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What Makes a Great Golfer?

May 13, 2013

Tips on Being a Great Golfer

What makes a great golfer? Often this conversation topic will strike a debate around course management, swing mechanics, pace of play, and general golf etiquette and skill. The opposing argument is often that it’s not skill that makes a great golfer and golfing companion, but rather attitude. Or, heaven forbid the topic launch into a discussion on the least appealing companions you’ve ever had in your foursome. We’ve broken down the argument into two sides; which side are you on?

It’s All About the Attitude

  • On time. Taking a break from a busy schedule to get out on the course should be treated as sacred time. A superb golf partner arrives early and tees off exactly at the scheduled tee time. On the course, they are time sensitive by setting up and taking their swings efficiently.
  •  No unsolicited advice. Just ask Butch Harmon, a celebrated golf coach over the last 25 years. He believes, “The golf course in the middle of a round is no place to start working on a new swing. Play with what you got that day. Seek help later.” They only give advice when you ask.
  • Calm, cool, and collected.  A golfer who maintains a good attitude in spite of a bad score is a partner worth keeping. The mood of a golf game can affect everyone’s score as negativity is contagious.

It’s All About the Skills

  • Tempo. Playing with a golfer who has a smooth, fluid swing can be extremely rewarding. You know the saying “Surround yourself with those who inspire you?” Whether your handicap is a 2 or a 32, you can benefit from playing with someone who has good tempo because it reinforces a model swing. And you won’t have to tolerate too many ball scouting excursions in the rough!
  • Distance control. Knowing how far you hit each of your clubs is an essential skill to playing golf. However, some golfers lack the ability to master the differences between their full swings, three-quarters swings, or other partial-swings. Playing with a golfer who understands the various dynamics of distance control can only help you improve in this area. On the flip side, it can be aggravating trying to play with someone who takes a wildly unpredictable march down the course!
  •  Good on the green. The ability to place on the green, read a green, and flawlessly putt a green is the make or break territory in golf. So many strokes can be lost or gained on or around the short grass, and having a member of your foursome who truly understands and reads greens well can be a great learning opportunity.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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