Play Like A Player!

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

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TAKE OUT THE BREAK

Ever heard of the "pro side" of the hole? I think that's more myth than reality. The "pro side" of the cup is generally the higher side, meaning pros tend to play the extra break that amateurs miss. Eh, not quite. Players have more confident strokes than we mortals so, if anything, they play less break and hit faster putts. This is especially true on short putts, where players don't fear lengthy comebacks in case they miss. Instead, they tend to take out the break and jar that ball into the back of the cup.

The key, as always, is to make a confident, accelerating stroke and don't be afraid to take out some of the break. This may mean trying to make a putt to an imaginary hole a foot behind the real one. I'll bet you start making more putts this way than you would playing more break and dying the ball at the hole.

INSIDE THE ROPES: JIM FURYK

Jim Furyk is one of the most fascinating players to watch practice and warm up. For starters, he's not afraid of training aids, and he uses several (often homemade) on the practice tee and green. Above, he and his caddy Fluff Cowan are working with what looks like some alignment aid (we're not sure what he's doing, actually) to help with his putting. The point here isn't to demonstrate what Furyk does, but to make a broader point: Don't scoff at training aids. The best players in the world not only use them, but some help in the development of practice tools and even put their names on them. The goal should be finding the training aid that helps you where you need it most, and use that training aid whenever you have time. Don't be shy to use one when you need it.

TIGER WOODS may appear unapproachable to, well, everyone, but sometimes looks can be deceiving. Tiger is actually open to talking with his fellow players, even going as far as accepting advice from players on various aspects of his game. Most recently, he picked up some advice from Steve Stricker, which Tiger claimed has helped his putting immensely. The point isn't to hypothesize about what Steve said to Tiger (we all want to know), but to remember that even players who get paid to beat each other are open and willing to help each other and take and give advice. So open up the communication lines with your playing partners, and do it for the good of everyone. Sometimes, the best swing tips you'll get are the tips you receive from the player you're trying to beat.




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