Team Play? Focus On Yourself


Team play is a rare event and there are only a few instances when this actually happens – Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, Solheim Cup, and Legends of Golf. Since team play is not the norm for golf, these events typically occur at the end of a long season. The professionals have all season to see each other and learn who’s game pairs best with each other.

For most of you, the most common team event occurs during your academic years (high school and college), or in the form of league play at your local golf course. In this case, the team is responsible for winning or losing – not the individual. However, for a team to win there is an individual responsibility that you cannot avoid.

One of the biggest downfalls of the team stroke play format is playing the opponent. In an effort to help your team, you try to keep up with one of the members on the opposing side. This is a bad strategy!

Don’t let your playing partner dictate your game. Keep control of your emotions. Keep plodding along and sticking to your strategy. So, the single biggest thing you can focus on is your score, since your score counts toward the team goal. Playing your opponent can distract you from the original task – playing your shot the very best you can. It doesn’t matter what your opponent is doing because you can’t control that.

Remember, the only thing you can control is what you do.  Play each shot to the best of your ability – this is the best way to help out any team!

However, if you’re playing match play, check out this prior tip on how to prepare for match play.


Looking for expert knowledge? Reach out to our PGA Professionals! They’re waiting for you, and it’s free! What are you waiting for?

Learn from the best with our most popular tips:

Alan Unruh

Alan Unruh is a Class “A” member of the PGA of America, and holds PGA Certifications in General Management, Golf Operations and Player Development. With these certifications, he is among the 1% of PGA members that hold multiple PGA Certifications. He has a profound passion for the game of golf along with extensive experience and knowledge regarding planning and strategy for golf operations, rules of golf, tournament operations and golf swing fundamentals. Alan has also played a crucial role helping manage multiple high profile tournaments throughout his career including the USGA Women’s U.S. Open, PGA and LPGA Tour events, and multiple NCAA and AJGA events.