Greg Stephens’ September Golf Tip: Course Management

IMG_5230 (1)

By Greg Stephens

This month’s tip focuses on a sometimes overlooked aspect of the game:  course management. We get so caught up in trying to make our swing better that we sometimes forget our main goal, shooting lower scores. A great way to accomplish this is to pay a little attention to how we navigate our way around the golf course.

Ripping the driver on every par-4 and par-5 is fun but not always the best decision; neither is firing at all 18 pins in a round. Here are a couple of tips that will help lower your score the next time you tee it up.

Off of the Tee

  • Ditch the driver on short par-4s and the par-5s that you cannot reach in two shots.
  • The par-5 5th and the par-4 13th holes are two great examples of times to leave the driver in the bag.
  • On the par-5 5th hole, I like to tee off with a 3-wood and aim left of the bunker. This is an easy shot to execute and there is not nearly as much of a threat as there is with hitting the driver. Hitting this green in two shots is very rare so since it is a three shot hole you may as well give yourself the best chance to hit the fairway and get off to a great start. You’ll make more pars and birdies going this route as opposed to hitting the hero shot trying to reach the green in two with a perfect tee shot and second shot.
  • The par-4 13th is a great time to use your 3-wood, hybrid or long iron off of the tee. I use my 2-iron off of the tee here almost every time (pictured above) It is a short hole so distance off of the tee is not at a premium. I can hit the fairway with my 2-iron on most days, and I am only hitting a 9-iron or pitching wedge into this green from there. Again more pars and birdies will come from hitting a full short iron shot as opposed to hitting the 50 yard flip wedge into the green.

On The Approach

  • Shooting at pins all day long is fun but doesn’t always yield the best results.
  • When hitting shots into greens, try to ignore the pin and focus on hitting the largest section of the green.
  • Firing at pins (especially where some of ours can be at times) can be detrimental to your score. A missed shot will land you with a tough up and down, whether the ball ends up in a strategically placed bunker, short-sided with no green to work with or even worse in a lateral hazard or lost in the fescue.
  • Two great examples are when the pins are tucked far right on the par-4 1st hole or tucked back left on the par-4 11th. These are both great times to fire at the center of the green, playing away from these “sucker pins.” You’re better off with a long putt in these cases. Most days you will 2-putt for par and maybe drop a long putt for birdie!

For any questions or feedback, feel free to contact me.

Request Information

Find out more about the Victory Ranch Lifestyle

To learn more about mountain homes for sale and the Victory Ranch lifestyle, please complete the below.

7865 North Victory Ranch Drive Kamas, Utah 84036 435.785.5000