April 29, 2016 at 12:42 PM
I was reading on another Golf website the other day about a golfer that is a 3 handicap asking everyone what is needed to get to a 0 handicap. He further discussed that he had made to a 1 handicap at one point but regressed to a 3. This caused me to initially think, well his short game and putting game need more work....or he needs to make more consistent contact with the ball...or he needs more work on his long game....etc..etc...
Then a couple days went by and it occurred to me that those last few digits on the handicap meter are probably more about one's mental approach to the game of golf vs. anything technical.
Think about it, mental peak performance is now really a must at a scratch handicap level or even better. That is, the state of mind of relaxed, no fear, confidence as you move through each shot is required.
What do you think? Maybe I am off base with my thinking....However, I do not think so but I thought this might be an interesting discussion point since many of us are in search of being the best player possible.
Please chime in with your thoughts...Looking forward to reading your comments! I know there are some really great golfers in this community so many of us have encountered such a situation at least once or more in our golfer career!
Eric HRidgway, PA
Tom BNorthborough, MA
Edward KWesley Chapel, FL
rodney thilllsborough, NC
June 20, 2016 at 04:50 PM
As a teaching and former professional player I can say the bloggers are close but are lacking a big piece. The mental side, yes. Confidence, yes. However, how do you obtain those things, because they are not you can pull out of thin air. The pre-shot routine is huge, but the biggest difference is course management. An amateur looks at each hole backward. The are on the tee and let their drives rip and hope for the best. I, and the other pros I played with, looked at the green; decided the best approach given the shape of the green; and would measure back 3 distances (mine were 125, 150, and 175 yards); then, draw a line back to the tee. The club used off the tee would be determined by which distance (125, 150, 175) gave you the highest probability of hitting the lay-up yardage. That increases your odds, decreases the errors, keeps you scoring from the fairway, increases confidence, and makes it so that when you go to the range that you practice primarily the 125, 150, 175 yard shots instead of every club in the bag. It makes practice more beneficial. Think about the times you see a pro hitting a 2 iron or 3 wood off the tee. They are laying up to that target distance- to a shot they have practiced. If a player hits the 125, 150, 175 yard clubs (again, your yardages can be what ever you choose) you will have much more confidence hitting those (hitting several hundred shots with them each week) rather than practicing with all of your clubs that you may only hit a few of each week. There is much more to course management than this, but this is just to give a glimpse as to what the low handicapper misses in approaching the course. I had one student that came to me as a 14 handicap player. through the course of a few months, he was playing to a +2 (2 below scratch) and 90% of his transformation was teaching him a strong course management and how to play to his strengths. He went on to win many titles and got a full golf scholarship.
Chuck ZMt Pleasant, SC
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