How good are you at course mapping for a competition? And, this is aimed at every golfer here, whether it is your monthly medal, weekend stableford, or something bigger. Do you prepare for your tournaments well? Do you even think about preparing for your club competitions?
What does course mapping look like?
Firstly, it’s important to get a good feel for how the course conditions are playing. Is it playing firm and fast or is it playing slow and long? If you haven’t played the course at all its important to better understand the tee shot lines, best club selections for the certain tee shots, have I got a better idea of the breaks on the greens? Even if it's just putting 1 ball from 3, 6, 9 & 12 o’clock on each hole. There is nothing worse than guessing which club to take and uncertainty on the line. Increasing your familiarity with the golf course is only going help you commit better to your shots.
Playing your home course
Why would I go prepare on a golf course I play every week? Sometimes it might be just what you need, we tend be on autopilot when playing a course that we know like the back of our hands, unconsciously picking the same club out the bag on each tee.
The conditions can change weekly, with green speeds and firmness fluctuating, winds changing direction and the overall length the course plays can change from week to week. Popping out for 9 the evening before may be a great way to help better understand these factors and create your game plan for the day. Give yourself a little head start and save yourself having to adapt as much during the start of your round and you may even get a little advantage on the pin positions for the day.
Why don`t you try a couple of different clubs from certain holes, see if it makes it makes a difference? It can sometimes just give us more confidence with the club we usually use or help find a new way to play a hole that has been problematic on the scorecard for the past few weeks.
It's not always easy creating time to play a practice round at another club if you are busy with
work and family life. Could you still get to know the course better without visiting it? The answer is yes. Golf club websites are starting to offer flyovers of their courses which allows you to get a much understanding of the course. Make some notes, club selection from tees, where best to miss on certain holes, locate where the widest most forgiving areas are. This could also affect what clubs you take out with you. Does it require that trusty driving iron or is there a lot of longer par 4s that require a fairway wood or hybrid?
If the golf club doesn’t offer a flyover. Try using a free tool like Provisualiser which allows you to measure all distances and is very good for accessing different views from overhead, as if you were playing the hole. You could also use google earth to view where the space is and do basic measurements.
Going through any process like this is increasing your chance of playing better golf and preparing for the challenge in front of you.
If you need any help, feel free to get in touch.