It only takes one shot in golf to become a hero or a goat. If you have ever played in a tournament, you are probably aware of the risk making a poor shot. I sure have experienced the results of making poor shots during competition and yet, I continued to strive play better. I noticed that Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka did this exact thing during the 100th PGA Championship on the weekend. The player that responded best to a poor shot was Brooks, hence he went on to rise the Wanamaker Trophy.
Early in the front nine on Sunday, Koepka bogeyed the 4th and 5th hole. During both these holes, he was in the left rough off the tee. His greatest strength started to become a liability. As a result, Koepka responded by gathering his mental strength, hitting a solid shot on the par 3, 6th hole and after a two putt, walked off the green with a par. With renewed confidence, Koepka responded with 2 fantastic drives on the 7th and 8th hole which help set up birdies. He scrambled well on the 9th by hitting a 126 yard bunker shot to 7 feet. Another clutch putt and he finished the front 9 with 3 straight birdies. In my opinion, this is where he won the tournament.
Tiger Woods’ round was more colourful as the eventual winner. Woods’ hit so many poor tee shots that I am still amazed that he finished second at the last Major of 2018. His ability to respond with great recover shots allowed him to stay in contention. Unfortunately, the constant barrage of poor shots would eventually cost Woods. On the 14th hole, another poor drive cost him a bogey at a time when he was on a run for the lead. Responding with a birdie on the 15th hole proved that Woods’ mental game completely back, he just needs to work on his execution. His seesaw of good and poor shots on Sunday could have resulted differently, but on that day Woods good shots out numbered his poor.
It may seem like Woods’ responses to poor shots far outstretched Koepka’s. But, I suggest that Koepka’s quick return to steady relentless golf had greater value to Woods ping-pong approach. However, I will take away that the ability to make a good shot after a poor one as quick as possible can chance my fortune. I already have the ability to respond to a poor shot, but not at the level needed to be a scratch golfer. It is something I will have to focus upon when I return to playing.
Do you have the ability to hit a good shot after a poor?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!