ULTIMATE MENTAL GAME OF GOLF

L48: Course management UL

Course management

 

Course management is more than scene from your favorite movie. It is precise calculation based on ever changing conditions.

 

 

Victories and losses

 

You have quite journey behind yourself. You experienced victories as well as losses. Every one of them made you a player that you are today. Is this journey identical with journey of Sam Snead? Are you experiencing exact the same as Jack Nicklaus did? Are you as played out as Tiger Woods? Probably not. This however doesn’t matter.

 

What matters is that this is your journey. This journey is unique because it is your journey.

 

For not to be too philosophical let me go to the point of what I’m trying to say. You are on another viewpoint of your career. There are many steps behind you and it’s logical to look back a little bit. It is not my intention to tell you what road you should take. My job is to point out possibilities from which you can choose.

 

Unique playing experience

 

Your decision will be derived from your experiences, from knowing your playing style, from knowing your physical and mental possibilities and from knowing actual playing conditions. It is amusing to watch Troy’s course management scene in the Tin Cup movie with Kevin Costner. We can learn from it a lot. I will repeat this over and over.

 

Know the golf course you are about to play and you will understand your possibilities.

 

What is course management?

 

It’s a skill of planning shot ahead with the highest possibility of success. Forget the importance of new clubs for new season. For course management you need to be familiar with your weapons. Your golf clubs are your weapons. Indeed.

 

The key approach in course management is to prepare yourself such conditions for next approach so that your chances are as high as possible.

 

Let me give you few examples. If you know that this hole is right dogleg with break after two hundred and fifty meters with thick forest on the both sides and there are another two hundred meters from break to the pin, make sure to calculate. And make sure to calculate accurately.

 

What is the best shot you could make?

 

It probably wouldn’t be wise to try to drive over the high trees so that you can cut the distance. Depending also on weather conditions, make sure to try to land the ball as further as possible without ending in the forest on the left side. Choose your club also depending on your ability to control the distance with it.

 

You versus the weather

 

Bear in mind also the weather conditions. Is there a wind? From which side is that wind coming from? Is the landing zone according to your tee position ascending or descending? Is the fairway wet or dry? Will your ball roll or will it bite in?

 

Usually a good dog leg hole has in the breaking point of its shape a hazard – sand or water.

 

Are there any obstacles in this place on your hole? How did you play this hole last time in similar conditions? There are too many questions in your head and you didn’t even start to take in consideration the pressure from previous holes of actual playing day.

 

Only the beginning

 

In following lessons we will discuss what options are there for you in the stroke play, what options are there for you in the match play and what options are there for you in other forms of game-play. Let me remind you about essential hint from golf psychology. Think only about the actual shot.

 

What will be, will be important then. Previous and next shots are not real. Actual shot is the most important shot of your career.

 

This is just a one example. In case that those high trees on the right side would be desert or even water, you can start to think about cutting the distance over them. However, this is highly individual option only for those players who have mastered all types of shots.

 

Are you that kind of a player?

 

My second reminder from previous lessons says – don’t bother to think what is running through the head of your opponent or co-players. First of all, you can’t see in their mind either. And second, even if you knew what they are thinking about, you can’t influence it in your favor.

 

Conclusion

 

Course management is a skill of planning shot ahead with the highest possibility of success. The key approach in course management is to prepare yourself such conditions for next approach so that your chances are as high as possible. Bear in mind also the weather conditions. Are there any obstacles in this place on your hole? Don’t bother to think what is running through the head of your opponent. Even if you knew what they are thinking about, you can’t influence it in your favor.

 

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