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Shot Management
Course management is a topic that is often misunderstood. The idea of managing your way around the course is usually left for the professionals, as they have the luxury of knowing what direction and distance each of their shots will go.

However, it may be more important for the amateur to try this. If you are faced with a par five that is 520 yards long with water down the left and out of bounds down the right, you, like everyone else, will be intimidated. So, try this simple approach and turn this lion into a pussycat.

Ask yourself this question: Can I hit this shot to the fairway 70 out of 100 times? Then go through your bag until the answer is yes. Driver? No, 3 wood? No, 5 wood? No, 7 wood? No, 4 iron? No, 5 iron? Yes!! OK, now how far do you hit a 5 iron on average? 160 yards. 160 + 160 + 160 = 480. So if you use your 5 iron three times you will be left with a 40-yard pitch shot that you might get up and down for a 5 or at worst a 6 or 7. However, the score is not the only thing you will be left with. You will also feel a sense of accomplishment and overall satisfaction, which will help you to go on with your round at an elevated state of mind, which is obviously more desirable than where your ego may have lead you back on the tee box with your driver in your hand.

It is important to learn to hit all of your clubs well, but this is better served on the range with some instruction. When you get to the course, know what you can and can't do. It's not being cowardly, it's being smart. Play to your strengths, and if you decide to take a risk, then do it and don't hold back. But don't get mad at yourself over it, because you knew what the result was going to be before you hit it. Positive thoughts = Positive shots and vice-versa.

Good luck in golf and life and remember...

Those who choose to walk the straight and narrow may seem to fear adventure. But when faced with a tightrope in life, their straight and narrow lifestyle will provide a steady foot.

 ©1999 Craig Hocknull
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