Ever watch a professional golfer go pin hunting? It seems from the moment they struck their first ball, everything went in their favour. Brandt Snedeker is a perfect example after shooting a 59 at the Wyndham Championship. After jarring his approach shot on the 7th hole, it was noticeable that he was dialed in on every shot. It was magical to watch. But, what does being dialed in actually mean?
Being dialed in is purely mental. It is a state of mind where I feel that every shot is possible and every decision is the right one. As my round progresses, my confidence grows and grows. There are zero negative thoughts and I am completely calm. Everything is in harmony. It is an amazing feeling. Unfortunately, this feeling of euphoria only happens from time to time and not something I can turn on at will.
Over the years, I experienced many dialed in rounds. My score usually showed how great the round was, but the score is relative depending on the player. For me, below or at par are the days when I am dialed in. I remember one round in particular at Osprey Links Golf Course where I was on cruise control and rattled off 14 straight pars before I even realized I was playing so well.
After the 14th hole I started thinking that I had a chance to break par. Normally, this thought process is the kiss of death for my score, but not that day. I was so dialed in, the thoughts of my score left my brain as fast as it entered and I was back to business. The final four holes went by in a blur. I hit every green in regulation and was left with a tap in for par on every hole. After 18 straight pars, I walked off with a smooth 71 and feeling of wonderment: why cannot I do this all the time.
During his round, I made a few up and down saves from the side of the green and I sunk one 25 foot putt for par. Other than that it was all routine work. I was not hitting the ball overly well with my clubs, just normal, but my putter was working very well. Additionally, I was in play with every shot. These two things made a tremendous difference to my score.
The last interesting aspect of my dialed in round was that I remember thinking about golf and nothing else. I was focused on the positive aspects of my game. There was no “I can’t” in any of my thought processes and every decision was executed with confidence. Mentally, I was totally immersed in my round. This is why I believe that being dialed in is mental and the physical part just follows.
I always wondered why I cannot be dialed in all the time, but I guess it is something that I need to continue working on. It is a mental state that I need to duplicate if I ever want to achieve my goal of being a scratch golfer!
Have you ever been dialed in on the golf course?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!