Wanting to do better is a common attribute we all share.  Whether in our approach to health or relationships or the activities we choose in retirement, our desire to do better daily is universal.  But sometimes, it’s challenging to measure our success in doing better.  The game of golf though, is grounded in keeping score – that’s why every course has a scorecard.  But going overboard on counting strokes can lead to frustration and detract from the fun of playing.  So, I want to share some ways to balance the varying degrees of course difficulty to more accurately assess the game and still enjoy each round.  Here are the topics>>>>>

  1. Toughest to Easiest Holes
  2. Playing from the Black Tees
  3. Putting Game
  4. Do You Know Your Courses Quiz
  5. Course Comparision Scoring 

Toughest to Easiest Holes

In each course story I give you my opinion on the difficulty of each hole, each ranked from toughest to easiest.  

The point in doing this is twofold:  First it’s a fun discussion starter and everyone will have a different opinion for sure!  Second, it helps me tactically focus.  When I’m trying to play smart (enter your own punchline here…..), I try to accept the fact that I’m going to get a bogey on the four toughest holes.  Those are the longest or have the most hazards, both of which can cause me to overswing or take unnecessary risks – and sometimes those errant shots result in a double bogey or even the dreaded snowman!  So instead, I try to just play for a bogey on those four toughest holes.  That frees my mind to focus on playing well on the five easiest.  And guess what?  Sometimes when I intentionally take a conservate approach to the toughest holes, I take an easier swing and the ball lands on the green – amazing!  Give it try sometimes and see if this approach helps you score better.  And develop your own toughest-to-easiest list for your favorite courses too!

Playing from the Blacks

All The Villages Executive courses have multiple tee boxes that allow golfers a varying degree of difficulty.  Tees are color-coded accordingly: Green = Shortest; Gold = Intermediate; Black = Longest/Most Challenging. 

Personally, I play from the Gold Tees most of the time and step back to the Black for an extra challenge once in a while.  Most often playing from the blacks means an extra club off the box, and sometimes a more difficult angle to the hole.  Many find that playing a round from the blacks helps you stretch out and focus on your swing cadence, because it’s not just hitting the ball harder when the target is farther, it’s using a lower lofted club and focusing on swinging smooth.  Then when you go back to the Gold tees, it feels easier! Give it a try! 

Putting Game

I once was paired up with three women on Sandhill.  Their husbands were playing in front of us.  They were playing a putting game that was interesting.  On each green the woman were tracking their putts, counting their two best total number of putts.  So if player 1 had 1 putt, player 2 had 2 putts and player 3 had 3 putts, their top two combined score was 3 (1+2=3 points). By throwing out the lowest total, they weren’t penalized by one player's poor results on each hole.  And if they landed the green in regulation, their first putt didn’t count in the total.  So it was possible for a player to have a score of zero if they one putted after landing the green in regulation.  They kept track over the nine holes and compared their total score to their husbands results.  The winning team got to pick where dinner was that evening.  A couple times during our round, one of the husbands would drive their cart back to see our how the ladies were doing.  They never divulged their score!  Great gamesmanship! It was a simple and fun way to keep score, wasn't all about the ability to hit far, and focused on the most basic element of golf - putting.  And I think the woman won, so they picked the dinner!

Do You Know Your Courses?

A good way to Keep Score is to take a Quiz!  There have been a number of questions asked throughout the course stories. Here's a list of all them>>>

Course Comparision Scoring

Here's a unique scoring process that accounts for the varying difficulty levels of the courses.  It also encourages me to play from black tees more often.  Each of the executive courses is rated on a scale of 1-4, with Level 4 being the most challenging.  The Course Comparison Score is a formula that balances out the difficulty level and your actual score.  The table below shows the Resulting Course Comparison Score.  Here's how it works: Enter the course name, level and par in columns 1-3.  Then add 18 to the Par in column 4 to get the course's double bogey.  Then enter the tee box you play from (green=.5; gold=1; black=1.5).  In Column 6 enter the number of strokes you took and calculate your "Under Double Bogey" score in column 7.  Finally, determine your Course Comparison Score by multiplying columns 7, 2 & 5.  

1. Course 2. Level 3. Par 4. Double Bogey (add 18 to Par) 5. Tees you played from (Green = .5; Gold = 1; Black = 1.5) 6. Your # of Strokes 7. Score under double Bogey (subtract your score from double bogey) Resulting Course Comparison Score (multiply columns 7 x 2 x 5)
Sandhill 2 28 46 .5 29 17 17
Sandhill 2 28 46 1 30 16 32
Sandhill 2 28 46 1.5 34 12 36
Other Examples
Heron 3 28 46 .5 32 14 21
Heron 3 28 46 1 36 10 30
Heron 3 28 46 1.5 37 9 41
Pelican 4 29 47 .5 34 13 26
Pelican 4 29 47 1 40 7 28
Pelican 4 29 47 1.5 43 4 24

In the examples above, look how each course scores differently.  Looking the rounds played at Sandhill, the best Course Comparison Score is 36 based on shooting a 34 from the black tees on this Level 2 course.  Playing the same Sandhill course from gold and shooting 30 results in a slightly lower Course Comparison Score of 32.  Depending on the course level, the tees you play from and the actual number of strokes you took, the Course Comparison Score will vary.  It's likely that your actual stroke count will increase if you play harder level courses and play from the longer tees.  But this methodology balances that higher difficulty, so you aren't discouraged if your actual score is higher - and that makes you happier and wanting to play more!!