Jason Day showed why he is world number 1 at the recent Players Championship.
A wire-to-wire victory at an event which is known as the unofficial 5th major highlighted Day's recent dominance.
Many people will be in awe of his long drives and fantastic clutch putting but I think we can all learn a lot from Day's course management.
A classic example is hole 18. The picture below shows how he plotted his way up the potentially treacherous par 4.
The red line shows Jason Day's potential driver line. The yellow line shows the line with a long iron.
Day knew that his landing zone with driver (blue square) was very narrow and that if he missed his landing zone slightly left he would be in the water and slightly right and he would be in the tree's.
However, the landing zone with long iron is wider. A shot missed to the right would be short of the tree's and still leave a shot to the green.
By selecting a club that has a wider margin for error Day was more relaxed and subsequently hit a great 2 iron up the middle of the fairway. If he had selected driver with a narrower margin for error the extra pressure may have caused a poor execution and a bad result.
Many club golfers will select driver on every par 4 or 5 without thinking about their landing zone or next shot. Other factors to consider are:
- Potential sloping lie for next shot
- Flag position for next shot
- Previous results with driver
So next time you get to a par 4 or 5 take a moment to think about it. Who know's a hybrid or fairway wood may be a better option.
If the best player in the world plans for potential bad shots, I think we all should!!