Through the years, I have played with golfers of all different skill levels, ranging from complete beginners to accomplished professionals who have competed in major championships. Over that experience, there is something interesting I have learned - many amateur golfers don’t think that course management matters to them. Nearly every good golfer I played with understood the importance of course management, and how crucial it is to make good decisions from shot to shot. However, less accomplished players seemed to think it was good enough to just grab a club and swing away - and the results were usually in line with how much thought went into the shot.
Course management is important for each and every golfer. While a professional golfer will have more shots at their disposal, and will be able to rely on their shots more consistently, it is still vital to every golf to think their choices through carefully before hitting a shot. Just like a football team wouldn’t head out onto the field without a game plan, you should never head onto the course without a plan of attack.
Following are just a few of the many reasons why you should take course management more seriously -
Eliminate a variable. No matter what your handicap is, there are certainly plenty of shots throughout a round that you wish would have gone better. The important thing is to understand what poor shots are due to bad execution, and which are due to bad decision making. When you pay attention to course management, you will have a specific reason for each shot - so you should be making good decisions most of the time. That way, when you hit a bad shot, you can look quickly to the execution of your swing knowing that the decision making was sound.
Learn more about your game. As you put more and more thought into your shot selection on the course, you will start to learn things about your game that you might not have known otherwise. For example, if you notice that you continue to fail to execute a specific shot with a certain club, you can start avoiding that situation or just stop trying to hit that shot. Those patterns are only going to make themselves known when you put time and effort into course management.
Lower your scores! Isn’t this the point in the first place? Believe it or not, and many amateurs don’t believe it, good course management can lower your scores in your very next round. Pick the right clubs, use solid strategy, and you will see your scores start to fall even without making a single change to your swing.