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Know When It Pays To Play Aggressively

How do I become more aggressive without sacrificing the game I’ve already created?

By Roger GunnPublished: July, 2007

Patient: Male
Age: 37
Current Handicap: 11
Lowest handicap: 7
Plays: Twice a month
Practices: Once a week

Ailment: There is nothing flashy about my game. I’m painfully average and my scores have shown it. This year, I’ve tried being more aggressive and got a new driver. I’ve also started firing at flags and tried to get every putt to the hole. This has led to more offline drives, difficult recovery shots, more three-putts and higher scores. How do I become more aggressive without sacrificing the game I’ve already created?

Prescription: Being aggressive might result in lower scores for top players, but others need to pick their spots.If you’re inside 130 yards to the green, fire at the pin, but if you’re farther out, play to the fat part of the putting surface. Make sure your driver fits your swing so you can drive the ball farther without hitting it harder. And get in the habit of lagging the ball as close to the hole as possible on long putts.

Play to your strengths and spend most of your practice time on the scoring shots from 130 yards and closer.

- John Mason, director of golf, Encinitas Ranch Golf Course