Part #3 of Risk and Reward - Navigating the Course

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Part #3 Navigating the Course

Navigating the course effectively is a skill that can make a significant difference in a golfer's performance. It involves making strategic decisions and planning each shot thoughtfully to optimize scoring opportunities and minimize risks. Here's how to navigate the course with precision and confidence:

  1. Course Management:

This is one of the most overlooked parts of Junior Golf Development and one of the most important when it comes to shooting lower scores. If you manage the course correctly, even if your not hitting it as good as you can, proper management can lead to lower scores regardless. Course management is the art of making smart decisions based on your abilities and the layout of the course. Instead of solely relying on distance and power, analyze the best angles and landing zones for your shots. Take note of hazards and obstacles that can come into play and plan your shots accordingly. Sometimes, taking a more conservative approach to avoid trouble can be the wiser choice. @SwingU is the perfect application to help you plan course management startegy with their hole-by-hole GPS ariel view for every course. Contact us today to learn more and find out how you can a dicounted subscription through GAMECHANGER.

2. Playing to Your Strengths:

Know your strengths as a golfer and play to them. If you have a reliable fade or draw, use it strategically to position your shots closer to the target. Likewise, consider your distance control and choose clubs that allow you to stay within your comfort zone and hit the greens more consistently. Your stock shot should be a go-to when you are the heat of competition. Playing to your strengths should be a part of your pre-round strategy when creating a plan of attack for a round and the course your going to play.

3. Tee Shot Strategy:

The tee shot sets the tone for each hole. Assess the fairway width, doglegs, and potential trouble spots before teeing off. Aim to position yourself in the ideal spot to attack the pin on your approach shot. Sometimes, hitting a less aggressive club off the tee can improve your chances of staying in the fairway and avoiding trouble.

4. Risk and Reward:

As we've previously discussed, golf often involves a risk and reward trade-off. Consider the potential outcomes of your shots and weigh them against the potential rewards. Riskier shots may provide opportunities for birdies or eagles, but they can also lead to costly mistakes. Assess your confidence and skill level before attempting high-risk shots.

6. Managing Par-5s:

these holes should be birdies in the bank, Par-5s offer a chance to gain strokes on the field if played strategically. Evaluate the distance to the green and the layout of the hole. If you're unable to reach the green in two shots, plan a lay-up shot to position yourself for a comfortable approach to the pin. Birdie opportunities on par-5s often come from well-thought-out lay-ups and accurate approach shots. Justin Thomas led the PGA Tour in 2021, carding 15 eagles on 278 holes, with an average of 5.40% Jon Rahm has a stroke average of 4.43 this season on the par 5's. Focus on making birdies, I thing most advanced junior golfers think to much about eagles on par 5's instead of focusing on doing what it takes to make a 4.

7. Analyzing Green Complexes:

Before reaching the green, study its complex and undulations. Pay attention to pin positions and plan your approach shots to leave yourself with straightforward putts. Avoiding three-putts is vital to maintaining a solid score, so prioritize your approach shots to give yourself the best chances at one-putts or easy two-putts. The @SwingU application offers green maps powered by StrakaLine to give you an advantage in mapping out green complexes. Contact us today to learn more and find out how you can a dicounted subscription through GAMECHANGER.

8. Staying Present:

Throughout the round, remain focused on each shot and avoid getting ahead of yourself. Successful course navigation requires staying present and committed to executing one shot at a time. Learn from each shot, but let go of any lingering disappointments or successes to maintain your focus on the next challenge.


Navigating the golf course is a blend of strategy, course management, and mental fortitude. By analyzing the layout, playing to your strengths, and assessing risk and reward, you can make informed decisions that lead to better outcomes. Remember that course navigation is not just about hitting the perfect shot every time; it's about making the most out of your abilities and maximizing your scoring opportunities. With practice and experience, your course management skills will improve, leading to more consistent and rewarding rounds of golf. Happy navigating!