A Fisherman’s Golf Guide

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A Fisherman’s Golf Guide

Each week I read a Fishing blog posted by a well-known NH Professional Fishing Guide.  For a number of reasons, I look forward to each of his posts.

First and foremost — I’m a fly fishing nut!  If you can’t find me at The Oaks, and I’m not playing in a golf tournament, chances are I’m waist high in a river searching for my next fish.

Second — WHERE the fish are most likely to be biting.

Third — WHAT I should be using for flies.

And last — HOW I should be presenting each fly.

To sum up — I want catch more fish than my brother.  Who better to tell me the WHERE… WHAT… HOW than a fishing guide who’s on the river every day?  Yes, I look forward to his every Blog post.

Last May I read a fishing blog and it lead to lots of success on the river!

So… I thought it might be fun to blend why I read weekly fishing advice to why you, the golfer or potential golfer, who might like a golf blog written by a PGA Professional.

I’ve outlined below my WHERE… WHAT… HOW on a few key holes at The Oaks; I think it might help you score better on these difficult holes.


Hole #2, Par 4

 hole 2 pic 2

Where — I aim my tee shot over the left fairway bunker.

  1. I used to make the mistake of using a more lofted club and aiming down the middle of the fairway. For me, taking that more lofted club brings the right hazard into play.   Using more club, and starting the ball father left, leaves me with a much shorter 2nd  Even if I miss the drive I typically avoid the hazard on the right.  And, if I pull the shot off, I’m left with a short Eagle chip!
  2. If I can’t reach in two shots – I don’t force the issue by trying to hit it as close to the green as possible.  I try to leave enough room so I can take a full swing and spin a wedge close.

What — I typically use – 3 Wood or Hybrid off the tee, then wedge approach.

How — I attack the front left hole location:
I take dead aim, but try to only carry the approach a yard or so on to the green.  Land the ball pin-high or deeper typically results in a missed green.  Short left is fine.  Short right, or over the green is a no-no.


Hole #7, Par 4

 hole 7 pic 2

Where — I aim about 5 yards to the right of the 150 yard post.  All tee shots will bounce left due to the slope of the fairway / rough.

  1. I try not to lay too far back off the tee. Don’t let the cross hazard scare you, get it down there!
  2. I’m fine with my tee shot ending up in the rough just short of the hazard. This beats hitting a 3 wood off of a hanging lie!
  3. If I hit a poor drive, or there’s some question as to if I can fly the cross hazard, I chip out / layup short of the hazard.

What – My clubs of choice here is a Hybrid off the tee (or whatever club will get closest to the cross hazard) then a
mid-iron for my approach shot.

How — I attack the back hole location:
I take an extra club for my approach because this shot plays uphill.  If I’m unable to land my approach onto the putting surface, I attempt to land short and run it up.  I never get greedy when the pin is on the back level; the middle of the green is a great spot to putt from.

Hole #11, Par 5

 hole 11 pic

Where — I aim at the greenside bunkers (in the distance).

  1. This fairway is bigger than it appears from the tee.

The next time you play, look back from the middle of the fairway back to the tee. This will give you a different perspective to the hole, and really open your eyes to how big of a landing area there actually is… actually a great tip for every hole.


  1. The 250 yard plate is a perfect drive for me. It gets tighter at this point of the fairway but it’s worth it if going for the green in two shots.
  2. If I hit a good drive, I aim my 2nd shot towards the left edge of the green with a 3 wood and try to hit the green in two. I aim left because shots will run up the slope after just carrying the water.
  3. If my tee shot isn’t ideal, I’ll hit my layup no closer than 110 yards out.

What — Hybrid off the tee… 3 wood second shot… putt/chip.  Or, if the tee shot doesn’t set me up to go at the green, 7 iron layup and wedge approach

How — If I don’t go for it in two shots I might still attack the hole location… even if it’s back right!  With a perfect yardage for a wedge I’ll go right at the pin with hopes of knocking it stiff.   But, If I’m not 100% confident of my club choice, I’ll go for the middle of the green.  The middle of that green offers a decent one putt opportunity.

Hole #18, Par 5

 hole 18 pic
— I aim about 5 yards right of center.

  1. Like the 7th hole, I try to hit my tee shot as close to the cross hazard as possible. This shortens the length needed for my layup shot.

Far too often I see players not take enough club off the tee – be aggressive!  A great layup can lead to a birdie that feels more like an eagle on this tough hole.

  1. I always count on a nice kick/roll from the right to left because of the slope of the fairway.
  2. For my layup shot I attempt to hit my ball no closer than 100 yards out. Any closer brings in the tough fairway bunkers on the right.

What – Usually a Driver off the tee (remember – get it as close as possible to that cross hazard)… 4 iron lay-up… short iron approach.

How — I attack the back right hole location by taking an extra club.  The approach to this hole is up-hill; long is ok.  A short miss brings in the bunker into play and leaves a difficult two-putt.

Statistically #18 is the toughest hole at The Oaks.  A par 5 is a great score; sometimes even a 6 is good.  With that in mind, if I get “into trouble” I play safe (chip out or hit a 2nd layup) knowing that a 5 or 6 can easily become an 8 or 9 on the scorecard; that’s no way to end your round!

I’m eager to hear your thoughts on how I play these challenging holes at The Oaks.  Let me know if you try my game plan.

Don’t hesitate to stop by the golf shop to talk with me, or send me an email at sbishop@theoaksgolflinks.com.

Or, even better, sign up for my all NEW play a round of golf with the pro.   I can show how I play the other 14 holes at The Oaks (schedule and sign-up coming soon).

I hope you’ve enjoyed my attempt at this FISH/GOLF Blog post.

Like my fishing guide’s blog always advises:  There’s always a chance the plan will or will not work.  But please, give it a try… after all – I’m the pro!



Low Scores & Tight Lines,
Shaun Bishop, PGA



p.s. I hear Craig & Ted of Candia Woods are pretty good PGA Golfing Guides too…

Shaun Bishop
Shaun Bishop
General Manager | Director of Golf | Candia Woods Golf Links

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