Taking it to the Course

It’s spring time in Augusta which means the golfing world is waking up, dusting off the headcovers, tightening the spikes and looking forward to getting on the course.

Whether you are just getting to play your first round of the year or need a refresher, here are some simple thoughts on teeing it up on the course.

1. Arrive early. We all know that the driving range seems like such a simple place to hit those great shots and the course seems so much different. You are more than likely going to feel somewhat anxious about playing where the shots matter, so plan to get to the course about 45 minutes early. This will give you some time to calm your nerves, hit some range balls and practice putts.

2. Notice your ball flight. Different days sometimes produce different ball flights depending on how you feel, you tight or loose you are, how well you warmed up or even how you slept. Pay close attention to the direction the ball is curving, or even if you are mostly hitting it straight.

3. Use what you have. I believe it was Sam Snead who said, “dance with the one you brung!” If you normally hit a fade and today it’s a draw then don’t try to spend the next 17 holes trying to rebuild your swing and figure out all of the little details that could be “going wrong”.

4. Think Smooth. If you have ever jumped out of the car, grabbed the bag and rushed onto the first tee only to top your drive or slice it O.B. then you know how being rushed affects your game. Take a few seconds, take a deep breath and think “smooth”. Sometimes trying to slow your swing down too much just throws off your feel too much so just try to feel a bitter smoother and watch for tension in your set up.

5. Play Safe. More than likely you were not able to practice 15′ cut lobs over a bunker in your garage over the winter but you may face a shot like that on the course. Pay careful attention to the lie on shots around the green and choose the shot that is most likely to get you on the green and have a putt for par.

There are a few ideas to get you started. Give yourself time to warm up, make good decisions and smooth out that tempo and you will be on your way to enjoying your next round on the course.

AGI: play better golf.