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Many golfers lose focus and change their style of play when playing with a golfer better than them.
Many golfers lose focus and change their style of play when playing with a golfer better than them. (Courtesy photo)

Don't get intimidated by your golf partner

Chuck EvansBy Chuck Evans,
Special Contributor

Most of us play golf with others and usually with players of the same caliber. But as long as we play golf there will always be players that hit it longer, straighter, hole more putts, better course management then we do.

I see the majority of players get intimidated by their playing partners and then they try to do things they simply are not capable of.

One player "A" hits a comfortable 8 iron 150 yards and player "B" uses a 5 iron for the same distance. It won't take long for player "B" to start trying to hit their irons farther - and because they are now out of their comfort zone their scores and accuracy suffer.

A prime example of this is former British Open Champion Ian Baker-Finch. This player was world class and was playing great golf when he won the British Open but soon after, rumor has it, he thought he should be hitting it farther. His quest turned into a nightmare, he completely "lost" the game that had won him the Open. His accuracy was completely gone and he no longer had any idea where the ball was going.

After struggling for a few years and not finding his way back he simply retired from competitive golf rather then play golf like most of the golf world does. When you have played golf at this high of a level it is extremely difficult to come to terms that you have lost what you've had.

Can players hit the ball farther without giving up accuracy? Of course, but there are limits to this. Once of those limits is the players physical make-up. If you have the flexibility of Craig Stadler but are trying to swing like Davis Love III then that is not going to work. You will have to rely on building speed into what you do have.

Find a fitness trainer and work on your flexibility; see if you can add more length to your swing but always under control. Think of it like this, your body is the foundation for the golf stroke - just like a sturdy home must have a study foundation - if you overload your foundation then structure will collapse. So don't try to overload your physical structure build a precision golf stroke based on what you can do - not what you can't do.

Chuck Evans, G.S.E.D., a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, is one of only 31 golf instructors worldwide designated to hold a doctorate in golf stroke engineering. He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy, and as director of instruction for the United States Golf Institute. He is also the author of "How To Build Your Golf Swing."

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