The straightforward approach driving one of golf’s rising stars
One of the golfers whose finest days always appear to be just around the corner is Patrick Rodgers. Since graduating from the Korn Ferry Tour in 2015, the former No. 1 amateur in the world, who won 11 times while attending Stanford University, has been a regular on the PGA Tour.
Rodgers, who placed 86th in the FedEx Cup points race, claimed that he and his coach, Jeff Smith, who was named Golf Digest’s Best in State, “had a good discussion after the playoffs and figured out where we needed to go better, where I’m falling short of the great players.” Week after week, we put that playing into practice, and the course is noticing it.
Rodgers has recorded four consecutive top-30 finishes, including a T-3 in Bermuda. He claims that the key to his recent changes was a new tee-shot strategy that the rest of us may take a lot of inspiration from.
Rule #1: Only make an assault from the fairway
Rodgers claimed that after giving his performance a thorough examination, he focused on their long game. Specifically, the capacity to place the ball in play off the tee far enough to allow a chance to attack the pin.
The world’s top golfers, he claims, “are fantastic from tee to green.” The way that players like J.T. [Justin Thomas], Collin Morikawa, and Jon Rahm hit their approach shots and are able to attack from the fairway is a tremendous strength in their games.
He emphasised the value of hitting fairways, which shouldn’t be disregarded for a longer hitter like Rodgers. Recently, he has adopted a strategy that puts safety in play off the tee as a top priority before moving on to the pins. According to Rodgers, attacking the pin after you miss the fairway is a waste of time.
The tee shot is where it all begins, he explains. I was deliberate in my approach shots, but I seized the chance to attack when it presented itself.
Rule #2: Play defence when you’re in the rough
When do you miss the fairway, though? Rodgers thinks it will put your restraint and patience to the test. Driving your ball into the rough firmly closes the door to attacking the pin if being in the fairway opens it.
He describes his approach this week as “if you’re in the rough even a few steps off the fairway, you’re on defence.” I enjoy the strategic challenge, I believe playing is enjoyable for all ability levels, and it has proven to be durable for us.
While Houston’s rough is undoubtedly more punishing this week, it’s a straightforward strategy that would benefit the rest of us much. Off the tee, concentrate on getting your ball in play; once it is on the fairway, only then should you think about pursuing the pin. a little rough? Accept your defeat, reposition yourself, and carry on.