This is a great topic! The right tools to improve course management can have the greatest impact on amateurs playing better and enjoying the game more.
First of all, there is no substitute for EXPERIENCE in learning to play the game well.
And…this experience can come in many forms. The best of all of these is to get out and play! Go play, keep your eyes open. learn from the outcome of your shots and choices. Track what you do well, and need to work on. For example, count your puts. IE: More than 36 in an 18 hole round, work on it! Short game …..chipping and pitches . How many times up and down out of how many attempts? 5 of 10, 2 of 12, etc. Drives, GIR, etc. This is really the best and most satisfying, but it takes a long time to become a good player.
You can fast forward the process by playing with much better players, and once again keep your eyes and ears open. Observe and learn. Ask questions if the player is ok with it. Most good players are eager to help.
The best and most effective way to improve this important area of the game is to pony up and take a 9 hole playing lesson with a qualified PGA Professional. let her or him know what areas you feel you need to improve on, and they will be sure to address them for you. We see the greatest amount of gain from our students in the shortest amount of time during these fun and informative playing lessons. Simple concepts such as choosing a chip and run with a less lofted club from a tight lie near the green as opposed to a lob wedge for more control , or laying up to the side of the green with the easiest approach on 5 pars can greatly improve scoring and confidence. There are so many opportunities to address situations understand better choices during a round with a PGA Pro.
At Olde School Golf School we have an 18 hole experience that includes a supervised 45-minute warm-up and preparation, (putting, chipping, and full swing) 18 holes of golf, followed by a 45-minute evaluation, reset, and improvement session . The transformation for the students is always significant and often dramatic.
So whatever the direction or resources you choose, it’s all about learning from trial, error, and experience. The fact is you will learn faster and more if you have some direction and support from those who really know the game!