Course Management – Utilizing Technology
Course Management is a skill that differentiates amateur golfers and professional golfers.
Do not get me wrong, there are lots more, but this skill is an important one. Course Management is the ability to make a hole by hole plan to maximize your own personal strengths and hopefully avoid THE BIG NUMBERS that kill rounds. With the easy accessibility of range finders and multiple GPS systems, creating a plan has never been easier.
Let’s take a look at this short par 4 as an example;
From the back tees this hole measures 300 yards. We are able to see multiple bunkers that are in play along both sides of the fairway, with the fact the right hand side is tree lined and the left side is OB.
Using the technology we have, we can find out yardages to the front of bunkers, over bunkers and the yardage to the widest part of the fairway. The group of bunkers on the right hand side start at 90 yards off the tee and take a 160
yard shot to carry them. The 2 bunkers on the left start at 135 yards off the tee and take a 153 yard shot to get over them.
We also need to look at the bunker straight out through the fairway which measures 240 yards off the tee and takes a strike of 255 yards to carry it. Lastly, we need to take into consideration the mini hill in the fairway which takes a hit of 165 yards to carry it.
Once all this information is collected, you can determine your course of action. The safe play here is to hit a tee shot between 200-210 yards. This will get you over the hill along with both the right and left bunkers, while keeping you short of the bunker through the fairway and into the fattest part of the fairway. From here you will have some kind of scoring wedge in and hopefully give yourself a great look at birdie.
Remember when creating your plan, know where the trouble is, along with yardages to and over it. Know where the widest part of the fairway is and plan to hit an approach shot from a yardage you like.
PGA of Canada – Saskatchewan Zone Professional Jason Schneider is a regular contributor to the SaskGolfer community. For help with your golf game, contact Jason at (306)975-3320