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Golf Tips From a Pro: Good course management is key to low scores

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By Mark Wehrman EBS Contributor 

Too many times I see golfers not score as well as they should because they don’t manage their way around the course as well as they could. When it comes to course management, I am referring to strategies that help you avoid taking big numbers.

Some of these strategies include aiming away from trouble, or selecting the proper club for your tee shot that puts you at a comfortable yardage to the green.

Another strategy is leaving your approach shot to the green below the hole so you are putting uphill instead of downhill.

You might stand on the proper side of the tee box based off of your predominant ball flight; if you slice, you should tee up on the right side and if you draw the ball, you should tee it up on the left side of the box (for a right handed golfer).

Another shot strategy is to just be satisfied with the center of the green rather than aiming at the pin if it is cut on the far side of a green. If you miss the green now you have no green to work with.

To be more specific, when I am picking my target to aim at from the tee box, if there is trouble right and nothing but grass left, I will pick a target favoring the left side of the hole. If I have on a short par 4, I might tee off with a 3-wood or hybrid to leave myself with around 100 yards to the green instead of hitting my drive to 60 yards.

If I am between clubs on my approach shot to the green, I will choose the club that will keep the ball below the hole. Here at Big Sky Golf Course all of our greens slope from back to front so it is generally better to be short of the green versus long.

My predominant ball flight is a fade, so I like to tee the ball up toward the right side of the tee box so I can aim down the left side of the hole and fade the ball back toward the center of the fairway. The only time I aim at the pin is if it is either positioned in the center of the green or if I have a wedge in my hand that I am confident won’t fade or draw too much to get me in trouble.

Most importantly all golfers, regardless of their ability, should be very specific with their aim points and target selection. Like they say in throwing darts, “aim small, miss small.” Well, golf is a target orientated game and we should all be hyper-focused on our target and be as specific and precise as possible when aiming toward that.

Start off by picking an intermediate target that is not too far away from your ball and is in line with your actual target. Aim your clubface at your intermediate target and aim your body lines parallel of your target line. It is much easier to aim at something that is 3 yards away rather than 300 yards away.

Lastly, the very best thing you can do to help lower your scores and manage your way around the course is to go see your local PGA Professional and ask for a playing lesson. Remember, managing your game on the golf course is like being the maestro of your own orchestra.

Mark Wehrman is the PGA Head Professional at the Big Sky Resort Golf Course.

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