Why is Course Management Important in Golf?Jul 19, 2022
First off, there are lots of little things we can do to improve as golfers. You can practice more, you can focus on fine-tuning certain areas of the game, you could simply play more golf, the list goes on. One of the simplest things we can do to improve is implement good course management.
In a previous article, we looked at what course management is, as well as things we can do in order to improve our course management strategy, but now we’re going to focus on the importance of course management. Why do we need it and how can it help us?
Course management from the start
Course management starts before you even hit the ball. This is key. The best players are already thinking about managing the course before they’ve struck their first tee shot.
Before you can manage the course effectively, you need to know what you’re trying to do. What’s your aim? Before beginning your round of golf, ask yourself what you want from it. Are you looking to score aggressively? Are you looking to card some birdies?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you’re going to need to play some attacking shots and leave yourself with some birdie putts. This is where you can start to apply course management.
Look at the course and pick out the holes where you feel that you can attack, and set out a plan to do so. For example, you might feel very comfortable hitting iron shots from 150 yards and it just so happens that the course contains two relatively straightforward 150-yard Par 3’s.
Course management and scoring
As mentioned earlier you need to determine which are your birdie holes and if you have any based on the difficulty of the course. These would be classed as scoring opportunities, and knowing that you have these opportunities to come, you could opt to play more cautiously beforehand. In other words, on the holes where scoring a birdie is unlikely, play safe and look to save a par.
If the hole is very difficult, even playing a bogey golf isn't bad at all. It's all a part of golf strategy. Sometimes a bogey on a tough hole is very good considering you can easily have double or triple bogey hitting OB or in a hazard.
This is a perfect example of why course management is important. If you’re thinking about how to manage the course, then you can work out how to approach individual holes and individual shots in order to achieve your goals, whether that’s making a birdie, making a par or achieving a certain overall score.
Course management is all about decisions
Course management is all about making the right decisions, instead of simply hitting shot after shot without putting much thought into it.
For example, let’s say you’ve hit your tee shot on a Par 5. Imagine you’ve hit a good drive and are nicely placed on the fairway. The green is probably just about in reach if you hit a great second shot. However, to get the green in two, you’ll have to clear a water hazard.
Now, if you get the shot right, you’ll probably make it, but you’re not entirely confident that you will. The correct decision here, or if you like, the best risk/reward course management decision would be to lay up and leave yourself a comfortable third shot into the green, knowing that you’ll still have a half chance of making birdie but a great chance of making par.
Sure, if you went for it, you might get lucky and be on for eagle, but if you’re not spot on, you’re in the drink and you’ve incurred a penalty.
Why is course management so important in a nutshell? Because it can lead to better scores. The more players think about course management, the more they play each and every round with it in mind, the better their scores will become.
After all, improved scores is what almost every golfer on the planet continues to search for, so don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Learn about course management, understand its importance, and the fruits of your labour will be improved scores.
Reading all of this...do you use course management strategies on the course? Do you think about every shot and plan it according to your strategy? I think you should!😊😉 At least if you want to improve your score without even seeing a swing coach or practice extra at the driving range.