When teeing off on any golf course in Georgia, it’s essential to do more than just hit the ball as far as possible and hope for the best. One key aspect of improving your golf game is effective course management, and this month’s pro tip focuses on just that. While many golfers often neglect the importance of planning their rounds strategically, doing so significantly impacts scoring. The strategy we’re about to share, inspired by college golf wisdom, transformed our Head Golf Professional, Keith Kelly’s game, and it can do the same for you. By tailoring your approach to different types of holes—par 4s, par 5s, and par 3s—you can optimize your chances of success on any golf course, including ours.
Here’s what Keith has to say:
“Most golfers try to hit the ball as far as possible and then hit it again. That is usually the most they touch on planning their round out before they play. However, planning your golf round can make a big difference in your scoring. Below is a strategy that was given to me back when I played college golf, and it made a big difference in my scoring.
Par 4s – Pick a distance you can reach with your drive on every par four that will leave you the same distance into the hole. For example – I can hit my tee shot on every par 4 to the 150-yard marker. The distance to the 150-yard marker from the tee box will determine the club I will tee off with. If the hole is 400 yards, then I would hit 3-wood off the tee. If the hole was 350 yards, I would hit a 4-iron off the tee. When a hole is too long (example #13), play it like the par 5’s. This will allow you to hit the same club into the green on all the par 4s.
Par 5s – Pick a distance to hit your 3rd shot into the green. Plan on the 3rd shot being 100 yards. Then, plan how to get to the 100-yard marker the safest way. Example – 550-yard hole. I need my 1st and 2nd shots to equal 450 yards. That would be a 3-wood off the tee box for me and a 4-iron for my 2nd shot. This, again, will allow you to hit the same club into all the par 5s. The only exception on par 5s is if you need an eagle to win an event. Then you take the chance of hitting the green in 2.
Par 3s – They are what they are, but you plan on the safest route for the hole. Say you have a bunker on the right side and nothing on the left. Your aiming point should be to the left side of the green, where your chances of making par are greater.
The first time I implemented this strategy in a practice round, I ended up shooting 5-under par. My average scoring that year was around 1 or 2 over par. To make that much of a difference on the first attempt convinced me that was the way to go in individual tournament situations.“
For more helpful golf tips, we’re happy to help. Our friendly golf pros offer private and group golf lessons for people of all ages and skill levels. Moreover, playing our award-winning Weiskopf/Morrish-designed course is an enjoyable activity you’ll never forget. We invite you to experience it for yourself — call the Pro Shop to arrange lessons or book your tee time online today.