Course Management – Approaches

Course management is an area many of us do not pay much attention to. However it can be the difference between a net 71 and a net 80.

Many of us are very focused on where the flag is located on each green. Instead of playing golf focusing on the flag please try and play a round of golf where the focus and target is the safe part of the green. 

For example if you are playing into a green with out of bounds to the right, lots of space to the left and your standard shot is a fade aiming to the left side of this green would make sense. If you hit it straight left you’ll have a reasonably straight forward chip shot and if you over curve it left to right you may just avoid the out of bounds. Anything in the middle of these two shots is on the green. 

The following is a hole by hole guide to playing a safe round at Deeside. I want you to try and hit it towards the green circled areas on each green. I don’t expect your average amateur to hit it into these exact areas every time (even the top professionals wouldn’t make 18/18 believe it or not). However by attempting to hit it towards these green circles any bad shots will not be so heavily punished. 

Take notes of the following and try it… you might just surprise yourself and knock a few shots off your score.

Hole 1:

Safe side is left side… miss the green right and you could find yourself stuck behind a tree. Safe zone is back left. 

Hole 2: 

Again safe side is left side of the green. Out of bounds to right should make the majority of amateurs happy to almost try and miss the green left. This should leave a relatively straight forward chip and two putts (maybe one). 

Hole 3:

Water hazard on the left. Whether you are trying to hit this green in two, three, four or five shots… it’s back right of green all day long.

Hole 4:

Most of the trouble is at the front of the green. Middle right of the green is perfect due to the right to left contours on green.

Hole 5:

You have 10 paces front to back at the left hand side of this green whereas right side 20 paces. All amateurs should be focusing on hitting the middle to right side of this green.

Hole 6: 

Front right of green with this one. For the average amateur I feel it would be easier to chip and two putt from the right side of this green as your chipping into a slight upslope. Whilst no hazards to the left side of green amateurs find it much harder stopping chips on a downslope. Notice green is also slightly wider at the front. 

Hole 7:

It’s middle left all day long here due to the back to front sloping green and bunkers right. If the pin is back right never take it on. Be safe and take the 4 or 5.

Hole 8: 

Miss right and you have a near impossible chip uphill onto a downslope. Middle left hand side into the crevasse is perfect leaving an uphill putt/small chip.

Hole 9:

Two options here depending on where flag is located. Right flag right side of green, left flag left side of green. Never attempt middle of green due to limited green area with surrounding bunkers. 

Hole 10:

Anything right is dead here. Simply play for the middle to left part of this green. 

Hole 11: 

Again two options here. If pin is located front of green go for front of green avoiding bunkers. If pin is back going for back left of green is beneficial again avoiding bunkers. 

Hole 12:

Out of bounds left, deep bunker left and green above your feet left. Going for right side of the green here is a no brainier. Leaves an uphill putt or chip.

Hole 13:

Bunkers at front of green protect front flag beautifully. Hitting to middle/back left of green is the safe play here.

Hole 14:

Again all the trouble is at the front of the green. Go take an extra club and stick it into the middle/back left of green. Out of bounds right so favouring left side is advisable. 

Hole 15: 

Again trouble and slopes at front and back left of green. Worthwhile taking extra club and going for middle/back right of green.

Hole 16:

Bunker front left means that minimal green to play with on left side. Right side of green is safe shot here.

Hole 17:

Middle right here is sensible as widest part of green sloping back to front.

Hole 18: 

Right side of green is the play here on this tricky par 4.

So try playing Deeside next time taking no consideration of the pins. Go for safe areas of the green as illustrated by the green circles as advised above. 


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