Tips for playing a new course….like Provo Golf Club
Playing your best golf on a new course is always a challenge. New surroundings and lack of local knowledge can create weaknesses in your confidence, but there are several strategies that can counter this.
Don’t try to perfect your swing before going on a golf trip. Lots of golfers attempt to work out all their flaws in hopes of having a perfect ball striking experience. Don’t: it’s not likely to happen. This will have the opposite effect because you will be running with too many swing thoughts. It’s difficult enough on a familiar course to play mechanically and on a strange course you need to fully focus on where to hit the ball, not how to swing. Remember you are there to enjoy yourself, you are on vacation!
Do your homework by logging onto the course’s website and noting as much information about course characteristics as possible. Pay specific attention to the type of grass and the structure of the greens. You’ll gain valuable information to allow you to tailor your short game practice to suit course conditions. At Provo Golf Club the greens are a Tif-Eagle Bermuda Grass and are relatively flat and are in excellent condition. The main difference of Bermuda Grass to Bent Grass greens (which are predominant in the North) is that the blades of grass are broad and grouped together, large areas of them grow in the same direction, affecting the speed of putts & chips struck with or against the grain. This leads to hitting the same chip with different clubs based on the angle of approach and the grain of the green so you may need to be more than a "one trick pony” and practice chipping with multiple clubs. To fully prepare yourself it’s a good idea once you arrive to practice at their short game facility to get more comfortable prior to teeing off.
Do whatever it takes to keep the ball in play. It’s difficult enough at your home course recovering from wayward tee shots early in your round but it’s even more important on a strange course because resort courses are often loaded with hazards not present off the tee on your home course. "Hit the shot you know you can hit; not the shot you think you should be able to hit,” and you’ll give yourself a much better chance to score and enjoy your round. Keep it in the fairway even if you need to tee off with a fairway wood, hybrid, or long iron. As you become more relaxed your confidence will grow and allow you to start hitting the driver without hesitation later in the round.