Golfers can always learn something about the game by watching the players on the PGA Tour. Those of us who play for fun might never have the perfect swings of the professionals, but we can still pick up useful tips that will help improve our games.
We’re going to highlight some of those tips in a new feature at HowToGetBetterAtGolf.com called “Lessons from the PGA Tour.” Here is the video version.
We learned several things during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which was held Feb. 9-12 in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Lesson 1: Concentrate on your own game. Don’t get distracted by what anyone else is doing on the course.
Eventual winner Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods were paired together during the final round at Pebble Beach. As you might expect, the pairing got a lot of attention before and during the round.
On the par 3 12th hole, Woods hit his tee shot in a bunker. Mickelson missed the green and hit his chip about 30 feet past the hole.
Woods holed his bunker shot for a birdie, but Mickelson kept his focus and drained his par putt. He made birdie on the next two holes and went on to win the tournament by two strokes.
Lesson 2: Drive for show, but putt for dough. This old adage was evident in Mickelson’s final round, when he came from eight shots behind to win.
According to Mickelson’s stats (which are available here), his driving distance was 28 yard shorter in the fourth round than the third, but he gained more than 4.6 strokes on the field by making the 30-footer on the 12th and several other long putts.
Woods meanwhile outdrove Mickelson by an average of more than 30 yards in the round, but lost more than 4.2 strokes to the field by missing a number of short, makeable putts. (Woods’ stats can be found here.)
Lesson 3: Keep playing the entire round.
Mickelson was leading Charlie Wi by two strokes going into the final hole, a par 5. Mickelson, who was playing ahead of Wi, made a medium length birdie putt to increase his lead to three.
The putt seem insignificant when Wi had to lay-up in the fairway with his second shot. But his third shot nearly hit the flag. If Mickelson had missed his putt, Wi could have tied the tournament with that eagle.
You may never win a National Pro-am tournament, but you’ll play better if you concentrate on your game, practice putting and keep playing until the last putt falls in the hole.
For a little comic relief, here’s an outtake from our Lessons Learned video. Enjoy.