5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This Weekend

How watching the pros can improve your game

5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This Weekend
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's always a free lesson to be had when sitting down and watching the pros - here are five for starters...

5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This weekend!

The beauty of sitting down on the sofa all weekend to watch Rory and co go about their business, is that you can pick up a few free tips.

Yes, it's that simple: you can actually get better at golf by simply watching it on television.

Here are 5 things you can learn from watching the golf this weekend.

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1 Know Where To Miss

5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This Weekend

You can save a lot of shots by working out the best places to miss [ Getty Images]
(Image credit: Getty Images])

If you know where to miss, you have a better chance of keeping big numbers off the card.

You might not have a caddie to help you plot your way round the course, but you do have your course planner.

Pros will often highlight the absolute no go spots, such as water hazards, pot bunkers, ditches, or areas where they could end up short-sided.

It's not about aiming for those areas; rather it's knowing where you might have room for manoeuvre, and where's 'deadsville'.

It comes under the umbrella of good course strategy - which is another area where Tour pros tend to excel.

Related: 7 Mistakes Great Golfers Don't Make

2 Putting: "Never Up, Never In"

5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This Weekend

The pros give their putts a chance [ Getty Images]
(Image credit: Getty Images])

Ask a Tour pro to list the most common errors they see amateurs make during pro-ams, and leaving putts short will definitely feature.

If there's one thing that bugs tour pros on the greens - other than three putts - it's leaving putts short.

As the saying goes, "never up, never in".

Make a note of how many putts you see left short from from inside 10 feet this weekend - it won't be many.

Pay particular attention to the rhythm of the stroke, and you might pick up a few extra putting tips.

3 Temperament

5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This Weekend

Cool, calm and collected: the world's number one golfer, Dustin Johnson [ Getty Images]
(Image credit: Getty Images])

Tour pros don't get angry. Ok, they do, but club throwing, swearing and digging up tee boxes are rare... usually.

If you have a tendency to lose your temper, or even just let your shoulders drop after a bad shot, watch how the pros carry themselves. In fact, spend an hour or two observing Dustin Johnson when he's coming down the stretch.

With the world number one, you wouldn't know whether he was on for a 76 or a 66 - and that cool demeanour is one of his greatest assets.

As Ben Hogan once said, "The most important shot in golf is the next one."

If you're giving yourself grief for a missing a three-footer on the last, it's unlikely to help you focus on the next drive.

4 Pre Shot Routine

Lydia Ko

A pre shot routine can help your focus and steer the mind away from any negative thoughts [ Getty Images]
(Image credit: Getty Images])

Lots of club golfers will just pull a club from the bag, have a practice swing or two and then pull the trigger.

Watch the Tour pros and you'll see that they all have their own, very deliberate pre shot routines - it lays the groundwork for a well-executed shot.

Often, they'll pick a target in the distance; some rehearse different parts of the swing, others have a very specific way of lining themselves up at address.

There's no right or wrong pre shot routine - they all have their own idiosyncrasies. What's important is that you have one.

5 Bunker Play

Ernie Els

Tour professionals consistently enter sand at the same point, ideally an inch-and-a-half to two inches behind the ball [ Getty Images]
(Image credit: Getty Images])

It's easy to watch the golf and obsess over long driving, especially if Bryson DeChambeau is dominating the coverage.

As useful as a slow motion swing analysis can be, many club golfers would benefit more from studying the pros' greenside bunker techniques.

Watch how the pros accelerate in the downswing by turning the body towards the target.

The professionals release the clubhead forward in the downswing fairly early, so they're not holding on to the handle or trying to get the shaft leaning forward.

Related: Basic Bunker Technique Explained

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