Friday, January 27, 2012

Games to Play on the Golf Course

Great On Course Golf Practices
The first six practices don’t require a playing partner!  The next six are with a partner.

1.     Best Ball – Play two balls and choose your best shot and play from there. 
What will you learn? 
·      Can you hit a second shot after a mistake without thinking of mechanics?  Great goal for your mental discipline.
·      Is your visualization better on the first or second shot?  How clear is your picture of what you want?
·      Can you focus completely on multiple shots?
·      How low can you go?
2.     Worst Ball – Play two balls and choose your worst shot and play from there. 
What will you learn?
·      Can you handle adversity? 
·      Can you learn to hit any shot needed to score?
·      How is your short game? 
·      Is your putting solid so you still have tap ins?
·      See above under best ball game.
3.     Tee off with your approach club.  If a par 4 on your home course is usually played with driver then 7 iron, hit a 7 iron off the tee.
What will you learn?
·      You will face a lot of 3 woods into greens.  This is a great long club practice day.
·      Your short game will be tested.
·      You will look at greens a bit more critically and figure out where best to score from if you aren’t in perfect position.
·      You will learn to score when you aren’t in position A, which will come in handy many a day.
4.     Play 3 Balls – Play from the tee, play from the 150 yard markers and play from the 100 yard markers.  Play the Par 3’s from the tips and the forward tees.  (this is obviously a game to be played when you have the course to yourself).  Also, you can change the three yardages however you like.
What will you learn?
·      This is a great way to figure out your strengths and weaknesses if you see a difference in the number of pars made from different positions.
·      Do you attack the hole differently from each position?  What is your “go club”?

5.     A Day at the Beach – Hit a bunker on each hole.  Yes, aim for the bunkers!
What will you learn? 
·      First, hitting a shot into a bunker requires accuracy. 
·      Next, a great way to practice your fairway and greenside bunker shots while working on scoring.
6.     Options Best Ball – Play each shot you face two different ways.  Choose a different club, shot shape, trajectory or approach to each shot.  Play both shots and choose the best.
What will you learn?
·      This is a great game to open your mind to your options on the course.
·      You will often be surprised that your first choice of shots isn’t the easiest to pull off. 
·      Great for creativity and feel!
7.     Share and Share Alike – Play with a partner and switch balls after every shot.  Your goal as a twosome is to combine your score into the lowest possible score.  This is a great game when played against other twosomes. 
What will you learn? 
·      Emotionally, any trouble shot you face wasn’t your fault.  Are you more in the present than you are when it is your fault?
·      Do you play different shots (more risk or less risk) when you know your playing partner is hitting the next one?
·      Does your talk to your partner sound like your self-talk?
·      Can you play to your partner’s strengths?  Can he/she play to yours?  If so, what are they?
8.     Distraction Day – Play with a partner and anything goes!  You can walk, talk, sing, anything to distract your playing partner. 
What will you learn?
·      You will soon learn how mentally tough you can be.
·      You will learn to attach to your shot to avoid disruption.
·      You will learn the importance of your routine and the need to start over when distracted.
·      You will have a lot of fun!
9.     One Club Day – Play with a partner and move any of your playing partner’s shots one club length any direction. 
What will you learn?
·      You will learn to play from divots, deep rough, behind trees, bunkers, and possibly water. 
·      You will learn a mindset of playing to the center of the fairway and the center of the green.
·      You will have fun with adversity, both dealing with it and dealing it out.

10. Three Shots Per Club – You may hit any club in your bag no more than three times in 18 holes (putter isn’t included).   Choose wisely.  Keep track of your partner’s choices.  How far around the course can you go in those 39 shots?  Anytime you use your putter, it is exempt.
What will you learn? 
·      Strategy – Which tee shots require the driver?
·      Learning to chip and pitch with various clubs
·      Watch out for those bunkers!
·      You will putt from a lot more places than normal.
11. Trash – An old game that values scoring!  Here are the ways to get a point:
Stobbie – An approach within a flagstick length.
Pollies – A putt made from outside a flagstick length.
Greenie – First one onto the green in or under regulation.
Chipinskys – Name says it all.
Snakes – If you 3 putt, your opponents in the group get a point.
Birdies – Need it be said?
Sandies – Love the bunkers!  Make a par from the sand.  Up and downs don’t count if not for par.
Barkies – Make a par after hitting a tree!
You can be creative within your group and add ways to score!  Fun stuff.
What will you learn? 
·      This game rewards players who stay in every shot.   Giving up won’t cut it.
·      This game is geared toward scoring and not pretty play.  Get the ball in the hole!
12. 7/11 – As a pair, you get points whenever your combined score is 7 or lower on any hole and lose points whenever you score 11 or higher on any hole. 
What will you learn? 
·      Strategy and teamwork.  You will rely upon each other to lift the other with your score. 
·      Damage control.  Making big numbers hurt, but sometimes a bogey will work.

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