5 simple strategies to win your weekend fourball match

September 8, 2019

If, like most golfers, you’re looking for some last-minute preparation ahead of a big weekend money match, look no further than the 15th hole at Medinah CC (par 4, 390 yards). This legendary Chicago venue played a pivotal role in the 2012 Ryder Cup, and can teach you and your partner a thing or two—five things, actually—about match-play strategy when a heated fourball match (two vs. two) is on the line.

  1. If your team consists of one “Steady Eddie” and one “Wild Card,” let the Wild Card tee off first. He or she—as they’re prone to do anyway—can swing freely and aggressively. Their result dictates whether the more reliable No. 2 should play conservatively (a Wild Card miss) or similarly swing for the fences.
  2. Continually run “pressure tests.” For any decision, ask yourself what play will put you and your partner under the least stress while maximizing the pressure on your opponent.
  3. Make aggressive swings at conservative targets.
  4. Don’t apologize! You’re bound to hit a few clunkers. No need to beat yourself up or feel like you’ve let your partner down by constantly saying “I’m sorry.” One way to tackle this: Apologize pre-round, get it out of the way, then try your best.
  5. Putt like you mean it. One of the most common match-play mistakes that golfers make is clobbering putts when they have a “free look” at the hole. Sure, you can’t make it if the ball doesn’t get all the way to the cup, but you can’t make it if it goes past the hole, either!