Like a road you’ve never driven, a golf course you’ve never played has many unknown twists and turns. And just like driving on that road, playing a new course can be dangerous.
I got to play a private course today, one I had never seen. Driving to the course I thought to myself that I need to take what the course shows me. In other words, don’t trust what I cannot see. If all I can see is 200 yards, then hit a 200 yard shot. I figured that would keep me out of trouble and on the right track.
While I didn’t completely follow that gameplan, I was able to stay in play for the most part. I hit a few questionable shots – some that I found and some that found the water. But I was able to scratch out an 80 thanks to eight 1-putts.
I believe that the first time you play a golf course you can expect to shoot 3-6 shots higher than you will the next time you play it. Even if you’re with someone that knows the course and can direct you – your mind will still get in the way. You won’t be able to completely trust your swing.
I had a very untrusting swing today which kept me from shooting much better – especially with how well I rolled it. I did not hit clean irons. My drives were nervous. I was not able to commit to the shots because I didn’t know exactly where to hit it.
Trut me – there is a reason PGA players get to the course on Monday or Tuesday. They want to test the roads.