Sugarloaf Golf Club (865) 924-1708 zzondlo@pga.com

Do You Have a Course Strategy?

I wrote about goal setting last week and want to continue my thoughts on planning. Planning is not just good for the practice area, it is also really good for the golf course too. How many golfers actually have a course strategy for the course they are playing? If you watch golf on TV the guys that are winning each week not only have a plan, but are sticking to that plan no matter what.

So what plan do you have for Sugarloaf? Is it too swing hard with the driver and hope that it doesn’t end up in the woods? One of our best golfers when it comes to strategy is Reggie Gordon. If you have ever played with Reggie, you will notice that he hits it to the same spot every time. He rarely gets in trouble playing a shot that he can’t hit. So why can’t we develop a similar strategy?

Now I’m not saying to hit your driver 150 yards to keep the ball in play, I am saying know your tendencies and play for those. Do you primarily hit a draw or a fade? If you hit draws, it won’t be beneficial for you to try and fade one in on a pin tucked on the right side of the green. Can you carry the hazard on 14 consistently from 160? What about from 120? Chipping to 120 and then hitting a shot that has a higher percentage of carrying will save you that additional shot from having to drop.

It is impossible to save a half shot on the course but if you were to make wise decisions on the course, then you can save incremental strokes every hole. If Tiger Woods scored 1 stroke lower (.25 strokes per round) each tournament he entered he would’ve earned an additional $726,000. Rickie Fowler would’ve earned an additional $1,057,532.

You have probably seen on television a stat called Strokes Gained (SG). Strokes Gained looks at the average score to hole the shot from a certain distance anywhere on the course. A great example of Strokes Gained is putting from 8 feet. The average percentage to holed putts on the PGA Tour from 8 feet is 50% or 1.5 SG. If you make the 8 foot putt you gain .5 strokes versus losing .5 strokes if you miss.

We can help you figure out where you are losing the most strokes and how you can apply a strategy that will help you gain incremental strokes throughout the round that will add to multiple shots off your total score. If you are interested in learning more about how a proper strategy can save you strokes then come to our Course Strategy Session. If you want to attend or join a 1 on 1 coaching program, call the golf shop for more information.

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