Course Management… what’s that? Well, a big part of the battle in golf is making the right decisions. What club to use, what line to choose etc. I was playing with another pro-friend one day and there was a hazard that crossed the fairway about 180 yds. in front of us. I took a club that I thought would go about 175 yds. and the ball ended up in the hazard. This happens a lot to golfers on a lay-up (a shot that is purposely short, as to not get into trouble). Why? Mostly because the golfer is not trying to subconsciously hit it as far as possible and everything clicks and it is hit solid from not over swinging. Okay, now back to the lay-up story… After I hit the shot into the junk, my friend said… “Nice Ross” and I said, “That’s what I didn’t want to do*“. He then said one of the best pieces of Course Management “Musts” I have ever heard. “If you’re gonna Lay-Up, Lay-Up!” meaning, if the trouble is 180 yds away hit a 160 yd. shot and never have a chance to get into trouble and put the pressure on the “Next Shot” to the green. This is also true on “Lag Putting”. Just get the ball up around the hole and put the pressure on the next putt. I think to this day, every time I have a Lay-up shot, I think of him and have stayed out of trouble.
* I later learned also not to send “Don’t Do” images to my brain only “What to Do” images. The brain can not differentiate… it just sees a visualization and then makes it happen. If it is a “Don’t Do” image, that’s what you get.