"I like to play a golf course blind"
By mustang6560 on 7/19/12
Jeev Milkha Singh has an interesting golf idiosyncrasy - he doesn't like to play full practice rounds ahead of a tournament.
“I like to play a golf course blind,” Singh said after posting a first-round 70 on Thursday. “That's a big gamble, but I like doing it.”

“If you play a lot of practice rounds, you see a lot of trouble,” he explained. “So you might as well not see it. You might as well just tee it up straight and see the good and go for it. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn't.”
The Indian, who won the Scottish Open last week to earn a spot in the 141st Open Championship, opened with an even-par 70 in his first full round at Royal Lytham & St Annes, which is six strokes off of the lead.

It's not a strategy I would recommend for the average golfer, but hey, don't knock it until you try it, right?

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[ comments ]
birdieXris says:
otherwise known as "relying on your luck". I can see what he's saying about wanting to play a course cold, because sometimes i feel like i play a course better the first time i've ever played it. that being said, it's a mental thing and a professional golfer should know better and be a little more disciplined. Nice 70. You're 6 behind on the easiest day to play the course, bro.
mjaber says:
Every time I play a new course, I play it blind. Other than the course diagram on the scorecard, and the sign at the tee box (if there is one), I don't have any idea how the hole will play until I play it.
mustang6560 says:
@mjaber- But, if you were given the opportunity to play a practice round, would you? I would. No question.
homermania says:
Every time I play a new course, somewhere in the round I am inevitably thinking that a little course knowledge would go a long way in improving my score.
GBogey says:
Most of the time I find playing a new course costs 2-3 shots, even with a good yardage book/GPS. I'm with @Birdie that I find this approach unbelievable. I wonder if what he meant by blind is just not playing, as opposed to not walking the course to get a sense of the layout.
mjaber says:
@mustang... Depends on the situation. Playing blind may make you play safer than you would if you had some course knowledge. Not knowing where the hazards/bunkers are might cause you to make the safe/smart play instead of taking a more aggressive line. Some of my best rounds have been when I made the effort to play safe instead of playing aggressive. If playing a course blind does that, it's a good way to go.
tennesseeboy says:
Well, if his caddie knows the course and how to play it then I could see how this might give him some mental edge. Truly, playing a tournament blind is just stupid. You've got to know that there is water at 150 yards that you can't see.
Matt McGee says:
I'm with Homer on this one.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Singh's play-the-course-unseen confidence is noteworthy and admirable, but it is also foolish. The composer Hector Berlioz explained that it is not enough for an orchestra to prepare for a concert performance; the audience must also be informed or prepared for what they are about to hear.
SteveMM says:
It's one thing for a Sunday golfer to play a course blind and not care. It's another thing for a so-called professional whose career is on the line to do it. It seems outright stupid to me.
bkuehn1952 says:
@homermania hit the nail on the head.
jeremyheslop says:
I'm not so sure Faldo's advice to Luke doesn't apply here. "preparation and being meticulous" which means to me practice rounds. For amateurs though we have GPS and friggin lasers. Why do we need a practice round? lol
jeremyheslop says:
@Torleif Sorenson reminds my of the concert violinist who played in the subway. He makes millions per concert but made a few pennies with the hat on the ground. It's all about context. No relation to the OP but interesting non the less.
DougE says:
That's just dumb...or lazy. IMO, it's a part of his job to play a practice round. For me, it is usually an additional 3-4 strokes average when I play a new course with no idea where I'm going or what's in front of me. Of course, I'm not a touring pro. Hell, I've had a hard enough time finding the next tee box on a first time course.
Jbeck says:
I usually play a course better the second round than the first. this is just me but I learn where I can miss it and where I must avoid. JMO but I'm with Chris on this one, unless one of you buddies says lets play the tips at over 7,000 yards, than local knowledge goes right out the window. LOL HUH BirdieX ?
tartantoml says:
I have enjoyed courses without lasers, GPS or even a course map, but I didn't count strokes either. My agent, sponsors, dependants and bank account would not have been happy if it was a MAJOR?
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