Some Useful Tips On How To Win At Matchplay
In matchplay, you do not have to outplay your opponent, just outscore him or her.
If his or her drive is 40 yards past yours. His or her approach shot finds the green, on which he or she takes two putts. He or she will only halve the hole, even if you take three shots to get to the green and single putt!
You may think he is a powerful player, who is at least two clubs longer than you, but what if he is continually off line, and you keep winning the holes by being straight down the middle.
If he is a better player then that will be reflected in your respective handicaps.
So use the strokes you are given.
Get Your Retaliation in First
It is often an advantage in matchplay to play first.
If you can hit a good shot it puts pressure on your opponent to match or better your effort.
This will cause him to press and quite possibly make a hash of it.
It may sometimes be worth taking a shorter club off the tee to deliberately fall short of your opponent to allow you to go for the green first.
Aways Hole Out If You Can
In matchplay it's important to put your opponent under pressure whenever possible.
For example, if you are both on the green but quite a distance from the hole, and you have the opportunity to go first, concentrate not so much on holling out, but getting the ball close enough for a tap in.
With your ball safely in the hole, the pressure is on your opponent not to three putt!
However in an attempt to be cautious, and lag the ball up to the hole, many times I have seen this sort of putt come up short.
If so make him hole out.
Take A Risk
Your strokeplay score on any given hole does not matter at all. As long as it is less than your opponent.
Taking 10 on a par three hole is fine, as long as he takes 11!! This is the beauty of matchplay.
You should know when to gamble and not care what score you might run up.
If you are going to lose a hole anyway, it might as well lose by a big margin.
If for instance, your opponent is on the green in two with a very makeable putt, and you are at the wrong side of a greenside bunker in three, now is the time to try to finesse a lob shot over the trap.
If you make it your opponent will certainly be rattled.
If you do not, nothing is lost, because you were going to lose the hole anyway.
Don't Compound Your Opponent's Errors
You can learn a lot from watching the mistakes of your opponent.
Such as general playing conditions, and how the weather is affecting the ball.
Did the line of his approach shot allow enough margin for the wind?
Did he read too little borrow into his last putt?
By studying your opponent's shots you can help plan your own.
Don't look In Your Partner's Bag
In matchplay, most golfers are guilty of this habit, even professionals. However, in many cases there can be a vast difference between the distance you and your opponent hit a particular club.
If you have done your homework correctly, then you will know how far you can hit a club. Rely on your own intuition and skill.
Take no notice of your opponents club slection, make your own mind up.
Always Assume The Improbable
On the green, always assume that your opponent will hole his putt, no matter how far away he might be.
By doing this you will never be stunned when he holes a 40 footer!
Alternatively, if you assume that he will make a good shot, and he doesn't you feel as if you have gained the advantage.
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