What are some good resources for an amateur golfer to improve their course management?
6 Professionals Contributed
Decade Golf is an incredible resource for players of all skill levels. Scott Fawcett has come up with an all-encompassing program that helps players from the TOUR level all the way down to the novice level.
PGA Director of Instruction
Colonial Heritage Club, Williamsburg, VA
Learn to play from experience.
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!
For all golfers, from beginners and high-handicappers to low handicappers and professionals, developing a good and consistent pre-shot routine can eliminate unintended random shots.
Aim is the first step. If you aim well you are already halfway to a good shot. If you aim well you send a positive message to your brain that will satisfy the anxiety of your sub-conscious, enabling you to settle in for the swing you are about to make.
The second step is to position the ball properly in your stance for your intended shot. Both of these steps can be practiced when you are hitting balls on the driving range. Good players will practice a variety of shots on the range, ones they have encountered on the course and need to practice and new shots that increase your arsenal. Knowing how to move the ball in different directions and controlling trajectory are two important elements for improving the quality of your golf game.
And finally confidence! Trust is a must or your game is a bust. If you believe you can hit a shot, you must trust yourself to hit that shot. Give yourself permission to be great and see what happens. Belief and confidence are as important to your golf game as relaxation and concentration. Remember that the straight shot comes from containment in thought. Relax and smile, it’s just a game. Good luck!
PGA Golf Professional
DNA Golf, Carmel, CA
Course Management using Technology
The best way for an amateur to improve their game/course management is to use technology such as Decade Golf or Swing U Premium GPS. These are app or web based systems that can track your shots and how you play the course. You will get strokes gained data and learn more about strengths and weaknesses. You will understand how far your clubs go on the course. All of these stats and metrics will help you understand how to practice better and play smarter!
The golf course itself
One of the best resources for improved course management is the golf course itself. To learn how to best manage your round, if time permits, play a “practice” round. Use the golf course to improve the shots you typically struggle with. Practice the uphill, side hill, downhill shots with a few golf balls from each lie ( Fill those divots ). You will quickly learn how to shape shots, high, low, left, right. Learning to manage your round also requires mental strength. Think before you hit the shot you’re facing. Fairways & Greens!
One of the things I feel amateur golfers misunderstand is how good and pro players play. The information that viewers get from watching television would lead amateurs to think that golf is complex when in reality, it’s quite simple. Playing lessons and commitment to playing game more simply would help more handicap players.
2015 Iowa PGA Professional of the Year. 2004 Iowa Golf Association Professional of the Year
Golf Galaxy, Davenport, Iowa