Hi there! Welcome to the Hacker’s Guide to Handara. This 20-part blog series will take you through a journey on the links of Bali’s most historic golf course- Handara Golf & Resort Bali- from the perspective of the average, high-handicap golfer. In this series, we’ll discuss strategies for each hole with the aim of taking an easy bogey and eliminating the risks that put big numbers on the card.
Before we get to the hole-by-hole analysis, let’s talk a little bit about the philosophy and course management techniques you need to embrace in order to play bogey golf.
1. Understand that Not Every Shot is Going to Be Perfect
If you could play at that level, you would have already closed this page. Be prepared to accept mistakes, move on to the next shot, and stick to your game plan. The stroke you try to save with a hero shot could be the stroke that starts the landslide to an 8, or worse, on the card.
2. Embrace Playing for Bogey as a Legitimate Goal
How happy would you be to walk off the course with 18 bogeys, for a score of 90? Most golfers would be happy with a good morning’s work and proud of their consistency. Probably, if you’re still reading this, you’re in this category of golfer. Remember, par is defined as the score expected to be achieved by an average scratch golfer.
3. Get Primed
Make use of Handara Golf & Resort Bali’s fantastic driving, chipping and putting areas to warm up before your round. This will help you get your swing working and get a feel for the greens. It will also give your caddy a chance to learn about your swing tendencies- where you tend to miss and how badly it goes when it does happen.
4. Listen to the Caddies
The professional caddies at Handara Golf & Resort Bali are the best on the island, hands down. They will figure out your relative skill level before you make it off the practice green, so let them use their years of experience to help you make smart decisions. Ask for help reading the break of chips and putts- you may be surprised at some of the greens here at Handara.
5. Choose the Easy Shots
Instead of trying to reach a green 230 yards away with an aggressive 3w from a tight lie, assess the range of possible outcomes of that shot. What outcomes are most likely? What are the chances you will put the ball on the green for a one-putt birdie? They are pretty slim for most golfers of our skill level. Instead, any number of unfortunate results could occur- each possibly leading to 3 or 4 more strokes before you get on the green, let alone finish the hole. Why not play a couple of 9-irons or pitching wedges, shots you know you can hit every time, and get on the green to putt for par? Even if these shorter shots go a little wrong, they don’t go 230 yards wrong.
So there you have it, a few tips to adjust your noggin before heading up into the hills of Bali. Join us next week as we begin our tour of Handara Resort & Golf Bali’s fantastic mountain course from the perspective of a bogey golfer. Fooore!