How to Play Winning Golf

By: sam novak


First of all there is no secret about how you win a handicap golf tournament. You win because you have the lowest Net score. The Net score is your Real score minus your Handicap Index. The USGA handicap system allows players with different skill levels to be able to compete with each other. It is the fairest way get two players to a level playing field. The system is not perfect. Mainly because your handicap is a mathematical formula that takes and averages your last 10 best scores. If you as a player can turn in one of your better than average rounds of golf you stand a better than average chance to win the tournament.

This is my winning strategy. Try to play a round of golf equal to or better than your average score for your last 10 best rounds. You should know what this score is before playing in the tournament. If you can post this score or better you have a good chance of winning the tournament. I know that I may have over-simplified this winning strategy. But, If you just follow my suggestions you may just find yourself in the winners circle at the completion of your golf tournament.

It is a fact that the average scores for golf tournaments are usually higher than a normal round of golf. This is a good indication that most players put more pressure on themselves during tournaments.

The better player understands this phenomenon and adopts the following philosophy - Take What the Golf Course will Give You on any Hole. This means that if you make a mistake on a hole don't turn that mistake into a disaster. Accept a bogey or even a double bogey as the best that you can do on that hole. Don't try to make an impossible shot in an effort to save par. Most of the time this only compounds the mistake and creates a disaster hole. If you do this just once in the tournament you could loose the tournament. Do it twice and you will definitely loose the tournament.

In my opinion, this strategy may be the difference between winning or loosing the tournament. When you play conservative golf you are more likely to score at or below the average of your last 10 best golf scores. Just remember that your competitors scores are likely to be higher than normal because of tournament pressure.

This is a very simple strategy and ironically most players never use this approach during tournament play. Everyone thinks they have to play their career best round in order to win.
Most of the time this just isn't the case. Although, if someone does shoot a career best round you haven't a chance to win that tournament.

I based this strategy on the experience of playing quite a few years as a member of the Northern Illinois Mens Amateur Golf Association. NIMAGA hosted handicap golf tournaments monthly during the golf season. A high percentage of the over 500 regular members never in their life time win a tournament. I was fortunate to have won 4 times, tied and lost in a playoff 4 times, and finished in second place numerous times. Although not foolproof, I can attest first hand that without adopting my tournament strategy I wouldn't have won a single tournament.

Here is my challenge to you. Eliminate triple-bogeys or worse from your tournament and see if you can break through into the winners circle.

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