Play Forward


I want to encourage you to play a couple of rounds teeing off further forward than your normal chosen tee box. For men, try playing from the ladies tee regardless of what your handicap is and for women even though there may be no teeing area further forward than your own, I want you to walk forward 20 yards and tee off from that point.

The reasons that I encourage you to try this are as follows:

  • When we become familiar with a golf course, the clubs that we select on each hole and how we attempt to play it from the outset changes very little each time. The wind direction may increase or decrease the club/iron that you hit but that is really the only significant factor that alters the way you might play each hole.
  • Teeing off from an advanced position than normal brings hazards not normally reachable into play and therefore forces you to re-strategize how you should approach every hole and shot.
  • I guarantee that you will believe you should score better than normal because of the shorter yardage – this thought process increases the pressure that you place on yourself and it is a really good thing to experience because learning how to cope with pressure on the golf course will only improve you as a golfer.
  • After a couple of rounds carrying out this experiment you will likely look at your scorecard part way through your game and realise that you are scoring better than normal – If this is the case, you will sub-consciously increase the pressure on yourself because you will be desperate to finish the round on a decent score and not let things go to pot.
  • It is always enjoyable practising with the clubs that you are confident with but mentally it is less enjoyable and tougher to diligently work on your weaknesses. Obviously to improve your all round game and ultimately your handicap/score, most of your practise should be focused on improving the components of your game that are weak. Playing different shots due to the ‘enforced shorter golf course’ may well highlight the clubs and components of your game that require the most work.

I have demanded that many of my elite amateur and professional golfer pupils ‘play forward’ for a few rounds for the very same reasons as listed above so don’t feel embarrassed to do so. Even if golfing friends tease you initially, I am confident that eventually the last laugh will be on them!