How many times have you bemoaned about how you "left a few out there"? If you want to change that, allow Hannah Holden to help

golf course management

Everyone is looking for ways to shoot lower scores, but could it be as simple as having better golf course management? Whether you’re looking to break 80, break 90, or break 100 for the first time, making better decisions can certainly improve your game.

Golf course management: The easiest way to lower your scores

Approach play has one of the biggest impacts on your overall scoring, but how long do you really think about what club you should be hitting and where to aim? Do you even know how far you hit every club in your bag?

Shot Scope data shows us that a massive 80% of missed greens are due to balls coming up short of the putting surface.

But when we look at where the danger is, more than 70% of trouble, such as bunkers and water hazards, are at the front of the green. When you miss a green short not only are you testing your short game but you are making a double bogey much more likely.

This is where knowing your carry distances can help your game.

You can make note of your carry distances at the driving range, but it is never quite the same as using a premium ball out on the course.

Shot Scope’s products can track how far you are hitting every single shot when you’re playing a round and, over time, this helps you build up an accurate collection of data including your average carry distances, so you can make the best club-selection decisions before each shot.

golf course management

You can see above Shot Scope provide two types of club distances – an average which includes all shots, and a performance average (P-Avg), which removes outliers good and bad, to provide a distance based on how far a well-struck shot will go.

When selecting which club to hit it is recommended to use the performance average.

So how far out are club golfers with their distances? Shot Scope data shows that the average golfer hits the ball nearly a full club shorter than they think they do. No wonder we miss so many greens at the front!

Let’s look at how this would play out in a round of golf. The average 20-handicapper hits four greens in regulation a round. This means they miss 14 greens per round. Of those 14, the Shot Scope data shows us that 11 of those shots never even had a chance of reaching the putting surface.

We also see significantly more shots missing to the right hand side of the green compared to the left. Indeed, 96% of golfers play the game right handed, which shows us nearly half of all approach shots hit by club golfers end up short right of the green.

Let’s take a look at an on-course example. On the par-3 below you can clearly see the bunkers and water hazard are both short of the green, making this area the danger zone.

While my longest shot with my 46° wedge would nearly reach the middle of the green, we can see the P-Average is down at 114 yards. A wayward shot at this distance brings bunkers at both sides in play. Any mistimed strike and I could also hit the front slope and end up back in the water.

My P-Average with my pitching wedge, meanwhile, is 129 yards, which would allow me to carry both bunkers and eliminate the chances of landing in the danger zone. 

Shot Scope actually go one step further than this and suggest for higher handicappers you should actually be playing the GPS distance of the back of the green to ensure you avoid the trouble. Even a terrible strike with my 9-iron would reach the middle of the green.

Just think how many shots this could save you over the course of 18 holes…

Visit the Shot Scope website for more information, and if you’re after more equipment content, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and if you have any questions about anything gear related, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter or Instagram. Subscribe to NCG

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Hannah Holden

Equipment and Instruction Editor

Hannah Holden is the Equipment and Instruction Editor here at National Club Golfer. If you’re looking to improve your game, by changing your golf swing or upgrading your golf equipment she’ll have the answers. As well as writing lots of features and reviews you can find her on our YouTube channel giving you insights on the latest rules, clubs and tips to improve your golf game. Hannah is a member at both Huddersfield and Alwoodley golf clubs. You will either find her here or driving up and down the country playing in a variety of elite amateur events.

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