How to Be a Good Golf Partner
As one of the few sports in which your result is determined entirely by your own performance, golf is unique and challenging. So, what happens when we throw other people into the mix? I’m talking, of course, about partnership golf.
When players play side by side, such as in the Zurich Classic, the dynamic is very different to playing a solo game. Often referred to as “ham & egg”, the partner format can be full of ups and downs. In this blog I’ll explain a bit more about how to play better when you are playing as part of a team, albeit a small one. Specifically, I’ll focus on how to be a golf golf partner.
A different way to play
There are a variety of formats when playing team golf. Alternate shot golf is, as the name implies, where 2 players each take alternating shots. It’s both entertaining and fun, especially when you play with a friend. Whether you are in a twosome, threesome or foursome, here are some ways you can use each other’s strengths in order to increase your chances of winning.
#1 Know your skills
If one of you is fabulous on the fairway and another is stellar with a short stick, it makes it obvious to decide who should hit that first tee shot. In golf, it’s rare that each partner will have the same level of skills so it’s important to play to your strengths and think strategically. Understanding each other’s strengths & weaknesses will increase trust and confidence for all players on the team.
In turn, this will increase excitement and make the game more enjoyable for all.
#2 Be flexible
When playing with others, it’s all too easy to become somewhat rigid in our game plan. In this situation we can actually do our team a disadvantage. If the game is going well, sure, stick to the plan… but if it’s not - don’t be afraid to change it up. Being flexible and open-minded is all part of being a great team player.
Don’t be that person who is so stubborn they can’t adapt as the game progresses.
#3 Support each other
When playing partnership golf, it’s essential to be supportive and avoid giving advice, unless you are asked. Play your shot to the best of your ability and allow your team mate(s) the opportunity to do the same, free from pressure or expectation.
Team golf is a great opportunity to play together and show solidarity. If your partner has a challenging moment, be there to encourage them. If they make a huge putt, give them a smile or a high five.
Positive vibes will lead to better results so remember to focus on the fun rather than the scores.
#4 Don’t apologise!
Golf is a difficult sport to play, we all know that. It’s why we love it! If you miss a putt or hit a bad shot, avoid the impulse to say sorry.
A simple concept but often this can be hard to follow through on. If you’ve tried your best and it doesn’t go your way, simply accept it and move on. Saying “I’m sorry” repeatedly is tiresome and demotivating. For you AND your teammates. Instead of apologising, try a positive statement instead and you’ll see a much better result.
Remember, the beauty of playing as a team is that you get to play together with your friends. We can all follow these simple tips, regardless of our skill level.
Feel free to share them with your partners before playing.