Making an Early Shot Call

Early club selection could cause unseen challenges to my golf game.

Golf is about making decisions. What club to hit, where to aim, how hard to swing or whether to play safe are just a few examples. Some times my decisions are successful and other times I wish I could rethink the shot again. But, making decisions is a part of the game and one that I enjoy as I loop the course. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to call my shot early and this gets me in trouble from time to time.

The issue of calling my shot too early is a poor habit rooted in a weak mental game. I become focused on something else and my game goes into auto pilot. This happens from time to time and I find it difficult to change once it starts. Usually, as I am walking to my ball I decide that my next shot will require a 5 iron. Now, I have come to this conclusion about 30 yards from my ball without really taking a look at all the influences of this particular shot. Once I decided it was a 5 iron, it would take a miracle to talk me out of it. So, regardless of the result, I hit the 5 iron.

In all fairness, I have played golf for a long time and I am a fairly good judge of my shots, but I find that making my shot selection early throws of my rhythm and pre-shot routine. None of these of course are conducive for low golf scores.

Not to point fingers at myself, but by playing the same course over and over, I think that I know what the next shot needs because I have likely played from that spot before. I become a bit uninterested because it feels like the same old, same old. I realize this is a poor approach to golf and fortunately it does not happen often. When I start call my shots early, I use it as an indicator that I might be playing a bit too much golf and need a couple of days off. Sometimes I take a break and sometimes I do not.

I do not like calling my shots early because it is not in any way part of the way I want to play. I like to play in the moment and focus on each shot as it arises. All I can do is make the effort to avoid making this avoidable mental error. Do you ever call your shots early?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

2 thoughts on “Making an Early Shot Call

  1. On courses I know pretty well, I always call my shots early and do the same even on courses I don’t know well if I have a good sight line early enough and can see distance markers. But I have no problem with changing my mind and switching once I am there standing over the ball. Be it wind or lie or just a gut hunch that another choice might be better, I tend to trust that hunch, make the switch, and then try not to let more questions pop into my mind.


    • Kevin

      Your last point about nagging questions popping in my mind is a good one. I have a routine I like to follow and as a creature of habit, it helps to keep that routine for the strength of my mental game. I have missed things in the past by rushing my shot selection and hopefully I will avoid that in the future.



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