Tournament Golfer vs Recreational Golfer
I can usually tell in about two shots if someone is a recreational golfer or a tournament golfer. If you’re looking to improve there’s a lot you can learn from a tournament golfer. Here are the stark differences between the two, and what you can do to emulate the tournament golfer…
- You can’t simply “pick up” in tournament golf. If you do, you’re disqualified. So the tournament golfer knows when to take their medicine and not try to hit that hero shot. Limiting mistakes and not compounding them is the key to lower scores.
- A tournament golfer has a pre-shot routine that they do every time before a shot is made. There is a plan on how to attack a hole, and what side of the hole to be on if there is an errant shot.
- The short game is just better. A tournament golfer will spend 75% or more of their time practicing on or around the putting green. There are so many shots you can play around the green, and a tournament golfer knows how to utilize those shots to get the best result. Also, there are no “gimmies” in tournament golf, so being able to routinely make short putts under pressure is vital.
- Knowing the rules. A tournament golfer has a great understanding of the rules and knows how to play by them. All golfers should keep a rule book in their bag. Being disciplined enough to play by the rules will help you in the long run.
- Properly showing etiquette. Just raking bunkers, and repairing ball marks shows that a golfer cares. Knowing when to talk or where to stand is common courtesy in golf. You never want to stand directly behind someone when they are making a stroke. Also, you never want to walk on your playing partners line when on the putting green. There’s hundreds of other ways to show your partners etiquette and a tournament golfer will know most of them.
- Keep the grooves clean. A tournament golfer will typically carry a towel and brush on their bag. Having clean clubs with fresh grooves is important, especially around the green. The grooves create friction with the golf ball providing more spin, thus more control. Make sure to clean your clubs after every shot before they go back in the bag.
Keep these things in mind next time you’re on the course, and I’m sure you’ll have a better round.
Brian D. Joyner
Class A PGA Teaching Professional, Carolinas PGA Section
1(252)772-7022 ext 2