We all love team golf! Whether you are playing with a partner against two other golfing buddies on the weekend, or part of a larger team playing in a Ryder Cup format event, team golf is a lot of fun. Just ask Brian Costa from the Wall Street Journal who recently wrote a great piece about team golf.
If you think about the 4-ball Champions at your club, the guys that always win the weekend Nassau, and even Ryder Cup teams, having a solid best ball golf partner makes all the difference. In my opinion, below are the three most important traits when picking your best ball golf partner:
1) Find a partner with an opposite on-course strategy
Depending on your playing ability and strengths/weaknesses on the course, having a partner that compliments your skills are crucial for you both to feel comfortable in a match. For example, I play well when I can be aggressive and take chances. If I have a solid, conservative partner that makes a lot of pars, he gives me the opportunity to cut corners and take risks to make birdies. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you are a solid, consistent ball striker, seek a partner that bombs the ball and can make a lot of birdies. Beware that the aggressive players is susceptible to making double bogies, but your contradictory styles can help for a great team!
2) Your best ball golf partner should make you laugh
If you and your golf partner cannot have fun on the course, you should not be partners. We all know there are a lot of tense moments on the course especially in a grueling match. When there is tension on the course, having a laugh, cracking a smile and helping one another relax is crucial. It really bothers me to see two golf partners who are too serious on the course and think being angry, not talking to anyone, and taking themselves too serious is enjoyable. Need some help with a laugh on the course? Check out this article about the best golf jokes.
3) Find the best putter you know
As the old saying goes, “Drive for show and Putt for Dough.” Ever play against an opponent in a best ball golf match who makes everything? As a competitor, golf matches are an emotional roller coaster and it is mentally draining if your competition makes every putt. We can all reflect on a match where we had a 7 foot birdie putt and thought we had the hole won since our competitor is in the woods. The hole ends with your competition making a miraculous shoot out of the woods followed by sinking a 40 foot putt for par. You proceed to miss your 7 footer and the momentum shifts toward team woods.
The next time you are selecting a golf partner, find the person who putts great! If you have a partner that dives the ball poorly, but can still make birdies and pars from the middle of nowhere, the emotional benefit against your playing opponents could be the “it factor” that helps you win the match.
Please let me know your thoughts on the advice above. Do you have a secret sauce for picking your best ball golf partner? Don’t have a golf partner, but want to compete in best ball tournaments? The City Tour has free agents looking for the right golf partner.
**Are you more of a scramble format golfer? Check out 5 traits to picking the best scramble golf partner.