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Course Mapping for Competitions

How good are you at course mapping for a competition? And this is aimed at every junior golfer out there, whether it is your monthly medal, weekend stableford, Inter County competition or National Competition.  Do you prepare for your tournaments well? Do you even think about preparing for your club competitions?

What does course mapping look like?

There is nothing worse than guessing which club to take and uncertainty on the line. Increasing your familiarity with the golf course is only going help you commit better to your shots. Firstly, it’s important to get a good feel for how the course conditions are playing. Is it playing firm and fast or is it playing slow and long? From this information, If you haven’t played the course at all its important to better understand the tee shot lines, best club selections for the certain tee shots that allow you to finish in the ideal place. We use boxes with our players, and ask them to draw a box on the yardage chart where they wish to finish, and also ask them to write the yardage to that point. That way the target isn't to small that its unattainable and has negative effect, but also if it is playing down wind or into the wind they can adjust the club used to achieve the desired outcome.

Around the green.

When you play a practice, look at what greens don't have so much trouble around them, especially if you are able to play a short club into them. These are the pins you can go after!! Otherwise we would suggest looking at areas that create good misses. A way we ask our players to do this is use a traffic light system on each hole. Colour in the area red that your not allowed to go near, amber for potential attacking depending on score and how you are swinging it, and green you can always go at this area. We also ask them to do certain drills around the green. On long Par 4's the concentration would mainly be on chipping / wedge shots into the green, on short holes putting. We also ask them to divide some holes up into distance putting or holing out to get an idea of both areas, and don't forget to put the ball in a few green side bunkers as well!!

Playing your home course

Why would I go prepare on a golf course I play every week? Sometimes it might be just what you need, we tend be on autopilot when playing a course that we know like the back of our hands, unconsciously picking the same club out the bag on each tee.

The conditions can change weekly on our courses with green speeds and firmness fluctuating, winds changing direction and the overall length the course plays can change from week to week.  Popping out for 9 the evening before may be a great way to help better understand these factors and create your game plan for the day.  Give yourself a little head start and save yourself having to adapt as much during the start of your round and you may even get a little advantage on the pin positions for the day.

Why don`t you try a couple of different clubs from certain holes, see if it makes a difference? It can sometimes just give us more confidence with the club we usually use or help find a new way to play a hole that has been problematic on the scorecard for the past few weeks.

Utilising Technology

Its not always easy creating time to play a practice round at another club. Could you still get to know the course better without visiting it?

The answer is yes, golf club websites are starting to offer flyovers of their courses which allows you to get a much understanding of the course. This could also affect what clubs you take out with you. Does it require that trusty driving iron or is there a lot of longer par 4s that require a fairway wood or hybrid?

If the golf club doesn’t offer a flyover. Try using a free tool like which allows you to measure all distances and is very good for accessing different views from overhead, as if you were playing the hole. You could also use google earth to view where the space is and do basic measurements.

Going through any process like this is increasing your chance of playing better golf and preparing for the challenge in front of you, and it's coming to that time of year where it is very important.

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