We often hear the terms “playing it safe”, or “laying up”, or “missing the green in a good spot.” These and many other terms are part of a concept called “course management”. Good course management is valuable at any level of the game.
On TV, we see players tee off with a 2 iron, insuring that the shot ends up in the fairway, in the best position from which to hit is next shot. They could hit driver much farther, risk of ending up in deep rough or worse. This is an example of good course management.
You may remember during the British open a few years ago, a Frenchman, Jean Van de Velde, was leading by two strokes going into the final hole, needing only a bogey to win. He hit a wayward tee shot with his driver. Then, from a poor position, tried to reach the green with a fairway wood, landing in a creek and taking a penalty stroke. I watched, stunned, as he continued to make poor decisions, until, finally, he ended up losing the tournament. He threw it away by his poor course management.
I like to give students the opportunity to play with a professional, learning course management skills that can lower your score; when to pitch out to the fairway from the trees; when not to shoot for the pin; when to lay up to the best distance from the green. Imagine bringing better course management as well as a better swing to your own game.
How many stokes will you save by learning course management from a professional?