Have you ever played against a player that just seems to plod their way around the course?
You’ll have played against this player in matchplay.
You start on the first and you hit a nice drive about 280 yards but you’ve pushed it a little and the ball rolls into the semi-rough and it’s not a great lie.
While your opponent just knocks the golf ball down the middle of the fairway about 220 yards and the ball rolls almost as many yards as it travels in the air.
They’ve left themselves a nice little 7-iron from 150 yards out.
You’ve only got about 100 yards to go and while the lies not that great you just know you with a good shot you can get there with your favourite wedge.
You make OK contact, but you get a bit of a flier and the ball bounces through the green;
The ball is now sat on top of the high bank next to the green.
Your opponent plays their second shot, they’ve already told you how much they don’t like this type of shot, they don’t seem to catch it properly either, but it somehow manages to get close to the green. They’re further away so it’s still them to play.
They then hit a chip shot with what can only be described as an ‘ugly swing’ which ends up ten feet away from the hole and they’re now faced with a downhill putt.
You address the ball and with the wedge that you haven’t put back into your bag from the last shot, you try to play a chip and run.
But you’ve got too much loft on the club and with the starting point of the ball being much higher than the green, the ball checks up sooner than you would have hoped.
But no need to panic you’re only 8 feet away and more importantly your inside you opponents ball. They have to play first.
Your opponent has the weirdest putting set-up you have ever seen but they just go ahead and sink the putt, with a shot that if it hadn’t hit the back of the hole would have gone six feet by.
They’re in for 4 and a par…the pressure’s on.
You take pride in your’ text book correct’ looking putting style, you look just like Tiger.
You spend time reading the line from all angles, you go through your pre-shot routine and then you go ahead and make the putt.
It looks great, it’s on its way – perfect line…but oh no…it’s stops an inch from the hole. You have the simplest tap in for a bogey and you are suddenly one-down.
How did that happen?
We see these players everywhere, they are called the Weekend Golfer.
They don’t take lessons, their kit is years old and they don’t look like a golfer, but they keep beating us and there’s no sensible reason why. We are a better player after all.
Remember there are no pictures on a score card.
These guys play to their strengths and avoid playing the shots that they are not very good at.
They’ll never win the club scratch competition but this year they’ve gone further than we have in the matchplay competition.
The moral of this tale is to play to your strengths and it’s not always about looking like a ‘text book’ golfer.