Play like the pros!

By • Category: Features, Improvement

I took in a lot of tips at the Chicago Summer Classic last weekend, and now I’m going to pass them on to you!  These tips are best for guys like me who average around -17 or so and are looking to pick up a couple strokes per round:

1) Pull the trackball back on almost every shot.  I still am not comfortable enough to do this as often as I should.  All the pros fight the wind by curving their approach shots into the wind or into the slope of the green to tuck it up by the pin.  You also get more loft on your shot by pulling back, which may help you clear water or other obstacles.  So, work on practicing the pullback angle with each of your clubs to fight the wind on approach shots into greens with tough pin placements!

2) Club up.  A lot of amateurs, including me at times, try to pound the trackball with a shorter club, trying to maximize distance with that club instead of clubbing up and hitting it softer.  I often saw these guys club up twice for their approach shots.  The difference is that these guys have the touch on distance with their follow-through.  While amateurs are pounding the ball forward, these guys simply club-up and flick it forward without much effort, but their results are so much better.  If you are ever in doubt about distance, play an extra club and hit it a little softer!

3) Skip off the water when you can!  I learned this way too late.  There are several holes where you may not be sure whether or not you can clear the water.  Well, if you have room to play an A1 or C3 shot with roll, I guarantee your ball will skip across the water if it hits short of land.  There are several holes in 2008 Golden Tee Live where you have the opportunity to play a big curving shot and skip across water, so keep your eye out for them and take advantage of this trick!

4) Practice your chipping.  The pros are not at all scared to attack the pin because they are so good at chipping if they roll off the green.  Even from the sand, these guys hole out consistently.  I still favor the low-lofted club for chips if I’m just off the green, but these guys even know how to hit a quarter-strength 7-iron out of the sand and hole out.  This only comes with practice, but if you can learn how to chip in even once or twice more per round, you’ve saved yourself those strokes at least!

5) Practice your A1 and C3 drives on tough holes.  The pros hit these big, curving drives off the tee whenever possible to maximize distance, and they can do so on dangerous holes because they know exactly where the ball will be going.  I can still only shoot this shot if it’s pretty wide open.  But, these guys aren’t scared to thread the ball between trees and water to gain an extra 20-30 yards because of the control they have.  Pay attention to the wind and whether or not to use backspin or roll to help guide the ball where it needs to be!

Use these tips to take your game to the next level — good luck!

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is a Golden Tee addict from Chicago, IL, thirsty for tips and tricks!
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