Course Management- Club Selection
Course management isn’t just a fancy word for the professionals. It’s a tool that every golfer should have in their arsenal. I think club selection is by far the most important factor in course management. Too often I see golfers make poor club selections that cost them valuable strokes.
How is familiar is this scenario? The second shot on a par 5 and we have 275 yards to the green and the pin is tucked behind a bunker that could swallow a pick up truck. Now the daredevil in all of us wants to rip a 3 wood and deal with the awkward pitch shot later. Players who utilize proper course management have ruled out that hero shot. Some arithmetic and some understanding of physics will allow players with proper course management to make better decisions. Personally I love to hit a basic 100 yard shot. My special math powers tell me that I need to hit a shot approximately 175 yards to reach that goal. A 175 yard shot, in my mind, seems to be more achievable and therefore less stressful than a 275 yard shot. Less anxiety in a swing usually provides better results. Course management is about playing to your strengths. If your strength is ripping 3 wood 275 yards then by all means stick with it. For the rest of us mortals, proper club selection can save us countless strokes each and every round.
Another familiar scenario is the par 3 with a pond in front of the green. Let’s call it 145 yards to the center of the green. Players need to understand that the 145 yard shot needs to be carried there. Taking an extra club and swinging smooth is always a great option. Worst case scenario, the shot is struck well and you will have a slightly longer birdie putt, as opposed to hitting the lesser club at 110% swing speed and splashing your ball into the pond. Play the higher percentage shots and shoot lower scores.
The morale of this is to choose a club that easily accomplishes the shot that is required. In the end, the goal is still the same. Hit the fewest amount of shots possible. Who cares what club you used to do it? Selecting the proper club will minimize your stress and allow you to make better swings. Better swings mean better scores. Good luck and always remember to have fun.
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