Although The Players Championship is not a Major in golf, it sure can create the excitement and heartbreak of one. As I watched the play over the weekend, I realized that professional golfers have the same challenges as amateurs when challenging conditions are present. And since last Thursday, the weather created the environment where doubles, triples and quads were not a surprise. Having said this, I did learn three things that make me feel much better about my game.
The first is that all golfers struggle playing in a strong wind. I thought it was only amateurs, however professionals struggle just the same. Even though they have greater control on their shots, windy conditions are a bugbear for everyone. The Players was no different and I actually felt sorry for the golfers as they approached the 17th tee box.
My second observation was that even professionals do not like to take their medicine after a wayward tee shot. The Players Stadium Course as playing 7200 yards and as best without the terrible playing conditions. I could not understand why players were taking what seemed to be high risk shots into the greens. I always feel that playing for bogey is much better than risking a double or an other. Additionally, this high risk approach on their second shots reinforces my efforts to hit the fairway off the tee (even if it is shorter than I would like).
Lastly, the length of my tap ins are way longer than the professionals. I realize my playing conditions is much easier than at The Players, but I am thinking that I need to shorten that distance. I do miss a few outside of two feet and very few inside this distance. I guess it would make sense to mark my ball outside of two feet and take my time on that last stroke of any hole. My overly relaxed approached to tap ins needs to change in order to keep my game sharp.
There are many other lessons from The Players that amateurs could glean. It is a matter of objectively applying what we see to our game. It is not a challenge, just tough on our ego.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!