How Good Course Management Can Lower Your Score

By Steve Silverman

Part of the challenge of playing golf well is using the right strategy during your round. If you aren't already, become familiar with the course you're playing. Ask the pro to describe the hardest holes, the easiest ones and where to hit the ball on certain holes to avoid trouble. Good course management is part of the game. During a round you should be thinking one or two shots ahead of where you are.

Take more club than you need to avoid greenside bunkers

The top pros can get up and down from greenside bunkers without much trouble. Medium- to high-handicap golfers should avoid the bunkers when possible. If you are 150 yards away from the flagstick, which is in the front part of the green, your first instinct might be to use an 8-iron and go for the flag. If the green is guarded by a bunker, however, you should use a 7-iron and go for the middle or the back of the green.

Hit the ball low into the wind

When the wind is blowing in your face, keep the ball low to maximum your distance. Tee the ball a bit lower than usual and stand with the ball midway between your feet, which should be shoulder length apart.

Chipping opportunities

Gap and lob wedges have made chipping a lost art. Instead of hitting a low bouncing ball to a green with an uphill slope, most golfers try land a pitch shot softly on the surface. The problem is there is very little margin for error. Think of the correct shot as more of an elongated putt from 30 to 50 yards off the green. Keep your wrists stiff.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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