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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Danny Balin's Recipe For Winning Tournament Golf

Want to play like a winner? You'd be hard pressed to find someone better to emulate than Danny Balin, assistant pro at Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, and winner of the 2011 Lincoln Met PGA Championship. Balin was one of several panelists at this spring's Met PGA Best Practices Forum who had excellent advice for those of us who want to score better in tournament play--or anytime.

"During your practice rounds, spend 80% of your time on chipping and putting and 20% on everything else," Balin recommends. When it comes to putting, he suggest using a chalk line to help train your eyes and a tee gate made just wide enough for your putter to fit through to groove your stroke. He also only practices straight putts since playing a break starts by rolling the ball straight on the proper line. Finally, he reminds us to train our eyes to see the ball go into the hole. "Do your eyes focus on one target, or flit around?" he asks.

When it comes to course management, Balin says, "Par is a great score." He believes a big part of the mental game is understanding that fact and knowing when (and when NOT) to go pin hunting, be too aggressive, be too conservative. To help your mental game, Balin recommends reading books--not just about golf--dealing with training athletes' minds. One he favors is Mind Gym by Gary Mack.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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