Master the Course

Becoming an elite player

By Mike Small, PGA
Published on

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Playing in a match play format, you can learn so much about strategy, decision making, patience and game management. And to play great golf, you have to have all the shots. If you are looking to be a great player—an elite player—you have to have the total package.
What I mean by that is, I see so many good players who tailor their games to a particular type of shot. They refer to it as their "stock shot." Maybe it's a high fade off the tee. Maybe it's a high flop near the green. That's fine and good. But is it enough to get you to the next level? Can that game travel to some of the more demanding, and varied, layouts in the country? I don't think so.
Get all the facets of your game working for you
When I look for players for my team, or I want to compete at the highest levels of golf, I know that I have to have all facets of my game working. I want to have a variety of shots, of pitches, of chips, to be able to read and putt on different types of greens, under different types of conditions — whatever the situation and the course itself may call for.
If you're looking to take your game to elite levels, practice knowing that excelling at one course or mastering one type of shot may propel you to great golf heights locally, but won't at a larger, perhaps national level. You're going to need the total package. And if you know that up front, you'll be a better golfer for it immediately. Good luck!
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