Play To Your Strengths

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It took a couple of weather delays, but the first tournament of the PGA Tour for 2013 is finally completed.  Congratulations to Dustin Johnson on his victory!  But there is a great story in the second place finisher as well, Steve Stricker.

In the final round Stricker was paired with Johnson.  As is well known Dustin is a long ball hitter, and at times out drove Steve Stricker by more than 100 yards.  That’s right, there was more than the length of a football field between their tee shots.  But it isn’t the discrepancy in distance that I found so encouraging.  It was something that Steve Sticker is known for, and demonstrated during this round.  Play your own game, and play to your strengths.

How often do you find yourself swinging a bit harder when your playing partner is hitting the ball a bit farther than you?  Do you try and take a bit more off of a dogleg than you should?  Try and carry the same bunker they just hit their drive over, even though you know you typically can’t?

Learning to play your game is the most important thing you should learn to do this year.  Learn what your strengths and weaknesses are, and play to your strengths.  Are you great from about 100 yards?  Why would you try and go for a par 5 in two when you know you have a great chance of getting the ball in for birdie or at worst par if you lay up.

Before you play each round, or at the very least when you are standing on the tee box of each hole, you need to come up with a game plan of how you want to play each shot.  Not just the shot you are facing at that time, but every shot on the hole.  Strategically play every shot on the hole.  Where you want your tee shot, your approach, where on the green you intend to land the ball and putt from.

Play with a game plan and you will start seeing lower scores.