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Course Management

 When talking course management we are talking about the mental part of the game. How many times have you heard a ball bang off a tree or see a golfer swearing on the course, some of these situations could have been avoided by just putting yourself in a better position to avoid hazards on the course which will add strokes to your score. Everyone wants to make that 1 in a million shot but that shot will usually add valuable strokes to your score.
The concept of course management is very simple, hit your ball to the correct yardage on the course which allows you to score and avoid the hazards.

An example of this is,

Example #1
You are playing a 300 yard par 4 and you are able to hit your driver 250 yards but you are comfortable hitting your wedge 100 yards, why hit the driver, why not use the club you hit 200 yards. Now  you should be in your comfort zone and easily make par or better.

Example #2
You have hit your tee shot 10 yards behind a large tree and 140 yards from the green. Your choices are, hit the ball around the tree with the chances of hitting the tree, branches being very good or play the ball out to the fairway then hit the next shot on the green. You should play the ball back out to the fairway and advancing the ball as far forward as possible.

Example #3
15 yards off an elevated green which is 4 feet above the ball. There are no bunkers or hazards on your target line. A wedge is probably not the club to use, why not roll up a 4 or 5 iron on the green. You will be on the green 95% of the time by using this course management tip.

There are two ways I would suggest learning course management. The first, take two playing lessons from your course pro. The first lesson just play the game your usual way with your pro and have him or her suggest areas where you could save shots after the round. The next playing lesson follow the suggestions your pro made about course management, now this time after the round compare the 2 scores and you will find the second round score will be lower than the first.  If you play 3 times a week use one of those rounds to work on course management skills.