Making the Most of Team Golf
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Adriana Gonzalez (left) and Darinka Velazquez of Chicago State University walk to the practice green during the third round of the 33rd PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship held at The PGA Golf Club at PGA Village on May 12, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America)
This past weekend the world was treated to some exciting and unique team golf events.
At the QBE Shootout, teammates Tom Hoge and Sahith Theegala, on the heels of a blistering final round 62, won the event in dramatic fashion.
And then we ‘The Match,’ which pitted Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy vs. Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.
Ever wonder why we tend to see such spectacular play in team events? The answer is that In team events, players are typically required to use a more aggressive style of play. This leads to highlight reel shots and lots of birdies and eagles.
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Amateurs are often braver in their approach and this can lead to higher scores for many. Professionals, despite their far more advanced skill set, are much more strategic in their approach.
In team events, professionals take the opportunity of having a partner to take more aggressive lines off the tee, attack more pins and hit firmer putts. This often leads to fireworks.
Simply put, when you have a friend by your side, in an otherwise singular game, you can often play to a higher level.
What you Can Learn from Team Events
If you don’t have a golf buddy or two now, look for a few. If you can tackle this game with friends, you will often increase your odds of having more success.
Practice & on the Range:
Having a friend, or golf buddy with you as you work on your game can pay huge dividends.
- You can help motivate each other to work at improving and putting in practice time.
- You can use the partnership to gamify practice and compete against each other as you develop skills.
- You can be an extra set of eyes for each other.
On the Course for Fun & Practice:
- You can help each other in decision-making.
- You can help each other with yardages and other general knowledge.
- You can motivate each other and help each other when a rough patch in a round happens.
- You can talk through reads on the green.
In individual stroke play competition, there are certain rules within the game that you must follow. Rule 10.2 speaks on advice during competition. According to the USGA, the purpose of this rule is: A fundamental challenge for the player is deciding the strategy and tactics for his or her play. So, there are limits to the advice and other help the player may get during a round.
- With the above in mind, a golfer can still benefit from having a golf buddy to help motivate you pre and post rounds in competition.
In team play however, like with the QBE Shootout, having that golf buddy by your side can help any player, amateur or professional alike, play to levels that are higher than you normally would.
Although a singular game, having a friend in golf (or several) can make the game far more enjoyable, and lead to you becoming the best version of yourself as a golfer.