4 Things to Look For When Watching Golf

We all know there's a difference between our armchair wisdom and demonstrating skills on the course. Still, it's important to learn how to watch golf so you can bring what you've studied to your next game. 

Knowing exactly what to look for when watching televised golf can give you valuable insights that prevent howlers on the course. Check out these tips to transform your Sunday afternoons into valuable research time when you're not practicing on the green. 

1. Seeing Safety
Being laser-focused on the pin is the worst thing an amateur golfer can do. It's like playing chess and throwing all your pieces straight at the opposing King - you're leaving yourself wide open for mistakes.

You can dramatically improve your golf game by observing where the pros look and aim as they cover the course. So often, it's the next shot that will get you where you want to be: this shot is all about giving yourself the best chance of making that shot safely.

See how they aim for safe, easy patches and don't necessarily prioritize distance. Any course presents a limited number of opportunities to get under par and a lot of opportunities to mess up a safe hole by trying to achieve too much. Pick your battles and look for the safe par as your primary goal - it's what the pros do all the time.

2. Bad Reactions
Golf is a cruel sport because it invites bad reactions to frustration. You've just made a howling error, and you've got a heavy metal stick in your hand. Think how a pro feels when they mess up a shot that could be costing them eye-watering dollar sums in prize earnings.

The most effective players process and then calculate. You'll see all your frustration flash over their face and body language after a bad shot. You'll then see them get calm and reassess.

It's a soft skill that can dramatically improve your score. Frustration leads to poor decision-making, and that's fatal in golf. Watch how they process their failures and move on.

3. Good Routines
Pre-shot routines are an integral part of the sport. They can be described in two types:
- Superstitious routines. These are “good luck” actions that might help players psychologically.
- Meditative routines. These take a player through an established series of thoughts that help them judge their next shot.superstition unless you're going to struggle without it. However, it's the meditative routine that pays dividends for the pros. You'll notice this when you watch them on TV.

A player might adjust midway through a meditative routine. This means that they're halfway through their regular checks, and they've noticed that something is wrong. A good routine isn't just a morale boost; it's a preventative measure against making the wrong move.

Watch to see when pros interrupt their usual routines and make an adjustment. Just because you don't want to be interrupted doesn't mean you shouldn't interrupt yourself - it's how the best save themselves from critical errors.

4. Choosing Shots
This sounds like rookie advice, but never just “hit the ball” - take a shot. A shot is a set maneuver. When you see the pros on TV, they never approach the ball intending to try something new. They'll try the most appropriate variation of a shot that they've performed thousands of times.

Learn your shots and note how many types a pro uses in a tournament. It's fewer than you'd think.

Bottom Line
Watching golf on TV gives you the perfect time to unwind while watching the pros at their finest, but it's also an excellent learning opportunity - make sure you're paying attention next time you're viewing to these four tips. We guarantee you will improve your own game just by taking a few notes.

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