Scoring on the Golf Course


Congratulations, you learned to hit golf balls and you are playing golf with your friends. Imagine that you and I are now on the first tee and you are going to learn about Scoring on the Golf Course by better navigating your ball around the golf course. Imagine we got started and since there were few players on the golf course we took our time to discuss each of our shots.


We decided to play a scramble, which is a common game that is not recognized by the USGA so we are allowed to make our own rules. We decided to let you tee off first and if you got a good drive I would go for it; otherwise, I would play conservatively. The first hole is a par 4 with two trees on the left and a fairway bunker on the right, which are all in play from the tee. At the green, there is a greenside bunker on the left front side of the green and on many days the pin is tucked in behind this bunker making it difficult to shot over the bunker to the pin from the left side of the fairway. This is the picture we will have in our minds as we plan, organize and execute our drives.


You hit your drive to the left side of the fairway; if we had hit our second shots from your ball's position it would have require a difficult shot over the greenside bunker. According to our Plan, I played safe; I used a fairway metal from the tee and tried to hit to the right side of the fairway. I managed to hit to the right side of the fairway and had a clear shot to the pin from 120 yards. We decided to hit from my ball's position; we took our second shots and both balls were on the green, a good start!


Our balls were both about 15 feet from the hole; from your ball we have a straight uphill putt and from mine we have a side hill putt that will break a few inches. We played our scramble from your ball’s position because straight uphill putts are infinitely easier to sink than side hill putts. Woops, you left your putt an inch short. I sank mine and we made a birdie. You now have an idea that navigating the golf course is the secret to Scoring on the Golf Course.


We will play several rounds of golf together and I will explain the strategy for navigating each hole. During these rounds we will often get into some difficulty that will require our hitting a special shot. Near the green we will certainly need to chip or pitch and hit lobs and bunker shots. Learning to form the mental pictures and develop the feelings to master these shots will help you to become a Player.


Before you leave this page, take a look at the video made by Brandel Chamblee, PGA and Peter Kraus, PGA where they discusses how to manage your approach shots on par 5's and short par 4's to have an optimum distance for your pitch shot to the green. Allow time for the video to download and after watching the video use your browser's back button to return to here.