Most amateurs understand the challenges of hitting their ball from a difficult position. We all try crazy unrealistic shots that have a very little opportunity to be successful. I recently watched a shot by Rory McIlroy that some think was fantastic with a degree of difficulty through the roof. After watching him hit, I really think that it should be a routine shot by a professional golfer and was no big deal!
This is the shot that others seemed amazing:
Let me break down why I think this shot was not as amazing as the announcers made it. First, there is a huge gap on the left side that Rory played through. Someone with his skill demonstrates that this was no big problem. Second, he had to cut the ball to make on the left edge of the green. This was a bit more difficult and he navigated the shot very well. Third, he received a great bounce as indicated by the announces. So, overall was not a difficult shot at Quail Hollow.
Lastly, and I have to give him credit for this one, he judged the distance perfectly. This skill is very problematic for most amateurs and he made it look very easy. I am not trying to disparage Rory at all, but that shot was not as difficult as the announcers made it sound.
The reason I do not think this shot was overly difficult is because I believe most amateurs could make this shot and let me tell you how. There are three things Rory did with perfection that we can all do with a bit of practice and the first was:
McIlroy has amazing concentration and he was seeing past the tree in front of him. He has practiced this shot a thousand times I bet and as such could see past the tree.
Second, he had controlled his body and did not over swing. He hit that shot like it was a 50 yard chip and did over swing; which is a challenge for amateurs. He played this shot like a normal chip and the results was excellent.
Lastly, and the most challenging of the three was he controlled his follow through. He did a twisty thing with his arms and hands that only a professional should try, but he did not take a full swing. I think that was the key. McIlroy controlled his follow through and as such was able to control his ball flight perfectly.
Please do not get me wrong; McIlroy did make a great shot. I think that someone of his calibre should be able to hit his ball through a 3 yard gap just slightly in-front of his position 99% of the time. I also think that amateurs should be able to make the same basic shot 66% of the time. Distance control would be the most challenging aspect of his shot, but with practice we might end up with the same result.
So, the next time you face a similar shot, remember to look past the hazard, keep your body quiet and control your follow through. If you do all this, I am confident you will be able to extricate your ball from many challenges during your round.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!