Are you about to discover a new golf course among the 40,000 golf courses around the world? Or are you tired of not improving your game on a specific course? This might be the right moment to step back and think about your strategy. We are not talking about your training strategy, it’s a bit late once it’s time to warm up before going to the Tee. 😅
An easy way to improve your game and to play more in line with your true level is to prepare a bespoke game plan, based on your strengths.
You should get a good visual understanding of the golf course. Hence, a 3D view of the layout of the course is ideal. You have probably watched Professional golfers on PGA Tour or European Tour use a Yardage book hundreds of times and thought it was not for you. Actually there are different types and you don’t necessarily need the most advanced one with tons of information about the green.
Hence, you should get a Yardage book from the pro shop that will display each hole. If you can’t get one, or if you are not ready to pay for it ($10-$20), you can also use a printed Google Map or directly the hole layout from the printed scorecard.
Before your round, get a yardage book of the course….
Where to start a game plan?
First of all, be realistic: a golf strategy will depend on your level. Don’t expect to be able to reproduce what you see every Sunday on TV, just because it happens that you can hit like Tiger Woods once upon a time!
Define your objective
Start by defining your global objective. It must be realistic. For instance, if you are HCP 20, you could aim for Par + 15 shots.
Split your objective by hole, to see where you accept to play for a bogey. In this example, there should be only 3 holes where you should stand at the tee having in mind that you hit for a Par. The direct consequence is that you will aim for a much more realistic objective for most of the other holes.
Plan your game
Review each hole and define how many shots you can play in order to keep 2 putts on each hole. As an exemple, for a Par 4 with a bogey objective, you should plan 1 tee shot + 2 other shots on the fairway in order to keep 2 putts.
Your Bogey shouldn’t just be the consequence of a hole with a Par strategy that you missed. You should take it the other way down, and finally make more Par than expected because you will do only 1 put from time to time.
What does it mean? Should you tee off with a Driver, then an iron from the hypothetically touched fairway? All this in order to bring you around the green for a final chip? Or should you tee off with a 5 iron to put your second shot, then the third one in the best conditions of success?
It’s impossible to answer directly as it depends on so many factors. To name a few: the hole layout, the fairway entry distance, the hazards that were strategically positioned by the architect. In addition, you should obviously consider your type of golf, the distance and dispersion of each of your clubs.
If you know yourself by heart, you could look at the different hazards locations. Then you define the different zones where you would like to get your ball. Finally, you delimit the zones where you definitely don’t want to go. This should help you define a tactic.
Make it easier with a Golf Caddie
Otherwise, if you have no clue, you would probably greatly appreciate the services of a caddie. Depending on where you live, paying someone for 4 hours might not be cheap or the service nonexistent. As a consequence, you could really get advantage of a smart caddie golf app.