How do you handle bad shots and breaks on your golf vacation? Do you get frustrated or feel challenged?
Playing golf is a mental game, and part of your strategy should include good course management. Course management is your ability to play around the golf course, to avoid trouble, and to place each shot in the best position to hit lower scores in the next shot.
Significantly, course management is also important for a less frustrating and more successful round. So take your golf trip as an opportunity to improve on it. Here's how:
- Study the course
If you're playing on a new course, study and plan each hole as you approach it. Pay attention to wind direction, as this can be a very frustrating factor when playing golf.
Suggestion: Keep the ball lower than usual so the wind will have less influence on the direction of the ball.
- Have a game plan
The hardest thing to do when playing golf is to follow your game plan and not be tempted to knock the ball too hard. Thus, take a moment to visualize prior to your game. Picture how the game would go. Learn some good techniques in handling fairways, windy conditions, errant shots and other factors that might affect your game. And, always remind yourself of your game plan so you won't be tempted to shift your routines during your game.
- Play to your strength
Know how long you can hit a ball with any given club and keep an eye on your targets. For instance, when you are on the tee box, you usually won't be aiming directly at the pin located at 300 yards if you can only drive the ball 150 yards or less. Instead, hit a target that would set up your next shot on the green.
- Avoid troubles
Turn your attention to where you want the ball to go. If your last look or thought is at the trouble, chances are, that's where your ball will end up. Instead, focus on your targets and stop panicking so you won't miss your tee shots.
- Get out of trouble
If your ball is in troublesome areas such as a cluster of trees, in a pond, or, on one side of a hole, you should tee up your ball far away from it as possible. But be prepared for bad shots and breaks as it can be very hard to recover once you're in it. If you hit errant shots and breaks, let go of them, stay confident and focused to hit the next shot.
Once you've learned how to manage the golf course (and your game), you will enjoy your game, and this can help make your golf vacation worthwhile.