LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- Practice might make perfect, but according to India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, practice rounds do not.
Singh, whose four European Tour wins include last week’s Scottish Open, played just six holes at Royal Lytham in preparation for this week’s British Open despite having never seen the course.
And that’s six more holes than he usually plays in the run-up to a tournament.
“I like to play a golf course blind,” Singh said after posting a first-round 70 on Thursday. “That's a big gamble, but I like doing it.”
“If you play a lot of practice rounds, you see a lot of trouble,” he explained. “So you might as well not see it. You might as well just tee it up straight and see the good and go for it. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn't.”
Somewhere, Dave Pelz is cringing.
The strategy mostly worked for Singh as he tacked his way around Royal Lytham on a calm, overcast morning, relying heavily on directives from his caddie, Janet Squire.
“I just ask her where to go and just look at the yardage book and fire away,” Singh said.
Singh was two under through 12 holes until a 3-wood into the rough at the 355-yard par-4 13th led to a double bogey. If he'd had a better feel for the hole, Singh admitted, he would have hit driver off the tee.
“Maybe a few holes I would have been more aggressive on because I'm an aggressive player,” Singh said. “But that's fine. I've learned from today.”
Call it a Thursday practice round.
(Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)