Playing in golf tournaments is great fun. I like all kinds of formats, but the game that has the most strategy is Match Play. There is always an element of mind games that never goes away. Depending on the how many strokes I give away (I have only received 1 stroke in the past 10 years) sets the stage on how I play the round. But, one aspect of my strategy rarely changes, when to press my advantage.
In Match Play, I try to knock my opponent out as soon as possible. I think that any thing can happen and the sooner I win the match, the better. To accomplish this difficult feat, I press my advantage when possible. If I am playing well, it will happen several times a round.
My concept is simple: win a hole with a birdie and increase the risk by going more aggressive on the next hole to win the hole again. I do not have to win be with a birdie, but making a difficult shot that is a bit risky can deflate my opponent and provide an opportunity to extend my lead.
Pressing after a birdie may seem counter-intuitive, but I assure you it is not. Match Play is as much a mental game as physical and if I can get my opponent thinking about my game and less about theirs, I have gained a distinct advantage. Additionally, if my aggressive move fails, I still have the birdie hole to rely on and start the process all over again.
In Match Play, I think it is important to press your advantage as soon as possible. I have won matches on the 11th hole by using this strategy and lost in extra holes by not using this strategy. Pressing after a birdie by playing aggressively works for my game. How about yours? Do you have a Match Play strategy to press your advantage?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!