I have had another great week at Hornsea Golf Club with more people signing up for my great winter offer of 3 hours of coaching for only £60! If you want to take me up on the offer then see me or one of the shop team and you can even buy it online - just click here. I have also had a lot of people interested in my golf holiday to Portugal next March, so if you want to go, make sure you get your deposits to me (only £50) before Christmas. Along with being busy teaching, I have found some time to enjoy myself with a trip to Scunthorpe on Bonfire Night and a visit to Leeds to see the comedian John Bishop. Although I hadn't seen much stand up from him before, I must say I was very impressed and would recommend you go see him, if you get chance.
The European Tour's Race to Dubai is close to reaching its climax and it was great to see Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter challenging for the win after what they would both consider a poor year. Maybe Poulter's change in clubs from Cobra to Titleist has helped him. Both players played brilliantly, but what a shot it was by Bubba Watson on the 72nd hole to force a play-off with Tim Clark...if you did not see it, I certainly suggest you have a look - Bubba's Bunker Shot
Every other Sunday I give the Junior Academy a group lesson where we worked on more specific aspects of the game. In previous sessions we have gone through the swing and last session I introduced them to shot shaping; what it take to hit the ball left-to-right, right-to-left, high and low shots. This week I spoke to them about course management and how we should approach each hole. I started by letting them design a hole and then asked them to explain how they would play it. Asking children to design golf holes is always one of my favourite parts of teaching as the imagination of a child is second to none - I have attached some of the designs for you to have a look at.
This session with the juniors gave me the idea of writing to you about course management and how you should approach your game; are you a strategic player, a safe player or an aggressive player?
A safe player will assess the hole for danger and select a club that will avoid the danger. A safe player understands that hitting the fairway is more important than hitting the ball a massive distance. A great example of this would be the 5th hole at Hornsea, is it worth taking your driver when there are a host of bunkers left and in front of the green, water and out of bounds to the right?
A strategic player will always play to his/her strengths and work out where they want to hit their next shot from. If I use the 5th as another example, a player who is a poor wedge player from 50/60 yards may hit a 4/5 iron off the tee knowing that this will leave them a full shot in, rather than hitting a 3 wood short of the bunkers and trying to play a shot he/she finds difficult.
An aggressive player, as you can imagine, will take a driver on most tees using the 'Tiger Line' and get the ball as close to the hole as possible (on short par 4's) and then deal with the situation they find themselves in. This is a very risky way to play as a couple of bad drives in a medal round can ruin your card, yet a couple of booming drives in matchplay can put pressure on your opponent and give you a couple of easy holes. Again, think of the 5th hole at Hornsea; do you belt a driver towards the green and hope for a decent lie?
Ask yourself which of these players you are and ask whether or not you need to introduce some strategy, safety or aggression into your game. A lot of the best players will use a combination of the above and pick the right time to be safe, strategic or aggressive...there is always more than one we to play a hole!
Contact me if you think your course management could be better and I can help you!
Have a great golfing week
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Welcome to the weekly blog of Paul Gibson PGA Professional based at Hornsea Golf Club. Hope you enjoy the read