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Test yourself against the best, or at least different, players
We're all, to a greater or lesser degree, creatures of habit and there's something comforting and reassuring about familiar routines - returning to the same golf course, taking a 7-iron on the 13th tee because we know that's the club - but occasionally we need to give ourselves a bit more of a challenge.

One of the best ways is to make a point of playing with new partners or companions. Not knowing someone often makes us concentrate more because we don't want to make a fool of ourselves in front of strangers. In addition, without realising it, you will have become used to the way your regular partners play a particular hole or course.

But if you're with someone new they might try an approach or strategy you hadn't previously considered, and which might work for you next time.

For the same reason, if possible, try and make sure that your companions for the day have lower handicaps than you because we can all learn something from better players.

©    14 - JANUARY 2003

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