How To Improve Golf Course Management

Brad Carey14 Apr 2022

On a bright Saturday afternoon, you're likely to see a long queue of golfers striking balls on the practice range. Naturally, they're all there with the same goal in mind: to get better at golf and achieve lower scores. Improved swings are often regarded as the greatest approach to improving one's golfing abilities.

But what if there's a better solution? What if you can somehow improve your game without altering your swing in any way? Any golfer would be eager to learn the secret.

An alternative method exists, and it is called golf course management. As a golfer, you'll be called upon to make wise decisions as you navigate the course, such as which club to use for a certain stroke or which target line to aim for.  When it comes to a match of athletic ability, the winner is nearly always won by the player who is better at managing the course.

Important Aspects of Golf Course Management

Golf course management means figuring out how to get the most out of your abilities as a golfer in the obstacles that the course presents. To win a round of golf, you should learn to focus on your own game instead of what your opponents are doing.

Know your own yardages.

Are you familiar with your distances? Would you be able to determine the distance of your 8 iron?  So many golfers today have yardage watches or laser guns, yet they don't know their own yardages. This is a problem. Schedule some time on a launch monitor to go through your gear.  Make a total of ten shots with each club, average out the distance, and then eliminate any truly awful ones. It's a good idea to jot down these figures and review them at least once a year.

Track your progress.

Whether it's to the left or right, do you tend to miss putts in a certain area more frequently? You should be aware of all of this information to better prepare for a round. Course management is all about playing to your strengths. If you are aware of your tendency to miss to the right off the tee, you can pick a club that will help you avoid the hazard. It's easier to stay out of trouble if you keep track of your data.

Do what you do best.

To put the pressure on a hole or a round is to play to your strengths, which might be anywhere in your game. Playing only for the greens in regulation may be a solid strategy for you. Whatever your golfing skills are, utilize them to your advantage.

Take time to re-evaluate.

The tracks that Formula 1 drivers race on are memorized and regularly rehearsed in their thoughts. If you do this yourself, you could get a lot out of your round. Consider your tee shot placement on each hole, as well as your route around the course. Visualization helps in the creation of "plan A" and helps you plan your route through the course.

Learn from previous mistakes.

Debriefing after a round is a terrific idea that many people don't do. Consider any major blunders you've made in course management and what you could have done to prevent them. You should focus more on the positive judgments you've made and how you can improve on them. If you're prone to sloppiness at the end of a round or jitters at the start, pay attention to those points throughout the round where you slip up. Keeping track of data and revisiting rounds after they've been completed will help you identify these patterns.

How Can I Improve My Course Management in Competitive Golf?

Golf course management refers to the series of decisions you make on the course at every shot and swing. Everything you do to carry out your game plan and attain your golf goals becomes a decision.

Many golfers focus on their swings to the exclusion of other aspects of the game. In contrast to terrible swings, poor judgments might lose you many more strokes. A bogey or worse could be easily caused by picking the wrong club or playing the incorrect line. Just as it's important to work on the tempo, weight shift, and other elements of your swing, it's also important to spend time refining your golf course management skills.

Here are ways to improve your skills in golf course management:

Find the fairway.

Keeping your excellent shots in the fairway off the tee to maximize your chances of hitting the green is essential. According to, the vast majority of golfers only hit 49 percent of their fairways on average. This is a good first step to focus on in improving your course management.

Give your swing a rip.

Lower scores are obtained when drives are longer. This is a tried-and-true method for raising your overall score. It's a waste of time and effort to swing carefully and slowly to hit the ball straight down the fairway. Swing with speed and momentum if you can retain your balance to get closer to your target and the green.

Use a longer club that you can rely on.

If you are a casual golfer, having a long fairway shot that you can rely on could be beneficial. When confronted with a long shot, many golfers instinctively grab the club that would bring them the closest to the target. However, this might lead to problems. In place of a 3-wood, choose a longer club that you feel more at ease with. The ability to gain confidence during your round will be greatly enhanced by using a club that has a high level of consistency.

Determine your best shot.

Laying up to particular target yardage in which you can hit the right club is a great way to improve your golf, especially with tee shots. Know precisely where your ideal distance is from which you are most accurate and at ease. Then, as much as possible, deliver that shot using a GPS device to determine where to hit it. If a 105-yard approach shot is your ideal distance, you should aim for it as often as possible. The more times you have that yardage, the higher your chances of shooting lower scores and playing better golf.

To improve your game on the course, you need to know how to manage the golf course. Playing to your strengths is about knowing what clubs to use, what shots to take, or when to play to your advantage. The best golfers have learned to play fiercely when necessary and more carefully when it is wiser to do so. Ultimately, you are properly managing your way around the course to lower your score, which means playing better golf.

Brad Carey

Brad Carey

An avid golfer, brad loves a round of 18 on a Sunday. After getting involved in the technical side of golf, he thought he'd share his insights with others.

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