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Any matchplay tips?


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It's the BIG ONE this evening, last 8 of our matchplay and need to see how you guys use your extra shots where you have em. Playing a 4 hdcp which gives me 5 shots to play with. Question is, how should you use the extra shot shere you have it? Last time out I had 3 shots but each hole where I had the shot I halved the hole but only cause I scuffed/duffed an easy approach shot cause I was thinking "Well I have an extra shot here so I'm going to do this or that" and ended up doing nothing lol.
Do you go for a short safe one off the tee, or save the shot for the green to take the pressure off there cause last game I won it on the other 15 holes where I had no shot on him.
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I would play the 4 holes exactly the same as the other 14. Your off nine so theres a good chance you will make par, meaning he needs a birdie to beat you on those four holes. I say let him take the chances, make him make the errors.
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Make sure you use your shot holes, keep the ball in play and hit the ball around the green in regulation there is no point smacking the ball OB and wasting a shot.

Remember to keep your head down and never let your opponent know how you feel, always come across as confident and in a way cocky.

Also remember that a handicap of four is not that good, and there is a reason the player is off four and not scratch, four is a very very very beatable handicap, do not be intimidated.
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always come across as confident and in a way cocky.

Also remember that a handicap of four is not that good

Not too sure about that…..lots of 4's I play with are fantastic sticks. Beatable……...sure, a slouch………..doubtful. Plus, a cocky attitude is anything but intimidating.

I'll echo the sentiments above, play smart and capitalize on the holes you get strokes. Set a goal for each hole on what you think it will take to win, if you are in trouble then it is time to be aggressive. Good luck! Nothing like match play IMO.
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Not too sure about that…..lots of 4's I play with are fantastic sticks. Beatable……...sure, a slouch………..doubtful. Plus, a cocky attitude is anything but intimidating.

See your wrong in my opinion, matchplay is about attitude, if you find yourself thinking, "omg he is off four, how on earth am I going to beat him" your doomed from the start, I feel that I could take almost anyone on my day, and in scratch matches rarely even ask my opponents handicap.

Being able to remain positive and self confident and bounce back after a few bad holes will do wonders for your own game and will probably surprise your opponent. There are a lot of games you can play with your opponents, especially if they are hot headed, do not fall in to this trap yourself however.
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yea, this guy just posted a 2 over par round at the wknd so he's no wknd hacker, hopefully he peaked on Sat afternoon :)

See this what I mean, you have fallen in to the trap of thinking.... ohh he is really good, ignore every score he has ever shot, ignore his handicap and play the golfer that turns up on the day.

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Hope I'm not too late and you're not already out practicing!

Three steps to golf heaven;

1. Learn to live with your self and your emotions.
2. Learn to play with your environment - with it, not against it. Take joy in the challenge when conditions are tough.
3. Only when you have mastered steps one and two should you pay attention to your opponent.

Most people don't get beyond stage one and very, very few get beyond stage two. So just go out and enjoy it.

As Kenny Rogers once said

You got to know when to hold them
Know when to fold them
There's be plenty of time for countin'
When the dealin's done.

(The Dealer)

There's another bit but I've forgotten it for the moment!!
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See your wrong in my opinion, matchplay is about attitude, if you find yourself thinking, "omg he is off four, how on earth am I going to beat him" your doomed from the start,

I could give two s**ts what my opponent plays to, I never have and never will. Golf is a game of integrity not psychological warfare. Guess thats what I learned form playing this game for over 30 years.

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I could give two s**ts what my opponent plays to, I never have and never will. Golf is a game of integrity not psychological warfare.

Well, regardless of whether one condones playing head games with one's opponent, I think in match play you really do need to be aware of which holes you're giving or recieving strokes on, in order to make the appropriate decisions on whether to play that hole aggressively or conservatively. That applies even with equal handicaps - if your opponent is in trouble and is probably going to bogie, you can play for par instead of birdie. Similarly, when you're giving/receiving strokes on the hole, your opponent is already laying one stroke less/more than you even before the tee shot - again, you should plan your strategy for the hole accordingly.

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Make sure you use your shot holes, keep the ball in play and hit the ball around the green in regulation there is no point smacking the ball OB and wasting a shot.

I hope you meant keep your head down when you're swinging the club...keep your head up if you want to come across as confident!

I could give two s**ts what my opponent plays to, I never have and never will. Golf is a game of integrity not psychological warfare. Guess thats what I learned form playing this game for over 30 years.

