The Best 3 Tips I ever received…
Don’t play for a score! What… how in the world does this make sense? How do we measure our accomplishments or even know that we are improving? – I heard this many years ago from an old Hall of Fame Golf Professional that taught me some interesting concepts that have carried over into my playing and teaching careers.
So what does this really mean “don’t play for a score”, are we keeping score with a smiley face or a frowny face like my little juniors do at times. No not really, we are still putting a number down after each hole but we are changing our focus off NUMBERS. Unfortunately numbers and strokes really damage all levels of golfers and usually not in a good way.
Example – If we bogeyed the first 3 holes of the round some golfers would be ecstatic at being 3 over after 3 and some golfers would be bummed about a not so good start. So we automatically go into a numbers game in our head and stop focusing on the key issue. This will fire some thoughts into your brain- “Come on man this course isn’t that hard and I am already 3 over, Lets go, get it together.” Or “Nice, I am even with this guy and off to a good start so far, I always double-bogey number 2 but today I got a bogey, that’s great for me and let’s keep it going.” The game of golf is a response to the result of the action we do, and it can leave us feeling high and low depending on the outcome of the shot we performed. So what can we do to NOT play for a score to get some sort of accomplishment out of our rounds of golf?
Answer— PLAY GOLF TO SEE A DESIRED FLIGHT AND TRAJECTORY OF YOUR BALL.
All the stories I hear in the pro-shops after a round are: Man, you should have seen my tee ball on 12 today, it had a tight little draw and I have never been down that far in the fairway, got on in two and made birdie. ALSO- I hit it to 3 feet on #9 today and really hit it my 4 iron solid.
What is the main theme to most of these golfing tales? They all hit shots that they normally DON’T which makes them a good story!!!
So take that concept and put it to practice and onto the golf course. Most times when I do a playing lesson with a student I see a totally different ball flight/trajectory then what I normally see on the lesson tee. What does that mean? They don’t have the same confidence over the ball on the course compared to having a bucket of balls at their feet. And this is for all skill levels of golfers. Mike plays a draw on the range-on the course Mike plays a hook! Sharon plays a soft little fade on the range-Sharon plays a massive slice on the course… sound familiar? I know it does in my game at times.
Go to the driving range and yes hit to a target but focus on the contact of the shot and notice the flight and trajectory when you hit a good one. That’s why you play golf! Not to shoot 72 but to go out and see the true flight and trajectory of a solid shoot that you are capable of. So practice it. Get visual and focus on the way the ball flies when you strike it solid-focus on the sound it makes-focus on the movement right and left of the golf ball. And forget about hitting it straight!! Nobody hits it straight-if you do it’s a totally accident that won’t really happen again anyway. Understand that your desired flight will likely move a little right or a little left. When you see your desired flight, tell yourself that’s what I want to see when I play a round of golf. Don’t worry about were its going because if it is the desired flight and trajectory you want then that builds confidence in your golf swing. We have all skulled and thinned an iron onto the green. But after we did that I don’t think we said to ourselves, yep now if I can just skull and thin all my shots that way today I will be in good shape. Nope, not likely. Practice to find your desired flight and trajectory and play on the course to see the same result.
Tiger has chipping issues for sure- Do you think during those tournaments that he was thinking about the desired flight and trajectory of the shot he was trying to accomplish. NO WAY! After a few flubs and skulls the mind turns into the mechanics and panic. When he reached for a putter for some of those basic chips… that is PANIC. We all have to train our minds to calm down the response to result factors in our games but if you want to think about anything, think about the flight and trajectory of the desired shot you want to hit!
Give it a shot and let me know your thoughts on this: firstname.lastname@example.org