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How do you play aggressive golf

How Do You Play Aggressive Golf?

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How do you play aggressive golf without costing yourself shot after shot? Calculated risks. An aggressive shot is usually the one that has a low likelihood of succeeding, but you give yourself a chance for an easy next shot to score well. So when to play aggressive golf and when not?


Aggressive golf—What’s stupid and what’s not?

When I talk about stupid golf, I mean trying to cut corners, not planning for misses, and trying to hit shots you just don’t have in your bag. These all seem aggressive, but are disasters waiting to happen. The shots I talk about below are what you can confidently tell someone if they ask how do you play aggressive golf.


Club selection

On a deep green, the smart play is to hit a club that reaches the green, but will not leave you a downhill putt that can get away from you. When you want to play aggressively, you take an extra club. This added distance creates the possibility of going over the green, but gives you a fighting chance of hitting it close to the pin.


Using driver when the landing area is smaller

When there’s too tight of a landing area because of a narrow fairway surrounded by rough, a driver might stay in the bag. When you’re in need of a big hole, the driver comes out. This is an aggressive play where the miss will not hurt you.

If the tight fairway is protected by water or out of bounds, that’s when the driver has to stay in the bag since it would be a reckless play. It always comes down to risk management and golf strategy.


Playing aggressive golf with "Pin seeking"

Relying on 40-foot birdie putts is not the answer to picking up a stroke on the field or your opponent. Giving yourself 4 feet to the flag is.

When you want to play aggressively, you need to abandon conservative approach shots and accept that you will hit out of some bunkers and leave yourself difficult chips. When it works out, you put pressure on others to match your shot and positioning. When you miss, you still have the opportunity to hit a short shot tight and go up and down for your par.

The tighter landing areas will make you chip more frequently, but will cut down on your putts. Some of this is because you’ll hit more shots from off the green. The rest is because you’ll have less ground to cover with your putts.

Don't go too aggressive on the pins if you see that the green is very tricky and the up and down would be almost impossible. Always try to put risk management first...


How do you play aggressive golf on the greens?

Don’t be scared of a 3-foot putt coming the other way. Don’t let a 3-footer break. When you can confidently step up and make a short putt, every other thing becomes easier. The aggressive play on the green is not to be scared. While cozying a putt up close the hole is good, making it inspires you and helps with confidence.


Shaping the ball instead of using your natural ball shape

There’s plenty of shots off the tee and into the greens that are made easier by cutting or drawing the ball. Only issue is, a typical ball flight only goes one way—that’s why it’s typical. Most amateur golfers know how to shape the ball, but struggle with execution.

If you’re feeling confident, working the ball following the shape of the hole is the aggressive play. This is of course all dependent on extremity. Shaping the ball 10 yards is one thing, trying to make a 90-degree turn with a shot is something else.


How to handle an aggressive round while playing with a partner

If you’re playing in a partner tournament and they’re in a great position, feel free to play with reckless abandon. They’re your safety net and your aggressive play is allowed to border on stupid.

Still though, you still need to be friends with your partner at the end of the round. Don’t go too far with it and remember someone needs to be in good position first.



Try mentioned aggressive plays on the course before using it in the tournament. You will see for yourself what suits you and what not. Also take into account that aggressive play is good for easier holes but not so reliable when you play a tough hole or even a tough course.

Do you practice any other aggressive play that works for you? Drop me an email, let me know and I'll be more than glad to include it in the article.


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