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Monthly Golf Tip from Jason Johnson
Tips for Better Course Management: Even the best players have “off” days when it comes to their golf swing, but understanding how to manage the golf course can rescue the round.

Tips for Better Course Management


Technical skills such as swing mechanics, putting stroke and bunker techniques are often the focus of honing a golfer’s game. While these are important aspects to the game, many players forget that golf ultimately requires good course management in addition to a strong skill set.

Even the best players have “off” days when it comes to their golf swing, but understanding how to manage the golf course can rescue the round. Consider the following tips during your next round to help manage the course for a better score:

If You Are in Trouble, Get Out
When you find yourself in trouble, the smartest play is often the safest one. We’ve all tried to be the hero by trying that spectacular shot through the trees to make a miraculous birdie or par. More often than not, your ball ends up hitting the tree and winds up in an even worse position. Instead of trying an impossible shot, play the ball in a way that will help you recover, saving more strokes during your round.

Don’t Always Hit the Driver
Too many golfers automatically grab the driver on a par 4 or 5, which may not always be the best decision for their game. Instead, I recommend playing the hole backwards. Try picturing your shot into the green and work forward to that point. For example, if you are not going to go for the green on a par 5 in two strokes, hit a club off the tee that makes it easier to lay up to a preferred yardage for hitting into the green.

Where to Miss the Green
PGA TOUR players are known for getting the ball up and down to save par, which is how they shoot consistently low rounds. Skill level is a factor, but the ability to miss the green in the correct place is also key in getting up and down so often.
The goal, of course, is the hit the ball toward every pin but missing the green is part of the game. When that happens, remember these tips for a better chance of recovery:
 
  • Don’t short side yourself. If you miss the green without much green to work with, the chance of getting up and down becomes much harder.
  • Err away from trouble like traps and water. If the trouble around the green is in front, aim to miss long. If the trouble is in the back, aim to miss short. 
 
Remember these tips to help manage your way around a golf course a little better during your next round.