Playing Golf could be defined as striving to land your golf ball in the best position for the next shot rather than trying to achieve a technical prowess on your current shot
The Greatest Park In The World
When you go to the golf course, you will be entering and playing a great game in a great place. You will visit a carefully manicured park, with trees, shrubs, flowers, lakes, sand and other natural elements. We should all consider it a treat to have the opportunity to visit and play golf at any golf course.
We all visit this great parks with the intention of playing a round golf. Course Management refers to the act of doing so, understanding in advance the difficulty of the course, helping yourself play and enjoy the day at the course and weather you are competing or playing for the love of the game, to allow you to have a positive experience before, during and after the game.
The game of golf is intended for everyone to play and enjoy. Some people take this game seriously and want to test their skills in competition. If this is your goal then practice a lot. If you just want to enjoy friends and family on an outdoor setting, do so and enjoy.
At the clubhouse, pick the tee box you will play for the day. Common knowledge used to be that the red tees were for women, whites for seniors and so on. This is not the case - it has to do with skill levels. Generally speaking if your longest drive is 150, 200, 250 or 300 yards, then you should play the reds, whites, blues or black tee boxes respectively. Ask your local course what their recommendation is for your skill level and play from that tee box. If in doubt, move down to the easier tee box.
Safety issues on the course covers topics like hydration (drinking water), driving safety (don't run over anyone), sun protection (prevent skin cancer), lighting (stop playing if lighting is near), stretching (prepare your body). These are all fairly obvious. There is one more safety item which is don't hit anyone with a golf ball or with a golf club. I have seen three people get hit by a golf club and I don't recommend this for anyone. So, whose responsibility is to prevent this: everyone. Look around before you swing, if you are a spectator, yell FORE if you see or sense potential danger.
The Score Card
A handicap is something like an average playing score. It is a number that describes the number of strokes over par you are able to play. So in this sense it is not a real average, but what you are capable of scoring. For example, if your average score is a 90 and your recent best is an 85, then your handicap will calculate to a 15 (90-72= 18 round down some). The golf handicap is intended use to level the playing field between players of different abilities. In my opinion it is a brilliant way to shift the focus from playing against your opponent to playing against yourself. You can get an official USGA handicap or you could simply keep a record of the courses you play and your scores and use an online calculator to calculate your handicap.
A course slope describes the difficulty of a course from the landscaping point of view. Lots of trees and water, narrow fairways, long tee boxes, etc. A golf course of standard playing difficulty has a slope rating of 113, and slope ratings range from a minimum of 55 (very easy) to a maximum of 155 (extremely difficult)
It is a number that describes what a par shooter would play. So if a course rating of 72 makes describes an easier course than a course rating of 79.
A yardage book will describe the layout of the hole, where the bunkers are and in some instances where your shots should go. In the picture below there is a line from the tee box to a suggested landing area. From that point to the green it is 150 yards. So following this information you can see that the hole is 317 yards from the white tee box. This means that if you hit your first shot to 167 yards, your second shot will be about 150 to the green. Hit that club onto the green and two putts, for an easy par.
The handicap marking for each hole means the difficulty of that particular hole compared to the other holes on the course. In this case, handicap 11 means that this is the 11th hardest hole on the course.
The Mental Game
The more I practice, the luckier I get
I am sure all of us have heard this saying or other similar ones like: "Practice makes perfect" or, "10K hours to master anything". They all are trying to tell us that what we practice becomes ingrained into our subconscious. What this means for a Golfer is that it allows our brain to perform our golf swing automatically when we are out on the course and frees our mind to be calm and therefore it lets us focus on the task at hand: play the game. Ultimately practicing brings confidence to our game which will help us elevate the experience and performance for the day.
Play your swing as it is on that particular day
If you're playing a fade, aim a little left, if you are playing a draw aim a little right and adjust as needed. As the day goes by, your body will loosen up and your game will improve. Be patient and don't try to fix your game while on the course. While on the fairway, aim to the middle of the green. Once your skill levels improve, you can go flag hunting, but for now, the green is your friend. On the green: Two putt and move along!
When you play a round of Golf, just play
Playing a round of golf, weather for recreation or in a tournament, its like creating a work of art. What I mean is that a round of golf does not just happen, you have to let it grow and mature until its complete. You will have to be creative and overcome obstacles. This is NOT the time to think about the mechanics of your swing or get down over the outcome of one single shot: It IS a time to put yourself into an automatic mode, accept whatever comes your way and persevere. It is a time to think minimally and just play.
I know we all want to make par every hole - and it's OK, but in reality most of us will make a bogey once in a while, conversely we will also make a birdie. What I am trying to say is that in order of give ourselves a chance to improve, we need to play patient golf. This means that though we can strive to shoot a par on every hole, or strike our iron shots perfectly every time we swing our irons or hole every single put we try, we need to be patient and compassionate with ourselves and know that if we don't it's OK, we'll get another chance.
70% rule (7/10 model)
Hit a shot that you are going to hit seven out of ten times.
Have a simple model and strive to avoid a Mental, Execution or Strategy error
Results: Reduces the tension level, not stretching your game and you will hit your target area more often.
Don't Cross the wall
Imagine a wall you dont want to cross and plan your shot accordingly
Be Aggressive to conservative spots: Know when to be conservative and when to be aggressive. Don't always go for the pin, sometimes, you need to aim for the middle of the green.
Results: Minimize Bougey's
Keep it Simple, Replace Disappointment with Acceptance OR Humor