Blindly Focusing on What Does Not Work

I bet you have made some miracle shots over the years. I know I have! When I do, it changes my perception of my game and opens possibilities to playing better. The challenge that amateurs face moving forward is that they continue to focus on this magical moment at the expense of the rest of their game. They cling to that one shot by attempting to duplicate it on the course instead of dedicating time at the range to determine how they were successful.

What I like about miracle shots are the opening doors to possibilities about what our game has to offer. It demonstrates that a new level of success is waiting to be achieved and all that is needed is practice to include this wonderful shot in our arsenal. There is no shortcut to success; practicing at the range is only way!

Kirk working on his game at the range.

This approach is not considered favourable to many golfers because of the time commitment. I fully understand that, however the process of mastering a great shot is so remote and painstakingly difficult while playing, I do not recommend it.

I am not suggesting that one should never try challenging shots when playing (as a matter of fact, they are great fun), however, I am saying that to consistently hit a challenging shot; one needs to ingrain it in their mind and swing routine.

One of these shots for me happened when I had to play a Bubba Watson type hook during a round to play out of trouble. It was a very low percentage shot that was not in my bag and I never thought I actually could play one with any success. During that one shot, I hit a low screaming hook to the middle of the fairway that set up for an easy par (which I made).

Since, I have hit the range and now this low shot saving stroke is in my bag. I feel confident playing it with any club between a 5 iron to 3 hybrid. I know how to set it up and how hard to swing to hook my ball around a corner (number 10 at Osprey Links) or out of the cabbage. I think I have about a 75% success rate at this time and I will work on it next year early in the season. I am confident to say that this low hook shot has saved my scores many times over the years.

Conversely, I made an awesome approach shot, once, where I drew the ball back 8 to 10 feet. The ball nestled up to the pin and I was excited to see the results. However, after this miracle shot I still struggle trying to put action on my approach shots. Sometime,s I draw the ball back a little, however most of the time I cannot. I have tried to learn this skill at the practice facility over the years with little to know success. I clung to the idea that I will put action on the ball on most approach shots for about a year or two; then realized that this was folly and stopped because I would ruin more shots than I made. Now, I accept that I can stop the ball within a foot or two forward of my landing area about half the time, but my ball generally releases more and I play for this fact.

As you can see, clinging to a miracle shot that you really do not have the skill to constantly make is a bad idea. I will cost you strokes and hurt your scores. However, hitting the range and practicing a new skill is the best approach and it will help lower you golf scores in the long run!

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

4 thoughts on “Blindly Focusing on What Does Not Work

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Just banging balls on the range is not going to help much but practicing making shots, especially the ones that don’t come up often helps a lot.

    No miracle shots during my round today, but I did have a miracle just the same. I finally broke par for the first time. 2 bogies and 2 birds on the front 9 and 2 bogies and 3 birds on the back for a 1 under for the day. I missed two eagle chances and two of the bogies were missed putts inside of 4 feet that should have gone down but bobbled on the grass about halfway to the hole on something I couldn’t see and lipped out instead of falling. But two of the birdies came from ten foot breaking putts so I guess that evened itself out.

    The last four hole were a big struggle to stay calm. I was 2 under when I tee’d off on 15 and hit a terrible 4 iron but recovered well with my approach shot missing the green short by just two feet and getting my par. Then I did it again at 16 and dropped my tee shot on that par 3 hole in the front bunker and barely got out. I bogied that hole, but my chip shot for par almost fell. The last two holes were par 4’s and I hit the ball well off the tee, but went long with the approach on both. I guess I was pretty keyed up. I chipped great on 17 and tapped in, but on 18, I left myself a tester. An 8 foot dead straight uphill putt. But somehow, I managed to keep from falling apart and dropped it to stay under par. I walked off pretty proud of myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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