I believe the game of golf covering course management is underestimated with the staggering advancements of club technology and launch monitors tracking every possible figure a club fitter and elite golfer would wish to know.
However, the single component of “Course Management” can win and loose Majors or simply one of your Club events, so what exactly is course management?
I describe course management as “The ability to navigate your way around the course utilising your skills and shot making abilities. A key criteria is deciding when to “attack” and “defend” so playing to your strengths whilst managing your expectations.
Can you make this carry 80% of the time? if not then play within yourself and lay-up, “There is exhibition golf and there is plain golf”
I very often progress to the course with a player many who are unaware of the positive impact an hours course management with Professional guidance can have on their game.
I watched the Evian Championship last year which is now classed as a Major. I was hugely impressed with In Gee Chun whose composure and the gravitas she possessed a real envy of many. She opened with a 63 on a golf course which is stunning at the best of times but a real challenge. The fairways are undulating making the club selection key along with the shot execution very tricky due to the severity of the awkward lies. When you find the greens there is no let up, I am unsure if a flat putt actually exists! well when I played many years ago I could not find one…maybe my accuracy to my landing areas on the greens was not quite spot on!
In Gee Chun had a 4 shot lead playing the 18th hole her score of -21 was truly amazing, the 18th hole was a par 5 when I played but a complete restructure of the hole has now transformed it into a tough par 4 closing hole.
In Gee hit her drive to the left edge of the fairway just catching the thick rough which left her a yardage of approximately 175 yards of which I can only estimate. The green slopes left to right with a large pond cutting into the centre short right of the green.
Credit: Tristan Jones Ladies European Tour Photographer
The commentators were staggered when In Gee picked a hybrid out of her bag, considering she had a 4 shot advantage. This is where her caddy played a vital role seemingly talking her out of using the club, working out the exact yardage to lay up which would provide her with a distance she was comfortable and confident under the pressure of winning a Major.
She played her lay up wedge in front of the water as the game plan suggested which was followed up by a superbly struck approach shot to 10 feet which she calmly stroked in for her par along with a four round record score of -21.
Golf as we know is a game of “if only” who knows what would have happened if the hybrid was struck but the team accepted her lie from the tee shot. Both player and caddy knew when to defend which enabled Chun to draw on all the obvious hours of distance control and putting practice to achieve victory.
Maybe next time you play “think your way around the course and use it to your advantage” SBG
Why not join me for one of my course management sessions which can be directly with me.