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There are some simple things you can do to put yourself in a position to win more often.
There are some simple things you can do to put yourself in a position to win more often. (Courtesy PGA of America)

Do what it takes to win

Chuck EvansBy Chuck Evans,
Special Contributor

We've all, at some point in our golf careers, had a match or a tournament that we've either won or really wanted to win. What separates winning from finishing behind the winner? Here are several things that players need to do to put themselves in a position to win. Whether you are a low and or high handicapper, there are commonalities to look for.

First you must play within yourself. This means that you don't attempt any shots that you have not practiced many times beforehand. If you are a fader of the golf ball and the shot calls for a draw then don't try to hit this shot. Play to your strength and not your weakness.

Secondly, play the golf course and not your opponent. This is where many players get caught up in the moment. They try to keep up with their opponent in driving distance, hitting clubs that they cannot get to the green, trying shot shapes that don't fit their stroke pattern and a host of others things.

Thirdly you must prepare for the event. This means charting the course and the greens even if you have played the course many times before. Develop a strategy for how you are going to play the course and pick the holes that you can attack and the ones you will need to be a little more conservative on. If you are an aggressive type of personality then you must attack, attack, attack! But pick your spots to be aggressive.

Winners see things happening in a positive manner. Players that don't win see negative images instead. They think about things like, "Don't hit it to the right, there's water over there." Instead of recognizing that there is a problem down the right side and saying "Ok, let's keep it down the left side."

Players also need to check their equipment. Are your loft and lie angles correct for you? Have your wedges been knocked weak? If you play a lot of golf or practice a lot you need to have these checked on a regular basis. PGA Tour players have theirs checked every week and adjust them based on course conditions or the shot shape and trajectory they will need for that particular course.

Some other things you will need are plenty of golf balls, tees, a marker to mark your golf ball, new golf gloves - if you wear them - clean grooves on your irons, an up-to-date rule book and making sure before you reach the first tee that you have counted your clubs to make sure that you have no more than 14. Ask Ian Woosnam about this one!

Be prepared and get your game face on!

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."

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Golf Tips: Do what it takes to win

    Dennis M.Baca wrote on: Sep 11, 2007

    I just finished reading this article and it is one of the best win/win article that I read concerning the simplicity of playing one's game and staying within themselves. I post to our tour's web site weekly and talk about focus, taking what the course gives, not to overthink the game, etc I was hoping that I might reproduce this article on our web site or have you post it since you command a little more authority in what works.
    Your approval to use the article will help as we continue to expand the only Pro-Net tour in the nation. We have taken the best from the governing bodies and developed a system that provides the handicap golfer a venue to compete as a professional. Most of them have places to go to become technically sound but they fail to recognize course management as the more critical component of tournament golf.
    A response would be greatly appreciated.