The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT

Offense or Defense

When it comes to winning championships, you hear coaches refer to their game plan as an offensive or defensive plan.  You will hear, defense wins championships, offense can lose them. Coach Belichick of the New England Patriots tells his  players “do your jobs.” If the team goes out every day with the mentality of doing their job to the best of their abilities the results of the game will take care of itself.  Win or lose, Belichick says “if we did our best and lost, we got beat by a team that executed better than we did.”  One thing I like about listening to a successful coach is his/her ability to summarize a situation or game.  While playing defensively refers to playing not to make mistakes, great coaches know when their players are playing defensively because they didn’t prepare.  In a team sport, this can be easily covered up by another teammate.  
In golf, it is not so easy to cover up.  “I played aggressively today.  I wanted to attack every hole because I felt so good about my game plan, I could confidently play the shots I wanted to. I felt prepared.  After the second hole, I was in the zone. I knew what was going to happen, I felt like I couldn’t miss.”  
“I played so defensively today, I didn’t get enough reps in on this course, I felt I couldn’t find the lines off the tee, I didn’t have my speeds down on the greens, I played defensively, and couldn’t get anything going, not acceptable if I want to contend out here.”  Tiger Woods explained his lack of preparation after a round at PGA Championship when he was coming back from one of his back surgeries, he did not do his prep work. Notice he didn’t blame anyone or anything else, he took responsibility.
If you want to play great golf, the takeaway is: be prepared.  Having a plan to play great golf makes it easier to play offensively or aggressively.  Avoid playing defense on the course unless you are aggressively playing defensively or conservatively, meaning, you have considered the consequences of taking a risk but feel confident that it will pay off.  This has a higher probability of paying off versus taking the risk but not sure of the consequences, which leads to a defensive swing and often missed shot that ends up costing multiple shots.   We have all learned this lesson, by not being prepared, we play a shot that is defensive due to lack of preparation and botch it, walking off the hole with a big number!  
As you are preparing for your summer of “big” rounds or tournaments, remember, preparation is the key. Know your skills and your abilities to pull off the game plan you have come up with.  If you are struggling to understand your skill vs challenge, come see us at The Golf Performance Center for your PDI Assessment (player development index), or see a PGA Professional near you that can assess your skills and help you create a better plan for success.  
Enjoy Your Journey!

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