golf tips blog

Date : 5/4/2018

Freund Friday 5/4/18 - Course Management: The Tee Box

Golfers spend hours grooving that perfect swing on the range or rolling golf balls on the green. And by all accounts these are important (dare I say crucial) aspects of golf. But one thing most players put little to no thought into is course management. If you are anything like the average golfer then if the scorecard says Par 4 or Par 5 you instinctively reach for the Driver. After you smash your driver 300 yards down the middle of the fair way it is time to take dead aim at that flag stick. That is just how golf is played right? Part 1 of the Course Management Blog, will discuss strategy when teeing off and will include examples from multiple holes from Three Lakes Golf Course.

As mentioned above most golfers grab their driver to tee off on every hole that is not a Par 3. Logic tells us that the further we hit our drive the easier the next shot is going to be. But is that always true? Let’s dive in.

Statistics show that the closer the ball is to the hole the lower the projected score for that hole will be. However there are a few other factors to consider before teeing up your ball. The first is your shot shape and what is required of you by the course. Now if you hit your driver exactly where you want to every single time then stop reading now. This blog is not for you. But if you are anything like me then each and every drive is a guessing game.  If you hit a fade or even a slice and the hole dog-legs left then you may want to think about hitting a club that will go straighter. Sure, there is the chance you could hit THIS drive straight. But there is a better chance that you will slice the ball out of the fairway and into the trees … or worse, out of bounds. Why not hit a 3 wood or a hybrid into the fairway? In this situation is the reward of hitting the ball 30-50 yards closer to the green worth the risk of 2 penalty strokes? This is a spot where you must decide the risk versus reward for yourself.

Let’s take this situation out onto the course. You are playing at Three Lakes on Hole 12. Maybe there is a little wind at your back. If you hit your best drive of the day maybe your ball will roll onto the green and leave you a putt for eagle.  But there also is the chance that you slice your ball into the trees on the right and it drops onto the hill side or into the middle of 11. Now you have to avoid a string of trees while holding the green to give yourself a shot at birdie. “Ok, Tony.” You are probably saying right now, “I will just aim a little left and I will be fine.”  This is a good plan. However, now you run the risk of:

a.)   hitting the tree by 17 tee box and best case scenario your ball rolls into the fairway and you have a downhill 175 yard shot to give yourself a birdie putt. Worst case? You lose your ball in the arborvitae and have to re-tee hitting 3.

b.)   Hitting that straight shot we discussed. But now you are aimed at 16 and more arborvitae and trees to maneuver around.

If you hit an iron or wood off the tee (something you confidently hit straight) you will reliably leave yourself inside 150 yards with nothing in between you and the flag. In my opinion this sounds like a much better shot and should result in more (and better) putts for birdie.

This thought process can be used everywhere on the course. Remember, the tour pro’s don’t hit driver on every hole. Maybe we should all put a little thought into it.


Anthony Freund
Assistant Professional
Three Lakes Golf Club

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