Watch and Learn from the Best

by Brandi Jackson

As a junior golfer you can always learn something from other players, especially ones who have reached a level that you are aiming to reach. This past week was a great example of learning from the best, and you could have done it all from the comfort of your own home. If you are a young female golfer and you didn’t catch any of the Solheim Cup, you really missed a huge opportunity to learn and get inspired. I know it had me glued to the TV all weekend, especially Sunday morning as the US team mounted one of the biggest come backs in golf history. It was so exciting to watch it all unfold. Having had the honor to play with most of the girls from the US team and several of the Europe team members, I enjoyed every minute of watching them battle it out for their country and work together as a team.

If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, make sure you check out some of the highlights from the LPGA.com site, especially the media conference after play ended with the American team. Click Here To Watch. Watch it till the end where Gerina talks about the pressure of making the putt that kept the team alive and how her coach tells her to say the words “be great” on every shot. Such simple but impactful words.

Just a few of the ways you can learn from watching the tour players on TV:

  • Watch how they go through their decision making process and pre-shot routine. You will hear them assess the situation, pick a club and pick a specific target
  • Listen to the commentators when they say what clubs the players choose to hit around the greens and really watch how they play the shots
  • Watch how they handle bad breaks and bad shots
  • Watch their attitude and demeanor. You rarely see them let bad shots carry over and see them get down on themselves
  • Watch what they eat and how often. All tour players will tell you the importance of nutrition and eating on the golf course to fuel their bodies. You rarely see them drink Gatorade or eat anything with lots of sugar
  • Watch their etiquette and pay attention to the small things they do—they say thank you to volunteers, they ALWAYS fix their ball mark, they are courteous to other players (maybe not in the heat of the battle of the Solheim Cup apparently), they are aware of pace of play and they smile

Another great way you can learn from better players is to go watch a collegiate tournament that is close to home. Checkout www.golfstat.com, www.golfweek.com, and www.birdiefire.com to learn what tournaments are in your area, or an event you could travel to and watch some of your top schools play. This is a great opportunity to not only watch the players but also the coach.

  • Watch how the players interact with each other
  • Watch how the player listens to the coach and interacts with one another
  • If this is the coach of a school you are interested in then you need to really pay attention to their coaching style during a tournament
  • Watch how the players warm up and what they do after the round.

You can really learn a lot from players who are out there doing what you are working every day to accomplish. Some of the best players in the world will tell you they grew up watching the players out on tour and tried to learn all they could from them. Tiger always talked about watching Nicklaus and Palmer and studying what they did on the course. You need to learn more about the sport you are playing and truly embrace all that it means. And you need to do all that you can to learn from players who have been there and done what it is that you are trying to achieve.

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