GLT Live from Alfred Dunhill Links - How to Practice Like the Pros
The difference between a professional golfer and an amateur golfer is our focus today as Team GLT is fortunate enough to be at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The Alfred Dunhill Links is one of the richest ones on the European tour. It is played in October, on three different courses centered at the home of golf – St Andrews. This is a unique format, meaning each professional will be paired with a celebrity; for example, Former AC Milan & Chelsea footballer Ruud Hulet is set to be paired with Tyrell Hatton the two-time defending champion.
The event also gives major winning golfer Brooks Koepka the opportunity to have his caddy as his partner for this week’s event.
The blend of amateur and professional golfers really gave team GLT the opportunity to spot some of the things that elite golfers do when preparing for a tournament round of golf as opposed to how amateur golfers prepare. Strikingly obvious is that a professional golfer does not play a practice round for a score. The practice round is all about gathering information and gathering as much knowledge as possible for tournament play.
After tee shots, professional golfers note wind location, how far the ball traveled and how much distance is left to the green. This information and more is recorded in the yardage book in preparation for the tournament play.
Secondly, professional golfers don't aim and fire to the pin on the green. Team GLT noticed a number of amateur golfers hitting shots towards the hole with the flag in; conversely, the professional golfer is discussing with his caddy where the pin has been in previous tournaments, where it's likely to be this week, and hit last section of the green.
When professionals are on the green, again, they don't putt to the hole. They put tees or white discs to represent the hole in different areas of the green, putt to where they think the hole is going to be in tournament play and gain information that will be useful during the tournament, rather than holing out and playing for score.
Click Below to listen to team GLT discuss coaching top players at the Alfred Dunhill Links
Amateur golfers beware: if you're ever fortunate enough to play an event like The Alfred Dunhill Links or Pebble Beach Pro-Am, do not play for score. Use your time in a practice round to hit tee shots, record how far they went, what it left you into the hole, where the wind was, etc., so you get information that can allow you to adapt on the day of tournament play. Do not hit to the flag. Hit to the parts of the green where you think the pin will be during tournament play, and don't hole out putts. Putt from all around the green where the pin could be located – again using this time to gather information to prepare you for tournament play.
The Professional golfers use the practice round at The Alfred Dunhill Championship to get mental representations of what they may face during tournament play. They do not play for score.