By Paul Myers
Many golfers have been there – you are standing on the tee, waiting to hit your shot when your playing partner launches one long down the middle of the fairway. Suddenly, instead of thinking about the target you have picked out and making a good swing, you become obsessed with hitting it past your playing partner – and now you are in the middle of the long drive contest. Sometimes, this will result in a poor shot as you have gotten out of your own routine and started to worry about something that is out of your control. It doesn’t matter how far your playing partner hit the ball – the only thing that matters scoring-wise is executing your own swing to the best of your ability and putting the long drive contest aside.
Play Your Game
One of the beautiful things about the game of golf is that no one can play defense on your shots. Even if your playing partner hit their tee shot 400 yards down the fairway, you still have to hit your shot. To score, your goal during a round of golf is to get the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible, regardless of how you do it. Whether you bomb a drive and hit a wedge close to the hole, or hit a short drive and a perfect six iron to the green, they can both work beautifully. The important thing is that you know your game and you stick with it regardless of what is going on around you being careful of the ‘long drive contest’ attitude.
If you are playing with a particularly long hitter and find yourself getting caught up in trying to match their power, try not watching them swing on the tee to stay away from the long drive contest. You don’t need to be rude or anything – just simply look down at the ground while they hit the shot so you don’t see how fast their ball launches off the tee. Even though you will know how far they can hit it, and might even see the ball sitting out on the fairway, you may not quite feel the same pressure if you don’twatch the swing.
Enjoy the Show
On the positive side of the equation, it can be fun to watch a powerful player launch good drives hole after hole. If you can avoid letting it affect your game and get caught up in a long drive contest, it might be beneficial to watch them swing and pick up tips that you can use later on for yourself. Don’t try to make any changes with your swing right then and there during the round, but if you happen to notice something that you want to try, make a mental note and use it in your next practice session.
Don’t let the long hitter affect what you are trying to do with your game. While it might be tempting at first to see how well you can keep up with them and take part of the long drive contest, that will probably only be detrimental to your scoring game in the end. Instead, stay within yourself and do what you do best on the course – even if that means giving up a few yards off the tee.
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