that I did not do nearly as well. I wanted to share these things, because I think they are generally good things to think about, and they might help you shave some strokes off your score. I believe all of these are discussed in LSW, but it doesn't hurt to have a refresher.
1. Avoid Doubles
This was by far the biggest thing I noticed. @iacas did get in some bad spots on the course, as everybody does. But, every time he got in trouble, he made a bogey at worst. I don't think he made a double while we played together. I made more than my fair share of them, despite driving the ball almost as well as him. I tend to get sloppy when I get myself into trouble and end up with a double bogey instead of a bogey. A bogey doesn't kill your round, and it only takes one good shot to get the stroke back. A double is a lot harder to recover from.
How did he do it? He got himself back in play and gave himself a great chance to hit the green with his next shot. Sometimes, this meant going for the green. Most of the time, this meant getting out of trouble while advancing the ball down the fairway. For me, I need to think more about giving myself a wedge that I feel comfortable getting on the green most of the time when I'm in trouble off the tee instead of always trying to find a way to go for the green. It also means being more crisp around the greens when I'm already in trouble. I tend to check out of a hole if I don't have a par putt, and that leads to a double that really should have been a bogey (or a worse shot than a double).
Also, if you're in trouble around the green, just get on the green. Forget about the flagstick. Find the shot that will give you a 20 foot putt as your next shot. If the only shot you can try is a risky flop shot to get it close, it is likely to be better to play towards the center of the green than trying that really hard shot. If you're not a good bunker player, forget the flag and concentrate on getting the ball on the green for that 20 foot putt.
For higher handicapped players, you can change this advice to avoid triples. But the bottom line is, bogeys aren't bad, even for a plus handicap. Doubles are bad.
2. Give Yourself a Par Putt
This is really similar to above, but I wanted to separate it out. You are not a PGA Tour pro. You can live with putting for par. If you are in trouble, your goal should be to give yourself a par putt. Unless you are a really bad putter, you will likely 2 putt and make a bogey. If you are chipping for par, that is not good. If you are putting for par, that's fine. If you follow the advice above, you will likely have a shorter putt that you can make more than you think. Think about this - if you have a 20 foot putt for par, your stroke average will below bogey, because you'll make more than you 3 putt, As an amateur golfer, you can live with that.
I separated this out, because this is the matra I need to repeat to myself over and over. A par putt is a good thing!
3. Avoid Shots You Haven't Practiced
We played the Sandbox 3 times together, which is a great par 3 course. It encourages you to try different types of shots - high pitches, hitting a bump and run, chipping an iron, even putting from 50 yards. @iacasliked to try all those types of shots. And it was a lot of fun trying some of those myself, and he definitely had fun trying to pull them off. Here's the thing, though. If you're trying to get your lowest score possible, don't hit a bunch of creative shots. Almost without fail, whenever @iacas tried a unique shot, someone else would hit a standard pitch and get it closer to the hole than him. Which makes sense - we work on pitching a lot more than we work on chipping an 8 iron into a slope to bounce the ball onto an upper tier. So, the bottom line is, if you haven't practiced the shot, it's not something you should try when you're playing for a score.
I almost titled this "never hit shots you haven't practiced," but there are going to be times on a golf course when you're going to have to try a shot you haven't practiced. Just don't do it very often. Stick with what you know and have practiced if at all possible.
I'm on the side that there are some people that are overly sensitive. We should not re write history because "it offends me". It is history. It has happened. It is there for us to learn from and hopefully never make the mistake again. Hopefully some things DO offend you. Then you are less likely to make the same mistake.