“Or An 8 Iron Bump And Run”

Every golf shot as a plethora of possibilities. I never observed any golf shot that only had one shot available to the player. There is always another option, it might not be a good one, but it is still an option. That is where the mix between course management and player ability cross. The trick is to choose the right shot for you and commit to playing it. Recently, I asked a question about a specific shot and not surprisingly, the responses were varied to meet the strengths of each player. The title of this article is a direct quote by Tony Ellis that sums up the possibilities for any golf shot.

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The Masters – What I Learned

Jim with a DuckThe 2014 Masters is in the books. For golfing enthusiasts, the first Major did not disappoint. Many pundits discussed the lack of charge by the players chasing Bubba Watson, but that is a discussion for another day. Personally, I did enjoy watching the professionals navigate a difficult course under ideal weather conditions. With no flat surface on Augusta National, many of the players used unique and creative shots to try to tame the beast.

Every time I watch a professional tournament, I expect to see something that will help improve my game. Sometimes it is big changes and others times it is the finer points of how to play specific shots that catches my attention. The Masters was no different. Therefore, I thought I would share what I learned at this years Masters that will improve my game:

Course Management. I have discussed this topic before, actually three times, but the recent Masters showed me something different. Course management is about setting up the next shot and playing to the strengths of your game, however it is now important to include making up for miss hits. Many of the players were forced to change their thought process during a hole due to hitting the ball in the wrong spot. Watching the top players adjust, like Watson on the 15th hole, changed how I look at course management!

Chipping or Putting. How many times did we hear the announcers talk about chipping or putting around the green? They made it quite clear that there are two schools as seen throughout the tournament. The older and more experienced players (Couples, Jimenez, Mickelson) chipped; the younger more adventurous players (Spieth, Blixt, McIlroy) putted. This whole issue will be addressed a future blog, but personally, I lean towards chipping….but I am an older more experience player!

Length Rules. Distance off the tee has always been important. After watching many of the players on the past weekend, it reinforces the thought that length rules. Hitting it long opens so many options for a player’s next shot. Bubba Watson’s drive on the 13th hole was an eye opener. Understanding that being closer to the green on your second shot is better, it is unbelievable the difference distance makes; therefore, as my season progresses one of my goals will be to hit the ball longer off the tee.

The three points are subtle, but are important. If you have the opportunity to watch the replay of the 2014 Masters maybe you will notice aspects of golf that will help your game. Maybe you have noticed something already, if you have, share – everyone is listening.

I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links!