Tip Tuesday – Tips From A Golf Pro

If you are reading this, you are most likely an aspiring pro golfer or a parent of one. Well, today we will look at some tips from professional golfer Owen Edwards. Owen is a professional golfer hailing from Wales and has played in multiple events across Europe. Most recently, he competed in the Red Sea Egyptian Classic at the Golf Club Ain Sokhna in Egypt. Most of these tips were pulled from his blog last year that he put together.

Play Golf Backwards

This tip is an interesting one but worth reading. According to Owen, we often hear the phrase “one shot at a time” (which is absolutely valid), but he thinks a misconception of this is that amateurs think this applies to their decision-making as well. It actually only refers to those last thoughts before you hit a shot. As a professional, he is strategizing from “green to tee,” this is what he means by “backward.” It means that you are trying to look forward and envision where we want to play the next shot from, building a strategy for the current shot from there. For example, if you were on a hole with a large bunker covering the front right portion of the green, then it would make your approach shot much easier to play from the left-hand side.

Next time you are on the course, have a look at the layout and try to make a plan for which side of the hole you should favor. You’ll see how it narrows your focus, and you can start asking more purposeful questions, such as, “Which side would give me the best angle to reach that green?” Asking these questions should give you more clarity when you are ready to hit your shot, and that can be the small difference that allows you to execute the shot you were going for.

Pick a Useful Target

This is something that you may have heard, but Owen is surprised to witness the amount of amateurs who make the mistake of either not picking a target or picking one that adds no value to them. It is a tip that has helped him substantially improve his ball-striking consistency.

Trying to capture the impact that effective target choice has is not that easy. In fact, it is likely to be slightly different for most players. For Owen, it helps with focusing his mind on the target and therefore thinking less about how to actually hit the ball. For some, it is more about the simple physical reaction that we are likely to be more accurate when you aim for small targets. If you are within that beginner to mid-range handicap zone, then Owen feels that it will allow your hand-eye coordination to take over and assist you in striking the ball towards your target.

Make a Routine

We have talked about this in a previous Tip Tuesday blog. Owen talks about something very similar. This tip is particularly relevant to your performance on and around the greens. Owen has seen this during pro-ams actually, on one particular occasion he witnessed a full-blown capitulation of confidence. One of the amateurs he played with managed to completely destroy his putting confidence throughout the round, to the point where Owen knew he would not hole a putt because he looked scared and confused. If you can relate to this feeling, you are certainly not alone, but you can do something to control it more effectively and have greater golfing resilience in the future.

Owen talks about how you won’t still have bad putting days and sometimes you just cannot see how you will hole a putt, but from his own experience, he has become far less fussed by a missed putt early on than he used to be. He used to think that if he was to sink a decent-length putt on the first, then he would sink everything. On the other hand, if he missed one, who knows what would happen and you could guarantee the golfing gods were going to test him from that range again before the round was done! This change in mindset changed everything for Owen.

Keep It Simple Sunshine (KISS)

This is a particularly memorable thought that you can revert back to on the golf course during decision-making. A pro’s plan is generally to keep things as stress-free as possible. Golf is really difficult and there are (it seems) infinite ways to mess up, so don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Owen uses this reminder on a consistent basis on the golf course and it is particularly handy on those days when you don’t have it and/or have just had a rough couple of holes.

Owen feels that most amateurs are taking on too much risk without necessarily knowing how to execute what they are attempting. The next few times you are out on the course, have a think about what your plan is and whether you actually believe you can play this shot, then also think about your potential outcomes if it doesn’t work. It’s about non-emotionally accepting your level at the time and adjusting your strategy accordingly. This way you can shift your “scatter chart” to a place that improves your potential outcomes.

Play to Your Strengths

Lastly, analyze your game and figure out which areas of your game are strongest and which parts of your game you are struggling with. Owen seems to find that a lot of amateurs are better with full-swing shots, and they struggle with the “in-between” shots. These generally occur between 30-80 yards when you cannot hit a full shot. He sees a lot of strike issues here with fat or thin shots. Don’t expect to eliminate these shots entirely, of course, you will still come across them, and in an ideal world, you will improve your skill level here over time. But until then, give yourself a chance to play around this area by adjusting your lay-up options.

We hope that these tips from professional golfer Owen Edwards help you improve your game, and keep an eye out for more tips next Tuesday.


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