Pressing Your Advantage In Match Play

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.

Pressing your advantage in Match Play formats is the key to winning. This shot is of the 7th hole at Sequin Valley Golf Course, Parry Sound, Ontario.

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!

2 thoughts on “Pressing Your Advantage In Match Play

  1. Jim, you’ve nailed it with trying to get your opponent thinking about your game. I find this strategic play possible when you both have the same shot (on the par-3s). This works great if I’m hitting second. If I know I’m going to hit four or five iron, for example, I’ll pull a fairway wood and start making practice swings. Hopefully my opponent is watching me and my actions start getting into his head. “Why is he hitting that fairway wood?” I’m hoping it effects his club choice. Then of course I’ll hit whatever I had planned on my turn. Of course, I’ll try not to look at him while we are picking clubs cause he may be trying the same thing on me šŸ™‚



    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian

      It would be fun to play a match game agaist you. We think along the same lines. Ther is one point I did not mention and you beoight up is to not think about their game uring club selection. It is a double edged sword for sure.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

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