The Open Championship is the oldest and perhaps the most sought after Major. With 149 years of history we have witnessed some of golfs greatest moments from the British links event. When we hear of The Open we automatically think of iconic moments such as Tiger at St. Andrews, Jean Van De Velde at Carnoustie or in more recent times Tom Watson so nearly becoming the oldest winner of the Claret Jug at Turnberry. With so many incredible moments it’s hard to pinpoint one single memory as ‘your favourite’, however they have all taught us so many lessons to use on our own games.

Jean Van De Velde, 18th Hole At Carnoustie, 1999. Image from the Golf Channel

So what can we learn from The Open, that other events don’t necessarily teach us. Well, below are 3 key lessons we believe The Open can teach all amateur golfers, even if you don’t play on a links course!

  1. Lesson one is how to control the wind. The Open is renowned for it’s adverse weather conditions, and let’s be honest, no fan wants to watch the best battle it out over a calm course. We want wind, we want rain and we want to see Bryson DeChambeau hacking it out of the rough! Living in Britain, no golfer will be able to avoid the wind all the time. One poor habit we see with golfers, is they don’t appreciate what the wind is doing and how it will effect your shot. Let’s assume a 10mph wind (fairly weak) will effect the shot by one club! Meaning if you hit 7 iron 150 yards in calm conditions and now your 150 yards into a 10mph wind, your shot will require a club more, so a 6 iron. We see amateur golfers come up short far more often than any other miss because they don’t take this into account. Instead they hit It harder, then ball goes higher and of course, finishes short. Get to know your distances and pay attention to the wind! Always go a club more if you’re unsure.
  2. Putting from off the green. A huge weakness in many golfers games is green side chipping. Knowing what club to take, how hard to hit, where to land etc. Whilst you watch the Open this weekend, pay attention to how many golfers putt from off the green. A far easier shot to control and taking all the risks out of putting the ball in the air and then complaining about the ‘dodgy bounce’ you got. A good putt will almost always beat a good chip. With this you will need to improve your green reading. Do you appreciate how the contours will effect pace and direction?
  3. Be decisive! The guys on tour are the best because they make the best decisions to go along with their amazing ball striking. Their routines allow them to acknowledge the wind strength, where the best place to leave their golf ball, how a contour will effect the shot and so on. Without advocating slow play, encourage yourself to take an extra 10 seconds per shot, to ask yourself a couple extra questions. i.e. how will the wind effect this shot, am I on a flat lie or a slope etc. This will encourage you to make better decisions such as selecting the right club and improve your score.

Enjoy the weekends golf, comment below with who you think will win and let us know any other lessons you have learned from watching The Open.

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