Game of Cards

A hole’s hand­i­cap rank­ing tells you how to play it

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play Your Best -

ver look down an un­fa­mil­iar hole and have no idea what to do? Here’s a hint: Go to the score­card.

The hand­i­cap num­ber as­signed to a hole rep­re­sents its di culty rel­a­tive to the other holes on the course from 1 (hard­est) to 18 (eas­i­est). If your own hand­i­cap doesn’t cover it – sup­pose your hand­i­cap is 12 and you’re on the fourth hand­i­cap hole – that’s a clue to play the hole more con­ser­va­tively.

Ac­cord­ing to the sta­tis­tics, you’re not sup­posed to reach that green in reg­u­la­tion. Time to guard against mak­ing a big num­ber.

Con­versely, if your hand­i­cap is lower than that of the hole, look at its fea­tures with more con dence. Chances are you can ex­e­cute the shots re­quired for a solid par. Take the 15th at Cherry Creek Coun­try Club in Den­ver ( il­lus­trated), which my son Jack and I co-de­signed. This 313-me­tre dou­ble dog­leg presents many op­tions, but its hand­i­cap of 16 sug­gests more golfers should play it ag­gres­sively. Do you qual­ify? – WITH MAX ADLER

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