Download Hole19 to start lowering your scores

5 Lessons We Learned from the 104th PGA Championship

Congratulations to the 104th PGA Champion, Justin Thomas, who won a dramatic second major title after an utterly compelling playoff tussle with his young compatriot Will Zalatoris.

While watching the second major of 2022 unfold, we were keeping an eye out for some of the lessons we could draw upon to improve our own game and, just as importantly, to help our awesome community of Hole19 golfers.

Here are five we've come up with.

Never give up

On Saturday evening, Justin Thomas knew he would start his final round on Sunday 7 shots back and felt his chance of a second major title had gone. A pep talk from caddie Jim' Bones' Mackay proved just the tonic to get his head back in the game.

The theme of the chat was simple. Bones reminded the eventual champion that Southern Hills is a darn challenging golf course, and this was a major championship. Striving for perfect was a pointless exercise.

Now in a better frame of mind, JT went into Sunday with a positive mental attitude. He gathered momentum from every birdie putt he sank, and this grew further as he sensed nervousness in each of his less-experienced rivals.

By the time he holed his winning putt, it was clear that seven shots back, in fact, hadn't been a bridge too far.

For us amateur golfers, the message is clear. Throughout our 18 holes, something unexpected or unplanned will happen. We can start poorly or get a collection of bad breaks that have us checking whether it's Friday the 13th already.

No matter how your round is going, NEVER give up. There's always a score to be salvaged. And it's our reaction to adversity that defines us as golfers.

Willpower can take you far

Three rounds were all that Tiger Woods could manage around Southern Hills this past week, but it was clear from the way he walked the first few holes on Thursday that it would take a monumental effort for the 15-time major champion to make the weekend.

Astonishingly though, despite obvious pain and discomfort throughout the first 36 holes, and through displaying unbelievable levels of focus and willpower, he made the cut at +3.

Tiger's ability to make another major cut despite his body's continuous protest can teach us many things.

How we display willpower lies in our ability to force ourselves to do something that we don't emotionally feel like doing. Going to the range when it's rough out or refusing to let a period of poor play get in the way of our long-term golf goals, for example.

More than anything, though, Tiger has shown us that if we're feeling up against it amid a pretty poor round, we can still achieve with determination, grit, and self-control.

Don't let your focus slip

Mito Pereira stood on the 18th tee of his final round at Southern Hills with a one-shot lead. Probably only in his wildest dreams could he have imagined such a scenario.

The order of the day for Mito was swinging his swing and simply finding the fairway. What followed was a home-made swing with a slightly weird-looking follow-through, and he watched in horror as the ball found the water.

Needing a bogey to get into a playoff, he could manage only a double-bogey six.

Granted, this was the 72nd hole of a major championship and not particularly comparable to our weekend rounds, but what can we take from this?

It's all about managing our emotions when there's a lot at stake - whether that be the chance of a new low score, a handicap cut, or maybe even a possible medal victory.

If we can learn to remove ourselves from the moment and retain focus, we're more likely to hit the shot we want.

The next time you find yourself battling your emotions (good or bad), go through your usual pre-shot routine, take a few deep breaths, try and relax at address, and put as smooth a swing on the ball as possible.

Be flexible off the tee

During the many pre-tournament press conferences this week at the PGA Championship, several golfers highlighted the need to respect Southern Hills and keep it in the short grass from the tee.

Tiger Woods said as much on Tuesday when he explained that the course "still puts a premium on putting the ball in play." That led to many players sacrificing distance by going with irons, hybrids or 3/5 woods on the trickier holes.

If that's a tactic being employed by the world's best golfers, it's probably something we should each take heed of too.

The driver can be a significant weapon when used on carefully selected holes. If you're playing a tight course with particularly penal rough, you'll need to know when to show restraint and hit other golf clubs.

Before each round, particularly if you're teeing it up at a new track, use the Course Preview function of your Hole19 App to preview the course the night before. You'll get an overview of each hole - including distance arcs to key hazards and the green ahead - without needing to start a round. You can then formulate a plan of attack for each hole and arrive on the first tee with a winning strategy mapped out.

Play the right tees for you

Even the professionals struggled with some of the extra-long par 3s over the four days in Tulsa. If they can't handle it, we are confident amateurs won't either.

If you regularly play golf holes you struggle to reach in regulation, don't be too proud to consider whether you're playing from the wrong tees.

With the speed of play continuing to be a hot topic in golfing circles, as well as making the round more enjoyable for yourself, if you play off more manageable tees, you'll be helping to keep play moving at a reasonable pace for any group behind you.


Know more.
Score less.

The most complete mobile app for golfers.

Download Hole19