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While playing a first round on a new course I always try to hit the middle of the greens

Nanna Koerstz Madsen

Golf as a Team

Playing golf at the highest level takes much more than natural talent alone. Meticulous preparation and a reliable caddie by your side can make all the difference. The team of LPGA Tour player, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, and her caddie, Nicki Hasen, share the preparation that they put in before the first round of every tournament.

Nanna: When I play practice rounds on my own I only focus on the short game and the areas around the greens. If Nicki is with me, we talk a lot about strategy and how we want to play the course when the tournament starts. He tells me what he thinks is best and I have to see what I like best in certain situations. When Nicki thinks a driver might be the best club for a tee shot but I feel like a 3-wood would work better, we discuss it.

Nicki: In preparation for a tournament I look at the course from a statistical point of view. I'll check the yardages and how far it is from hazard to hazard. That gives me an idea which club might make sense, but I always ask Nanna what she is feeling and what shot might be comfortable for her. If I'm thinking driver but she is not feeling it we definitely back out.

Choose your tactics


Nanna: I want to see the golf course and figure out the greens during practice. That`s why it does not bother me that much If I'm hitting the ball poorly during a practice round. I can always go to the range afterwards and work on my swing to get that positive feeling of clean strikes.

Nicki: There might be a specific drive on the course that is difficult and tight that you might see going down the middle instead of in the trees but the practice round is to figure out the course and the strategy. Ballstriking and technique can be fixed on the driving range.

Safety first


Nicki: My main focus during a practice round is on the approach shots and the greens. I'll walk around every green to check where the pin locations might be and on which we can be aggressive or where we need to hit it to the centre of the green. It's important to learn where the "no go areas” are that need to be avoided at all costs. When Nanna asks me on the course what her target area is, I know for certain where we need to hit it on every green.

Nanna: Before the first round, Nicki knows the course way better than I do because he has paid much more attention to the details during practice. I'm relying a lot on his knowledge when we enter a new event.

Focus on the greens


Nanna: During practice rounds I never pay attention to where the flag is on any green. While playing a first round on a new course I always try to hit the middle of the greens. As soon as we are on the green, I play a couple of practice putts towards areas where we think the pins might be during the tournament. If there is a tough pin position on a par-3 that might get used during the week, I try to hit my tee shot there during practice even if the flag is placed somewhere completely different that day just to see how the ball reacts on this specific section of the green.

Nicki: I use the aim-point method to check various slopes on the green during practice. When I spot a severe slope that might come into play later, Nanna tries one or two practice putts on that specific area. The same for with chips: we try to bump a six iron and a higher shot with a wedge from certain places to see which shots suits this particular spot the best.

Care about tomorrow


Nanna: I don't pay much attention to strategy during a round. That's Nicki's job. I try to get the right feel for my golf swing and he takes care of the rest. The less I have to think about while playing a tournament, the better.

Nicki: It`s good for Nanna to not even look at the possible dangers that lurk on every hole. She should only focus on where she wants to be. I will have the dangers in mind and tell her if she asks me. If not, we try to focus only on our target on the fairway or the green.

Teamwork


Nanna: Mostly I'm the more aggressive one. So if we differ completely about the strategy on one hole and what club to hit we discuss it briefly and normally Nicki lets me hit the aggressive shot. Only if it's completely insane he will let me know that he is 100% against that shot and I will reconsider.

Nicki: If there is a chance to hit a green on a Par 4 with the tee shot or go for a Par 5 in two, Nanna wants to try it. If I'm not convinced about her playing an aggressive shot, I'm listening to her voice. If I can sense that she's confident I'll let her do it even if I don't like it myself because she's obviously the better player between the two of us.
Golf as a Team

Nanna Koerstz Madsen


Nationality: Danish
Age: 25
Turned professional: 2015
Career wins:
  • 2013 A6 Ladies Open (Amateur)
  • 2016 Tipsport Golf masters (Ladies European Tour)
  • 2017 Symetra Classic (Symetra Tour)
  • 2017 Fuccillo Kia Championship (Symetra Tour)
  • 2017 Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic (Symetra Tour)
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