Tag Search: Decision Making
IT’S pretty rare to see anyone hit every green in regulation. But it’s a useful attitude to bring to the first tee. Bagging a ton of GIRs has as much to do with how you’re thinking, as how you’re swinging.
Most greens today are big. Play the correct tees, and it’s possible to hit every one with less-than-perfect approaches.
The key is mental discipline. At the end of a round, you should be able to say you had an exact yardage to the centre of the fat portion of each green. Even if your distance control isn’t that precise, the odds are in your favour when you make this extra effort.
Fire at flags only when the time is right. Be smarter and see the benefits. Continue Reading→
Most golfers think that course management is what you do to get out of deep trouble. It is more than that. Course management comes into play on every shot with some shots being more important than others.
A good mental game includes good course management. Efficient course management is your ability to play around the golf course the way it was designed by the architect, avoiding the trouble and placing each shot in the best position to hit the next shot. It requires you to plan and concentrate before every shot.
The golf course is set up so you will make hundreds of decisions. Course management is smart golf; thinking positively to avoid mistakes. The game of golf is about managing imperfection. Golf is about managing yourself around the golf course without letting your ego take over (Tin Cup experience).
When you change the way you see the world, your world changes. When you change the way you see the golf course you can see opportunities. You see the obstacles and make plans to avoid them.
Your course management depends upon a myriad of things including your skill level, your personality, course conditions and the pressure of the situation. It is important to have a strategy for playing each hole so you will be prepared ahead of time to handle the feelings that might arise to deter you.
You can be a genius at course management if you are confident with your wedges and putter. Then it won’t matter if you miss greens.
You have learned from experience how to manage your home golf course well because you know your plan. When you play a new course, you need to concentrate on creating the shots you want.
Golf is a game of manoeuvring the ball around the course and having fun doing it.
COURSE MANAGEMENT TIPS Continue Reading→
Every golfer has probably heard the terms “chip” and “pitch” before but sometimes the distinction about what differentiates those shots can be tough to figure out. Typically the answer relates to what happens with the ball during these shots, most notably whether it stays on the ground for the most part (chip) or flies through the air (pitch). What is similar about both shots, however, is that they are key to having a strong short game and often times both require short swings, something many golfers don’t practice enough.
Through my experience as an instructor, I have watched countless students have difficulty executing short swings on the course when they are called for, and the lack of understanding of how to execute such swings when it comes to the short game, especially as it relates to distance, leads to too many wasted shots. Here is a good, simple tool to use on distance control for your short game that we call the three-ball drill. Continue Reading→
One of the Most Costly Mental Mistakes in Golf is the Easiest to Eliminate. Here’s How…
Golf is a game that is played mostly from within, and for this reason, it is important to know when you are putting too much pressure on yourself to perform. Having too high expectations of yourself is one of the biggest causes of a loss of self confidence and not playing to your potential. But by simply re-framing your mind-set and being more disciplined in your approach, you can easily eliminate this pressure and play better, more enjoyable golf.
Expectation is a self-created pressure we need to eliminate if we want to become better golfers. It demands that we should play in a certain way, and if we don’t, something is wrong, leading to frustration and self-doubt. The general opinion is that expectation and confidence are one in the same thing. If we expect to win a tournament or expect to hit great golf shots, this will increase our confidence. But in fact the opposite is true. Confidence is how much self belief you have in executing a given shot, not trying to continually meet expectations.
Whether it be your performance relative to your pre-round driving range session, your playing partners or your last round, continuously measuring yourself will you make you frustrated and further remove you from the process needed to execute good golf shots. For example, let’s say your last round was one of your best and you are getting closer to becoming the player you always knew you could be. Then during your next round you find yourself quickly several shots over your new expectation (target) of yourself. Thoughts of “what am I doing wrong?” and “this is not how I know I can play!” will result and you will quickly find yourself becoming frustrated and losing focus over the ball.
The opposite can occur if we are playing better than our expectations. If we go into self-assessment mode and measure our performance vs our expectations, we will feel out of our comfort zone and the result is likely to be a quick retreat back to our usual level of play.
Success in golf is playing each and every shot as best you can. This sounds obvious, but your score is an aggregate of all these individual shots. We need to focus on the execution process of each individual shot (THE PRESENT), not the target of a good score (THE FUTURE). I like to tell my students to focus on the steps of their shot routine and make that their goal for the round instead of going out there to shoot their best score. As hard as it is to do, mark your score card, but don’t think about your running total. At the end of each hole write down the number of shots that you felt you successfully stuck to your routine. Total these numbers and make this your target for your next round. If you can make this a habit, I’ve no doubt you will start to see the results and get more enjoyment from the game whether you shoot your best score or not.
Believe that your ultimate success in the game relies on being “in the zone” for every shot and making the best decisions you can for the shot at hand. Your best golf will come when you are in the present moment for each shot and truly enjoying the experience of the game.
“Top PGA tour golfers like 2011 US Open and 2012 PGA golf champion Rory McIlroy have highly developed, highly specific and very high paying golf skills which help them to produce a consistently low competitive score average when they compete on one of the PGA or LPGA tours.”
