Taking Your Game On The Road
As the golf season gets underway, many of us have plans to take one or more golf trips, whether a day trip to a course we’ve never played or a full golf vacation to one of the many great destinations that we all have on our “bucket list”. And when you go to all that trouble to take a golf vacation, you really want to have your game rise to the occasion to enhance the enjoyment. So today’s post is to offer you some tips on how to get your golf game to be a fun travel companion.

One the biggest impacts on your scoring at a new course is getting the feel of the greens, both for the way they putt and they way they receive chip and pitch shots. So, get to the course a little earlier than you might normally, and spend more time on and around the putting green or short game practice green. Hit putts of various distances, maybe even make up a short putting game with your buddies to make it fun. The same goes for chipping and pitching. Hit shots of various types into the greens to see how they react.

When you get on the course, the key is to let yourself relax and have a good time. This is what the trip is all about, right? Enjoy the scenery and design values of the course. Take in the experience, so that it can last in your memory banks. And make sure you have fun!

Now, for some thoughts on how to score a course when you are not familiar with it, here’s my Top 5 thoughts to playing a new course:
  1. Choose the right tees. You don’t have to take it all the way back; be realistic about what set of tees will give you the challenge you want. If your home course has firm fairways, understand that a softer course will play much longer at the same yardage. The opposite is true, too, of course. Don’t make this trip an ordeal because you are playing it from too far back, or a pushover because you are too far up.

  2. Hit fairways. If you have to hit 3-wood or less off the tee on some holes, by all means do so. You’ll enjoy the course a lot more from the fairway. If the fairways look more intimidating than your home course, don’t be afraid to throttle back a bit, at least for the first few holes.

  3. Get a yardage book (or use your SkyCaddie). If the course offers them, spend that few extra dollars to have a “caddie” in your pocket to figure out how to play the holes. It’s frustrating to hit it through a dogleg, or on the wrong side of the fairway, just because you didn’t know.

  4. Walk when you can. You’ll get a much better feel for the course if you spend some time on your feet. If they have a mandatory cart rule, share driving/walking with your buddy. You’ll enjoy the course much more, and remember the holes more clearly when you are reflecting on your round in the months and years following.

  5. Play it smart. Strange courses are not the place to try to blast over doglegs and drive short par fours, hit par fives in two, etc. Give yourself a chance to score by giving visible trouble some room, and not trying to be a hero on every shot. Middle of fairway, safe side of pin will work everywhere.
So, there you have my thoughts. Enjoy your golf travels this season.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.

[ comments ]
jswetitch says:
Well timed! I'm leaving for Hilton Head tonight.
Bwhite357 says:
These are great tips and I would like to share them with our group which is making a four day trip to Phoenix in June.
[ post comment ]
Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

Click here to learn more about Terry.
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