Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Golf & Local Knowledge

First time rounds at a new course are often filled with excitement, anticipation, and sometimes cautious optimism. I enjoy playing new courses every year and there are a number of things that I do to prepare myself for that first game on a new track.

Top 10 Tips

  • Visit the golf course website – many courses provide aerial shots and videos of each of the holes on the course. You will get a chance to see the layout of each hole as well as hazards and greens. You may also see some tips on how to play the course.

  • If possible play with a member. This way you can get some real local knowledge on how to play the course.

  • Listen carefully to the starter before your round. Ask questions about local rules and holes that may play a “’ittle tricky’.

  • Be aware of blind shots. Take a walk or drive your cart forward so you know your landing zones, pin positions and hazards.

  • Study the Pocket Pro. If the course uses one you can get all of your distances from tee to green.

  • Know your yardages. Find out if sprinkler heads are marked and how the 200, 150, and 100 yard markers are indicated.

  • Find all the hazards, before they find you. If you know the position of bunkers and water hazards on each hole you will have a better chance of staying clear of them.

  • Know the daily pin positions. Pins are generally changed every day and they will either be set in the front, middle or back of the green.

  • Play the right tees. Unless you are a single digit handicapper, you should not be playing ‘from the tips’, or championship tees.

  • Take advantage of clubs that use GPS systems. They will help you with yardages, identify potential hazards, and make your round more predictable and enjoyable.

The summer is just about half over, so get out there and play some new courses that are on your golf ‘bucket list’. To avoid disappointment call ahead to reserve your tee times and ask the course if they have any special offers or price discounts for groups or late afternoon tee times.

Enjoy your round, the new surroundings and the opportunity to play a new course for the first time!

Next Week: Olympic Golf Preview

Cameron Burechails (Teaching Professional), The Georgian Bay Golf Academy at Meaford Golf Club (705)441-0865 or

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