Play Like A Player!

Quick tips and advice to make you look, feel and perform like a star




So you think you're a player? If so, then I have some news for you. Tour players, in particular, do things a little different to ensure they not only play their best, but remain competitive week in and week out. And, in case you're wondering, playing professional golf regularly means you've already succeeded at placing yourself among the elite players in the world. That said, for the rest of us who may aspire to be better players, who at the very least want to look and feel like one from time to time, here are a handful of tips that will help you get a gist for what it means to be a real player.

BUMP YOUR TEE UP

To start, let's look at a scenario on a mid-length par-3. For amateurs, it's preferred that you tee the ball as often as possible since it not only sets up a perfect lie, but also gives you a little more room for error in case you don't compress the ball very well and you hit slightly up on it. But what about the pros? Do they always tee it up? Not always. Some players like to "cheat" a little bit, and instead of a tee, they actually hit the grass with the back of their club, leaving a small divot and a slightly raised area of grass behind the divot (this is allowed under the rules, by the way). The player then plays the ball off that slightly raised area. This is preferred by some players because it helps them not only to remember to hit down and compress the ball, but it makes it easier for them to control their trajectories and distances. Off a tee, it's possible you may catch the ball a little higher on the face, hitting a high, low-spinning ball that travels farther than a ball hit lower on the face that carries less and has more spin.

Try this on the practice tee, using the technique I'm demonstrating above, and also with a tee. You'll probably see some real differences in how the golf ball flies and spins.


HIT THE BIG HINGER

I challenge you to find any player on the PGA Tour who would say they approach tricky shots with fear and trepidation, like this one over a bunker to a tight pin. Instead, they think positive and hit the shot that's required, aggressively. In this case, I need to hit a high flop shot, and to do that, I need to really be confident with how much my wrists hinge, unhinge and hinge again.

In the sequence above, I start with the ball forward, with my hands slightly back. From there, check out the massive hinge in my wrists at the top. My wrists are moving so fast that, after impact in photo #3, my clubhead is ahead of the ball. Also, notice how close my hands stay to my core. These two keys (fast hands that stay close to the body) are what you need to hit a high flop shot. Practice it, and remember to be aggressive. Players always choose the aggressive play!


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