In every golfers game there are three or possibly four golf skills that would guarantee improved golf scores by developing and improving them. The eighty-twenty principle helps us to understand that approximately 20 percent of your golf skills accounts for eighty percent of the results you produce in every round; so it’s important that you identify these critical to performance skills if you want to move to lower golf scores faster.
Here are some thoughts on how to manages your game and get around the course in as few strokes as possible:
- Try not to have any swing thoughts out on the course, just lines and distances and concentrate on being fresh and ready to hit each shot.
- Have lines off the tee. You want to make sure you have real specific lines, so you know where you’re going to hit it ahead of time.
- And spots to each hole location, so that if the pin is back, you want to know if it would be better to miss short-left or short-right.
- Try to have lines that you pick, so you can make aggressive swings on somewhat-safe lines.
When you examine these thoughts from a very young player, you quickly realize you’re not thinking mechanically, but rather plotting your way from shot to shot, and making sure that those lines provide optimum safety. This is a good lesson for all of us.
2 Ball worst ball Challenge
Set up a 9 hole course. The shots should be from various lies, lengths and utilise a range of clubs. At each station hit 2 balls (you can change clubs), once you have hit the two balls pick the worst shot and finish out the hole. Keep your score and complete the course 2 times. See if you can improve the second time around.
Repeat at training to challenge yourself, your imagination, and creativity and improve your skills with a range of clubs.
This is a variation of the game that Eben Dennis talks about in his Power Feel Golf Book. The game was invented by the late Ted Ball and is called “Cuts and Scrapes”. Try it and it will definitely help your mental game and lower your scores.
The game is designed to credit anything positive about your shots and your routine, so that becomes the focus. The more positive thoughts you have, the more you will suppress the negatives which is what we need to do for better performance. It is designed to teach you to focus on the process of hitting the shot at hand and to get you to stay in the present, instead of thinking about your total score.
There are two versions of the game:
It’s club championship time shortly. It’s an exciting time for many but it can also be a nerve-wracking experience that, for many players, ends in disappointment. A lot of golfers perform far below their potential and expectations in the club championship because they’re not as prepared as they could be. They don’t arrive on the first tee with as much confidence as they should. Also, many golfers aren’t sure how to be their own best coach – how to effectively execute shots and a sound game plan under tournament pressure.
1.Plan ahead. Give yourself the necessary practice and playing time to prepare for the club championship. Be clear on your preparation for this event at least three weeks prior – write it down. Block your calendar and plan sufficient practice time and pre-event rounds.
2.Practice effectively. Good performance in tournament golf is largely attributable to consistent tee shot execution: minimal errors and penalty strokes, high percentage putting conversions in the 4-10 foot range, and sound wedge play. Spend a high percentage of your pre-event practice time and effort on these skills to build competence and confidence.
3.Hole out in casual rounds don’t fall into the trap of not holing your short putts in casual rounds before the club championship. The habit of accepting “gimmies” – short putts in the 2-5 foot range – is common place. Expect to be nervous and miss a lot more of these critical length putts in competition if you don’t practice holing them out in your regular social rounds. If the putts are in fact that easy, then putt them in the hole.
4.Coaching check a week or two before the event it is a good idea to have a coaching session with your Professional – not a technical session but rather a session on key scoring skills and to discuss your game plan and execution strategies. Tap into your professional’s experience and expertise.
5.Set realistic goals in sports, less than 10 per cent of participants can expect “career” performances in major events. Preparing your best beforehand makes this highly probable. Know your skill and performance level, for example, a typical 12 handicap may likely have a 79-85 scoring range. Set up a game plan and shot strategies that are in alignment with your range. Don’t try to play a game that you don’t have. Don’t force shots – let the magic happen!
6.Create a written game plan. Write down how you plan to play each hole. Know your tendencies and where you feel the most confident and the most vulnerable on the course. Be appropriately aggressive and don’t be shy to play cautious on holes that are potential blow-ups for you. your plan should be focused on enabling you to hit as many greens in regulation as possible and planning for the most probable up and down conversion spots when you miss greens.
7.Focus on deep breathing to get relaxed over your shots. When golfers peak perform they are in a calm and relaxed state over the ball. Focus your energy and attention on using your breathing. Here’s a technique. Breath-in deeply through an imaginary straw and completely empty your lungs when you exhale; soften your body tension and lower your mental tension when you are over the ball. as the great George Knudson said, “don’t play golf to relax – relax to play great golf.”
8.Think the “right” stuff. Players perform their best in competition when they engage the right side of their brain – this is where the athlete lives. Right brain thoughts are “external” on the target, tempo, desired flight and simple performance cues like “full back and through” or “smooth roll.” Be careful not to play “golf swing” in competition: this can be a deadly performance buster – it is left-brained thinking on technique or a “to do” list. Leave this thinking on the practice tee.
9.See yourself succeeding. Visualize and imagine yourself executing your game plan – escaping from trouble and hitting good shots. Winners see themselves winning before they begin. Moe Norman always said that Jack nicklaus had the Green Jacket on his breakfast plate on Thursday before the first round of the masters.
“Players perform their best in competition when they engage the right side of their brain – this is where the athlete lives.”
10.Just play, enjoy the opportunity to compete and challenge yourself. expect some mistakes and deal with poor shots. Don’t make the tournament bigger than it is. Your identity and personal self-concept are not related to your golf score in the club championship. Smile and have fun!