|It's Open Championship Week |
It is time for the Open Championship and golf as it was originally designed. Links golf offers up a different challenge every day on the same golf course. Being exposed to the wind, with tough rough and hidden bunkers that litter the fairways, a round really does become a game of chess. Unless, of course, you were the wondrous Seve Ballesteros who turned Royal Lytham & St Annes GC and the Open Championship into a magic show in 1979.
In that event, he announced himself to the world with a spectacular array of manufactured shots, often from parts of the golf course the designers had never anticipated golfers playing from. The most famous of those being from a car park, way off of the 16th fairway.
Seve was a wonderful golfer who was recognized for an incredible short-game and the skill to think about, invent and then play golf shots that had never previously been invented.
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That is why Tiger Woods has such a good record in the Open Championship. His ability to think his way around a golf course and then to be able to pull off miraculous escapes when he inevitably finds trouble is underrated.
In some respects, golf courses and golf equipment have made the game much, much easier for the top Professionals. The U.S. Open brings them up short through a combination of length and very narrow, hard to hold fairways. The Open Championship, when the sun shines, offers relaxation and fun, with the occasional forgotten bunker. But then the wind blows.
If you are watching this weekend, focus on the course management used by the best players and their approach to recovery when they are in trouble. Then think about your last round. Reconsider the decisions you made when you found trouble.
If you would like some professional advice on the course, on what shots to play in different circumstances, click here and book a playing lesson today.