If you get the chance, please try and play golf on a links style course like Shinnecock Hills. You will be tested in every facet of your game. These courses are beautiful – especially those old courses like Shinnecock, where the natural beauty takes center stage.
But the thing I find when playing an open links style course is that you cannot control Mother Nature -the wind will play a big part in how you play your shots. You notice that the players who excel on these courses have a great short game AND a great imagination! You need to assess the lie, the wind and which way it is blowing, plus get a good visual of where you want the ball to land. Plenty of times you may have to land the ball short of the green and let it roll up. That’s what I love about these courses- every shot will be different and you have to allow mother nature to dictate your shots.
It’s very easy to have a bad hole that blows up your psyche for the rest of the round. Patience. Take one shot a time. Forget the bad and remember the good shots. But please go out and enjoy a nice links-style golf course. It will test your skills, but it will be worth it.
On a links-style course, before you go, practice:
- Chipping & pitching. A lot of ‘bump and run’ shots especially.
- Iron shots into the wind (take more club and make a shorter swing to keep ball under the wind)
- Practice your lag putting
- Practice a smooth tempo swing. Don’t try to overpower the wind. Keep it smooth.
- Practice Patience.
- Watch the US Open @ Shinnecock Hills and enjoy the beauty and enjoy the shot making!