Course Strategy 101: How to Apply
February 17, 2020
Now that we are starting to understand target selection and shot dispersion we need to start applying it to the course. We can pick out targets with our shot map to give us the best chance of shooting lower scores. So how do we apply this to your course strategy?
When you did you dispersion testing, you probably noticed that you had a certain pattern. Did shots finish short and to the right? More long and to the left? This test is a great way in understanding in what to work on and help you identify where to aim.
Now that you have your shot map, let’s look at how to apply it on the course. We want to apply the shot map to every shot, not just approach or tee shots. Here is a quick example as to why it’s important.
Aiming Down Center of Fairway
Imagine stepping up to a hole that looks like this. You would bring in the right bunker more often by aiming down the center of the fairway. Why run the risk of hitting it in there if you can aim more left.
Now it might not seem like much, but you can save a small amount of shots over time by just picking the correct target. Average GIR percentage from a fairway bunker on the PGA Tour in 2019 was 47%! If the tour pros hit the green less than half the time, the average golfer will have even lower percentage. You have a better chance at hitting the green from the rough than the bunker which is why an ideal aim point is left of center.
Shot Map Too Big?
I could just say get lessons to lower it, but let’s look at what we could do if our shot map is too big. The numbers have proven that the closer you are the greater the chance of hitting the green. We will talk about when to hit each club, but right now let’s look at an approach shot.
Let’s say you have 150 yard shot to the hole and your dispersion is larger than the green (ie. hole 10 at Sugarloaf). You will need to look at which target would allow for lower scores.
You would bring in the penalty area more often by playing to the center of the green. If you take 1 less club, you might hit the green only half the time, but you would reduce your chance for a penalty stroke. This is where you will save shots. Eliminating the areas where you would score higher. Maybe it takes you multiple shots to get out of the bunker. There is a chance that you would be better off going with the red option as you will score better overall.
There is a lot to discuss when it comes to course strategy. These are just two quick examples on how you can apply what you have learned to the course. I will continue to post about course strategy and will be releasing Course Strategy 101 course in March to help you shoot your lowest scores. In the mean time, try to apply these concepts next time you play.