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Already A Golfer

Play Up

PGA of America
By
Jack Dillon: Speaker, author of the Highfives series

Series: Already Golf

Published: Monday, August 18, 2014 | 8:39 p.m.

As we grow in our golfing experience, we search for ways to improve.  One effective way an experienced golfer can grow in skill, while shrinking their scores, is by playing with better players.  It can work every time.  When you have the opportunity to get paired up with low-handicap players, take the plunge.  You will learn much from the experience.

The great Champions Tour winner, Chi Chi Rodriquez learned early in his career that by doing this, he would learn how to win.  He would seek out and play with the great Sam Snead, play for serious money and lose every time.  Although he always lost, he considered it his graduation to the Tour, as he watched the great Sam pick apart many a golf course.  Chi Chi observed and learned how to manage his way around the golf course, all courtesy of one of the all-time great winners.  He experienced an amazing set of priceless lessons.

Talk to the Pro where you play.  Ask the Pro to set up several introductions for you, with some single digit handicap players.  As you begin to line up golf dates with your new golfing buddies, plan the day around watching how these players plan each shot, prepare, and execute.  Be mindful of the places they attack, the clubs they use, and the decisions they make.  There is no doubt that a consistent diet of stronger partners will improve both your mental and physical game.  The key is play your game, but be an observant fan.

As you progress through your golfing season, work to get several games with the better players at your club.  Playing up will improve your game now, and for the rest of your golfing career.  It will also be fun, and after all, that is what this is all about.