I'm gonna have to agree with you on the integrity part, but disagree with you on the psychological part. Make him hole out EVERY TIME!!! I don't care if the ball looks like its just on the cusp of falling into a black hole. Make him earn it...every single time!

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I could give two s**ts what my opponent plays to, I never have and never will. Golf is a game of integrity not psychological warfare. Guess thats what I learned form playing this game for over 30 years.

I completely agree. People overthink matchplay, concerning themselves with head games, concession tactics, and the like. Matchplay, like strokeplay, is golf: the game doesn't change. Don't worry about your opponent; people get so caught up in "I have to make this 15-footer to tie" that they hit a horrible putt well off-line and 10 feet by the cup.

When I play seriously (i.e. by myself), I never carry a card; although I know exactly where I stand (can't help that... damn left-brained mind!), I'm assuming the mentality of, "Let's just play and add them up in the end." Obviously, you can't completely have that mentality in matchplay, but IMO you want to be as close to that as possible. Just play the course, not your opponent, and see how the cookie crumbles.
I'm gonna have to agree with you on the integrity part, but disagree with you on the psychological part. Make him hole out EVERY TIME!!! I don't care if the ball looks like its just on the cusp of falling into a black hole. Make him earn it...every single time!

Good advice. This way, you won't get into a negative mindset on the next tee about not giving a tap-in or giving a 4-footer. Don't give, and don't expect in return.

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See this what I mean, you have fallen in to the trap of thinking.... ohh he is really good, ignore every score he has ever shot, ignore his handicap and play the golfer that turns up on the day.

There is a fone line between confidence and cockiness. You can't just hand yourself the match before it even starts. The biggest thing you can do is ignore "how" he is playing the course, yet focus on "how many". By that i mean you can't focus on his game plan and try to match him, but you still have to know what he is lying etc. etc. I'm sure youve heard this once and im gonna say it again.

PLAY YOUR OWN GAME!! and good luck
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I could give two s**ts what my opponent plays to, I never have and never will. Golf is a game of integrity not psychological warfare. Guess thats what I learned form playing this game for over 30 years.

I have learned from annoyingly competitive junior golf, maybe we come from different golfing era's, don't get me wrong I am the most polite and well mannered person on the golf course, but I want to win and will do what ever is fair to achieve this.

Well, regardless of whether one condones playing head games with one's opponent, I think in match play you really do need to be aware of which holes you're giving or recieving strokes on, in order to make the appropriate decisions on whether to play that hole aggressively or conservatively. That applies even with equal handicaps - if your opponent is in trouble and is probably going to bogie, you can play for par instead of birdie. Similarly, when you're giving/receiving strokes on the hole, your opponent is already laying one stroke less/more than you even before the tee shot - again, you should plan your strategy for the hole accordingly.

Agreed, your game plan for the course has to be flexible depending on what your opponent is doing, however regardless of your opponent you should always maintain a certain amount of 'shot aggresiveness' for every shot, the moment you start playing ultra safe in matchplay is the moment your opponent stiffs it from the long rough to 5 foot.

I hope you meant keep your head down when you're swinging the club...keep your head up if you want to come across as confident!

Keep your head down is a figure of speech, sort of like keep yourself to yourself and don't draw undesirable attention to yourself, go about your own business to win.

Come across as a very self confident golfer but never ever rub it in someones face or come across as arrogant, hence the 'keep your head down' comment.
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It's the BIG ONE this evening, last 8 of our matchplay and need to see how you guys use your extra shots where you have em. Playing a 4 hdcp which gives me 5 shots to play with. Question is, how should you use the extra shot shere you have it? Last time out I had 3 shots but each hole where I had the shot I halved the hole but only cause I scuffed/duffed an easy approach shot cause I was thinking "Well I have an extra shot here so I'm going to do this or that" and ended up doing nothing lol.

So...how did you do?

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the most important thing is to limit your mistakes and capitalise his. If you can hit greens in reg then the pressure is on him to fire at the flags to beat you. It may sound simple but if you are playing first go for the middle of the greens then at most you have got 30 foot in matchplay which are holeable.
It is also important not to let your opponent get into your head keep in your zone and do not focus on him, hit the same shot you would normally if he's close. Find a comfort zone and do not allow him to get you out of it, if that happens you will rock him from his zone
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was 1 up at 15th but he nailed 2 300 yrdrs on the next 2 tee boxes and left me for dust. A real Padraig Harrington job. I did better on my "shot" holes this time out so was happy with that. Lesson learned is that you gotta sink them 5 footers when you get the chance and show no mercy but I couldn't get them down. .... There's always next year :)
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