Good golf course management has the ability to turn a bad round into a good one. Here are Charlotte’s top tips.

There are no two ways about it: Good golf course management is key to playing your best golf.

Because a bad decision on the golf course can cost you just as much as a bad shot; choose the wrong club, wrong line or ignore hazards and your score will quickly start to rack up.

So spend time perfecting your golf course management skills and I’m confident you’ll see your handicap fall without having to work on your swing.

What is golf course management?

First of all, golf course management has nothing to do with how well (or not) you hit the ball. It’s all about strategy and decision-making; taking everything into account, how will you get the ball around the course in as few shots as possible?

Every shot you hit on the golf course requires you to make some decisions. Can you carry it over that bunker or should you lay up? Is there a gap in the trees to the green or should you hit it out sideways? When you should you play aggressively and when should you play smart?

The better decisions you make, the fewer shots you’ll hit.

And that’s good golf course management.

My tips to improve your golf course management

Improving your golf course management is all about better decision-making. Here are my four top tips.

Play to your strengths

Do you feel confident with 100 yards into the green but quiver at the thought of 50 yards?

If you can’t reach the green, don’t just hit the biggest club you have in your bag. Play to your strengths and try to leave yourself an approach shot you feel comfortable with.

Apply this thinking to every shot you hit.

Take your medicine

If you’ve hit it in the trees or a hazard, take your medicine and hit it out sideways.

You might be able to convince yourself that you can weave it through that tiny gap to the green, but in reality, that shot is hard to pull off. And nine times out of 10 it will end up costing you more shots.

Don’t be a hero.

You don’t always have to hit driver

I’m a sucker for this: I wander up to the tee, still chatting, and mindlessly pull out my driver.

But you don’t always have to hit driver on a par-4 or par-5. Because scoring well on a hole isn’t always about how far down the fairway you can be after your drive. It’s about leaving yourself in the optimum position for your next shot.

Hitting a fairway wood or even iron might be a more sensible option.

Middle of the green

Unless you’re playing into a huge, St Andrews-esque green, aiming for the middle of the green is always a smarter option.

You’ll maximise your chances of hitting the green, even if you don’t hit it perfectly. And, after all, a putt is almost always better than a chip, pitch or bunker shot from around the green.  

Lower your scores and your handicap with more tips and advice from our experts.