Part 5 – Golf Tactics and Options – Chris McWhirter

Anyone for tennis?

I like to refer to a game of GC like a game of tennis. Throughout a game I score check in tennis terms. Each hoop becomes a player’s serve. If you are first to the hoop then that is your serve, and you should win it 80%-90% of the time. If you are second to the hoop it is your opponent’s serve and you need to fight to break it and steal that point off them.

Similarly matched players will often go “hoop for hoop” until a mistake is made. Once you have got the break of serve, barring any mistakes, you should be able to take that break through to the end of the game for a win.

In a “perfect” game the winner of the toss should win. They are first to the hoop so they have an immediate break. If the game goes hoop for hoop from there, then they should have first shot at Hoop 13 and win the game.

I find that this analogy is great for my psyche throughout the game. It helps me concentrate and consolidate hoops (my serve) and then play carefree on my opponent’s hoops (their serve) so that losing that hoop does not bother me. They had the advantage, I am not expected to win that hoop so why not try something different or adventurous. If anything, it bothers your opponents to know every second hoop they are under complete attack!

Consolidate/Score your own Serve/Hoop – Attack/Steal your opponent’s Serve/Hoop.

This idea gives you the license to be ultra-aggressive on your opponent’s serve… try things, unsettle them… it doesn’t matter as you are not expected to win that point. If your tactics don’t work for that hoop don’t worry about it. Play safe, consolidate and win your next serve quickly, then attack your opponents’ next serve again and again. The idea is to get a break of serve as soon as possible and carry that break through to the end of the set/game.

Once you have the lead in the match you can play safe and allow your opponent to try all the hard shots.

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