Are you looking for ways to lower your score around Old Thorns? Or maybe you’re playing here for your next corporate or charity event and want some tips?
My name is Elodie Yates I am a keen golfer with a handicap of 1. Currently, I work in Old Thorns marketing department after studying and playing division 1 golf in America for 4 years. Playing golf at different courses is something I love to do, and I brought Victoria Bradshaw, PGA professional, and ex Irish team player, and Brandy Rook, 3 handicaper, along to Old Thorns to have a friendly match and to help me come up with some tips for shooting lower around Old Thorns. The outcome of the match, I’d prefer not to say…
A golfer’s score is not always about skill, but often about strategy and that’s particularly true at Old Thorns.
We all know there are two types of players when it comes to golf, the ‘play it safe and hit an iron or wood off the tee’ (Victoria and Brandy) and the ‘hit driver every time and hope’ (me). It’s easy to pull out a driver every time but here at Old Thorns, but that’s not always the best strategy – regardless of what distance you hit it with the driver.
With many dog legs, water hazards and risk reward holes, it’s important to consider the second shot in. Here are a few examples:
– Hole 6 – You could hit a driver and go for the green or you could try to get it very close, but you’d be leaving yourself with a very tricky chip to a 2 tiered green that slopes heavily from back to front. I would suggest that the safer play is to use a club that leaves you 80-110 yards from the hole, giving you a full shot in.
– Hole 11 – Consider hitting an iron or fairway wood off this tee. The fairway narrows the further you hit it and with water all down the right side, a shorter shot off the tee is a better one.
There are many holes on this course with a large elevation change that can be deceiving, whether that be uphill or downhill. If it looks like you might need an extra club, take an extra on top of that! Ensure you get your golf ball up the slope for the best chance of winning the hole… a tip I wish I would have received in our match!
It was our first time playing Old Thorns and the greens took us by surprise. It was clear who the pro was when it came to the short game, because it was very easy to go for every putt and hit it on the wrong line and with too much pace. Victoria focused on pace, which inevitably resulted in fewer putts and thus a lower score.
The slopes are deceiving, and many have 2 tiers. Make sure you don’t just look at the greens but the land around the green, it will likely slope more than you think in the direction of the land.
This tip focuses on raining in the ambitious shots and playing for a position. There are water hazards and deep bunkers protecting the greens. When we played there were some sucker pin positions that should be avoided at all cost!
Our advice – don’t go for them – aim at the other half of the green and you’ll more likely make par and walk off happy, instead of a bogey (or worse). It’s easy to rack up a high score, especially when the bunkers are up to 6ft deep!
Refuel, Refuel, Refuel – our 5th and final tip – arguably the most important one.
Food is an important element of golf that many forget. It’s key to keeping your energy up. Did you know in an average round of golf, you burn around 1000 calories! So, fill your bag with some delicious snacks and enjoy that 10th tee shot knowing you’ve got the energy and momentum to hit over the water hazard.