By Paul Myers

When you read golf instruction that is aimed at the mental side of the game, you are usually told to be patient, pick conservative targets, and keep your ball in play at all costs. While those are ideas that can certainly be used to play good golf, there is more than one way to approach this great game. If the slow and steady method doesn’t appeal to you, don’t be afraid to get aggressive and go for broke from the first tee to the last green.

Playing aggressive golf means choosing targets that will give you the best chance to make a birdie – even if that means risking a bogey or worse. Instead of aiming to the wide side of the green away from a water hazard, for example, you would aim directly at the hole and ignore the presence of the water. Sure, you may hit it in the pond from time to time, but you will also hit your share of great shots. Aggressive golf means high risk and high reward. Sometimes it will work out in your favor, and sometimes it won’t.

Match Your Style to Your Personality

Are you a person who is naturally aggressive and enjoys taking chances? If that sounds like you, an aggressive game plan on the golf course may be a great idea. On the other hand, if you are a conservative person who takes the safe option whenever possible, you will be better served to keep your ball in play and stay out of trouble. You can’t ‘fake’ your approach to the game of golf – your strategy needs to match your personality perfectly.

Be Committed

There should be no indecision when it comes to your strategy as you walk to the first tee. If you are unsure of how you are going to approach the course on a given day, the course will expose you because of that indecision. Whether you make the choice to play aggressively or you opt to remain conservative, you need to be 100% committed to that selection. Confidence is a required ingredient in playing good golf, and part of your confidence comes from total dedication to your game plan.

Give It a Try

If you can’t decide whether or not an aggressive playing style is right for you, the best thing to do is just give it a try. Pick out a round where you aren’t worried about your score (not in a tournament) and commit to picking aggressive clubs and targets for all 18 holes. Even if this strategy gets off to a poor start, stick with it all the way through the round. When you are finished, you should have a pretty good idea if you are well-suited to play aggressive golf. Even if the answer is no, at least you will have explored the possibility.

Playing golf with an aggressive style is not for everybody. Many golfers will be uncomfortable with the idea of aiming close to hazards, and therefore they won’t be able to make their best swings. However, for those who are willing to take on the risk, the rewards of aggressive golf can come in the form of many birdie opportunities.