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Anyone else struggle with new courses?


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#1 jester

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 10:45 AM

I played a new course with my dad and brothers over the weekend. Not a hard course but I didn't play very well. After playing it once, I feel like I would score much better the next time. Does this happen to others a lot? What are some better way to prepare? I looked at the satellite view of the course before but there are so many little things that you can't see from there.

Things I learned:
1. Would probably change what I hit off the tee on 4 holes.
2. Missed a few greens in places that I learned are not a good place to miss.
3. Being more aggressive on holes that allow for it but also being more conservative on others.
4. Knowing the greens better. After misreading a couple greens early, I was more hesitant the rest of the day.
5. In general, just be more comfortable with the course and knowing how to attack it.


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#2 jwhite86

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 11:53 AM

Those are my exact thoughts after playing a course the first time... especially what to hit off the tee... my gut reaction is to hit driver... but a 3 wood or hybrid was probably the better play.
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#3 wrmiller

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:01 PM

I have had much better success with new courses since getting a skycaddie touch. Much better, but not perfect.

It's even worse when playing a new course with people you don't know, especially with potential trouble off the tee. You're told to go ahead and hit driver, promptly hit a good one, and then the same person makes the comment that maybe you should have hit 3-wood. And you end up in a waste area at the end of the fairway...

This was one of my prime motivators for getting a skycaddie. :)

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#4 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:22 PM

I tend to shoot right at what you'd expect for my handicap on a new course.  It's usually a score right about the mid-point of my last 20 differentials.

I won't go low on a new course.  But I'm more likely to bear down and a grind out a bogey on a new course, keeping my scores in the meaty part of the curve.  

Assuming no or nominal money on the line at my home course, I'm much more inclined to go for broke and try to salvage par notwithstanding the potential for a big number.

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#5 Roody

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:26 PM

A couple months ago I flew down to SC for a few days to play with my buddy at his new golf club's member/guest tournament. His course is target golf to the extreme, and there are hazards and OB on every single hole. If he was not there to explain each hole's intricacies to me, I fear my score would have been a lot higher. There were times where you couldn't even see the water that juts out to the middle of the fairway from the tee.

Course knowledge, especially knowing what to hit and not hit off the tee is key. I think everyone scores better after their 2nd or 3rd time playing a new course.

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#6 Ferguson

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:33 PM

Funny thing - I usually play fairly well at new courses.   I just obey my yardages and try to play it the way it was designed.


Each year I get to play Kinloch a few times with a friend of mine.  Spectacular course.  It always feels new.  
I just listen to the caddie.

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#7 davep043

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 01:11 PM

I'm a big believer in getting yardage books whenever I find them available.  Something like skycaddie or other GPS that uses real aerial imaging can work similarly.  Either way, its hard to make good strategy choices based only on what you see form the tee.  
As for green reading, I've found that mine has improved since I took an Aimpoint clinic, and that's really pronounced on a new course.  My eyes aren't fooled by background terrain, I'm really reading the part of the green I'm going to be putting over.
But really, doesn't some of the fun of a new course come from making strategic guesses?  Some of them work, some don't, and you want to come back and try again.

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#8 TPowell

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 10:14 PM

The biggest thing is to have some type of rangefinder or GPS and choose targets in the fairway that are easy to hit to. Hit to where you can see is safe if possible and then just try to decide on lines that won't get you in trouble from the fairway.

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