Play Your Own Game

Recently I finished reading Quantum Golf: The Path to Golf Mastery by Kjell Enhager.  The book is a very interesting and simple read discussing the mental side of golf.  The more and more I coach, the more I understand how important it is that I assist my players with their mental preparations and abilities.  Towards the end of the book it discusses a concept with which many students (and sometimes myself) struggle: the ability to play our own game, and not worry about how other players would hit our shots.  This should be simple, but for most us, there are few things more challenging.

How many times have you stood on the tee box of any Par 3 and asked your playing partner what club they used?  I know this is against the rules, but let’s be honest it happens. Have they ever responded by saying two clubs less than what you had in your hand?  If so, what did you do?  Hopefully, you weren’t affected because you know they typically take two clubs less.  Unfortunately, more often that not doubt of some sort sets in.  Do I have too much club?  It’s so embarrassing that I’m taking this club, maybe if I take less club and swing hard I’ll get there.  From those of you that have experience the latter, how did the shot work out?  I know from my experience it rarely if ever turns out as desired.  The most frustrating part is if I would have PLAYED MY OWN GAME and used my original club, the situation could have been avoided.  This concept applies in every aspect of the game.  Another area where I see this all the time is around the green.  For example, say you are a player that struggles to break 90, and you’re faced with a difficult chip that most better players would struggle to get up and down in two shots.  What happens?  You go for perfection – the 1 out of every 100 shot, and subsequently miss the green and are faced with another difficult chip.  If only you PLAYED YOUR GAME, you would have just put the ball on the green.  Anywhere on the green would have been adequate and increased your chances of getting it in the hole sooner.  How many are guilty of this?

The above scenarios are just a few examples of what separates 102 from 99 or 84 from 79 on the scorecards.  So many players think they need to be more consistent and never hit bad shots.  I have some bad news – it’s never going to happen.  That’s what so great about this game, you can always get better.  I strongly urge you the next time you play to play your own game.  Don’t worry about your playing partners or obsess over hitting a green in regulation.  Hit shots with high probabilities of success and I guarantee you will lower your scores.  Thanks for reading and see you on the lesson tee!! 

Posted in Books, Mental Game

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