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Watching Golf Broadcasts Through a Different Lens

PGA of America
Applying lessons learned from PGA TOUR telecasts
Frank Chieppa, PGA

Series: Already Golf

Published: Friday, July 18, 2014 | 11:38 p.m.

Competitive golf on TV can truly be exciting and offer hours of enjoyment and viewing pleasure, but have you considered looking at those broadcasts through a different lens?  What if we looked at the best players in the world and take the lessons they have learned in their lifetime and bring those skills to our games?

While the physical skills of the touring pros would be difficult to imitate over the airwaves, their course management techniques and tactics are much easier.  In most cases these practices will be even more beneficial your game and scores will drop.  Let’s take a simple example.  

Have you ever wondered why a tour player often takes a shorter iron for their second shot on a par 5 leaving themselves well back of the green for their next shot?  Through hours of practice, they know that at a certain yardage their success ratio of getting the ball close to the flagstick rises.  By just hitting the ball as long as they can they might be too close and not be able to put enough spin on the ball to have it land and stay where they would like on that next shot.

We often see a player and caddie talking strategy prior to hitting the shot.  Much of the dialogue centers on what club might be needed to pull off the shot with the conditions presented, but it’s also not uncommon during that conversation to center around where the player doesn’t want the ball to end up or what the best bail out area is if the shot doesn’t go as planned.  Should the error be on the side of long or short, left or right?  

What does this mean for you?  Through practice and simple charting, find out what your strengths are for distance control and eventual final shot location.  By knowing these answers, shots played from those situations will allow you to be confident leading to better scores and more enjoyment.  Who ever thought watching TV could be so educational?