Here are some tips on playing a links-style golf course from our guest blogger A. Kakar.
Tip 1: Use all of your creativity and imagination on the course. This will help you to see where your ball is going to go, how you will need to accomplish that particular shot, and it will allow you to enjoy yourself. Nothing is more instantly gratifying than pulling off that awesome, imaginative shot. And while this sounds like bad advice, think about how you would get it close when you are short-sided and have a bunker to go over. During the Open, the professionals will utilize unconventional shots to get out of those dreaded pot bunkers.
Tip 2: When it is breezy, swing easy! I am sure you ahve all heard this mantra before but it truly is great advice. The harder you swing, the more spin you put on the ball. So, check your ego, take some extra club, and swing easy to reduce spin on the ball. Don’t believe me? One time, I hit a five iron over water on a 150 yard par 3. I watched people playing with me try to hit their 15/160 yd clubs over the water and only get it half way there. Stay away from the balloon ball and hit it close!
Tip 3: Get the ball rolling quickly near greens. Chipping is different than pitching. Let’s just clear that up. Pitching is when you use a lob, sand, or gap wedge to loft the ball at least half way to the hole before it touches the green. Chipping is when you barely loft the ball onto the green and it rolls the majority of the way to the hole. That being said, anytime you are around a green and can use your putter effectively, PUTT THE BALL! It gives you a larger margin of error. If you can’t putt, then chip the ball. It again gives you a better margin of error. Then think about pitching if you cannot reasonably putt or chip from your location, and lastly resort to the flop shot. Your miss hit chips and putts will get closer 90% of the time than a miss hit pitch or flop.
Tip 4: Dress to impress. Not really going to make you a better golfer theoretically, but I have found that when I feel like I look sharp on the golf course, I play far better. It has something to do with confidence I think. So whatever you think you look best in, wear that when you really need to go out and get it. After all, too much confidence on a golf course has never been a bad thing. It works well for Bubba and Phil.