In some ways, golf is like football. The home team usually has the advantage. One could argue that the advantage is even more significant. You know all of the hacks to get around each hole more strategically, and this means that you are always going to hold the upper hand over someone who has never played your course before. When you do venture elsewhere, there are a few tips you can tap into to help you along your way though. Today’s guide will now take a look at some of these.
Choose your course wisely
Granted, not everyone is going to be given this luxury. After all, if you are representing your scratch or junior team, you get what away course you are given based on the fixture list.
If you are opting for courses just for the purpose of a “day out”, at least choose them wisely though. Try not to choose any course which has a lot of blind areas, as these can be all-but-impossible to deal with as you step on the tee. In terms of specific examples, it goes without saying that courses like the Belfry are always going to be favourable for any away players.
Invest in a course guide
It might just seem like a bit of paper, but a course guide can come to your rescue. We’ve seen on so many occasions a player step onto a fairway at a foreign course, only not to realise what the yardage markers actually stipulate. Are they 100 yards or 150 yards away from the pin? A course guide can answer all of these questions, while also providing a few other nuggets of information which can help you along your way.
Arrive with plenty of time
Time can be one of your biggest weapons when it comes to an away course. We’re not talking about a basic warm-up here either; this suggestion mainly relates to the putting green. This is the area of the course that is probably going to differ immensely from anything that you have been used to. At your home course, you might be used to exceptionally fast greens, whereas on this one you might be forced to hit your putts almost twice as hard. We’re not saying you should invest in a stimpmeter, but just practice for a while and get used to the speed naturally.
If there’s a chipping green, you may also find out how receptive the greens are – and how they are going to react when you hit high balls into them.
Speak to the locals
In some ways, this final point ties in with the previous issue. If you arrive with time in the bag, try and speak as much to the locals as possible. Ask them about any hidden nuggets of advice, or even local rules. Ask them which holes are deceptively difficult, and if there are any quick tips, you can take with you. On some occasions, you might not get anything. On others, this sort of information can be the difference between a good and a great round.