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Minnesota Golf Golf Tips
"Put the driver away, Keep the ball in play"
Chuck Klecatsky PGA Professional
Legacy Courses at Cragun's
The steady increase in the number of challenging holes in the Lakes area in recent years has added many new elements of risk and reward to every round of golf. Good course management skills are often not implemented by the recreational golfer as they instead hit the latest Titanium drivers and extra-long golf balls deep into the wetlands and woods around Brainerd. With the high density of trees that are common along the fairways, many people could lower their scores by making better decisions while still on the tee box.

Good course management skills are the cornerstone of every successful round of golf. Why is it that even a great player like Tiger Woods hits an iron or 3-wood off of holes with narrow landing areas? The reason is that he is applying good course management concepts to his rounds. While not everyone plays for the same stakes as the touring professionals, fewer balls being lost would be a welcome change for many area golfers.

The decision on what club to hit off the tee is something we are faced with on every hole. As we watch many players at Legacy Courses we often see people swinging driver off of every Par 4 and Par 5-regardless of the length of the hole. We also witness people getting into a lot of trouble with this decision to always hit a wood. This is where better course management can help lower scores. Especially on shorter Par 4's, or on Par 5's that you are not going to reach in two shots, try hitting a club that will be easier to keep in the fairway. On a hole that is only 320-350 yards long a player does not need a 225-yard tee ball in order to have a chance at getting the ball on the green in regulation. The premium on these holes is placed on the accuracy of the tee shot, not just overall distance from the tee. I recommend taking a 4 or 5 iron and taking most of the risk out of the tee shot on holes of this nature. Having an iron in your hand should allow you to make a smooth swing without the fear of hitting the ball wildly into the woods or marsh. Better club selection off the tee will help you to hit more fairways and a well-hit iron will still leave you inside of 150 yards to the green. Although you may be a little further from the green for your second shot with this approach, the lie you will find in the fairway will help you to get more shots on the green in regulation.

Remember, if you are looking to lower your scores apply some better course management decisions to your club selection on short Par 4's and make sure to "Put the driver away and keep the ball in play!!"




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