Wide Focus

Building on last weeks instalment, Course Management: Part 1 - Know Your Game, where I highlighted the importance of understanding your Skills in order to develop solid Course Management, the next step is to frame your tactics via a Wide Setting. In my experience the most effective way to do this is to utilise a concept famously implemented by a young Tiger Woods: Personal Par

Personal Par

A huge mistake many Golfers make is setting the Intention/Goal of endeavouring to score ‘Par' on a given Hole. Par is what a PRO is expected to score. Thats like a Gym newbie attempting to lift the same weights as a Professional Powerlifter - CRAZY!

Instead implement the strategy of Personal Par. Here’s how: 

Save your scorecards for next three times you play the same Course from the same tees. Now establish a realistic Par for each hole based on the scores you achieved over those three rounds (think of it as a “Personal Best” score for the hole). Then, next time you play, adjust each Hole’s Par on the Scorecard (scribble it out and pencil the new number in), now use your ‘new’ Scorecard and try and better it (go set some new Personal Best’s). Alternatively use your Handicap and Stroke Index. Here’s an example:

(The Scorecard on the Left/Top is the Courses “Regular” Scorecard i.e. 0 Handicap. The Scorecard on the Right/Bottom is for an 18 Handicap Golfer. Spot the difference 😉?)

Par Scorecard.png
18 Handicap Scorecard.png

This simple adjustment will help determine your tactics for a given Hole (think of a Par 4 you play regularly suddenly turning into a Par 5). It reduces the temptation to go for those high risk, “Wonder Shots” that often result in a “card wrecking” Score. Another benefit is that it helps you avoid placing too much attention on what Par for the hole/course is and/or what your competitors are doing..

IMPORTANT: Make sure you keep evaluating and adjusting your Personal Par (and associated Tactics) as you improve.

Stay tuned for Part 3: Weather

Thanks for reading!

Oliver C. Morton