If you are wondering on which is the best approach to fixing your golf game, the short answer is I do not know. Depending on what you are trying to improve, a quick search reveals millions of answers. However, there is one important thing that is required no matter what strategy you employ – start with an open mind! Yup, without the six inches of real estate between your ears free of clutter, it will be journey full of false trails.
I think it is very important, when embarking on an new journey, to watch for clues that may suggest a slight deviation to your intended destination is required. Not moving forward with blinders can save time and frustration and I know this from personal experience.
Years back, I decided I needed to make a change. I was struggling with my 5, 4 and 3 irons. I was not making crisp contact and when I did, I was not getting the distance I expected or needed. So, I decided to make a drastic change and bought hybrids to replace the above irons. I was convinced that the hybrids were solution and this is when my tunnel vision kicked in!
At first I was satisfied with the success of these clubs. I was hitting the ball longer and straighter than ever before so I was enamored by my success. So happy, in fact, that I lost focus on my overall game. Not surprisingly, the success with my clubs only many a marginal difference in my score over the course of a year. And before you start shaking your head, yes it took me that long to realize because making solid contact went to my head.
The biggest cue I overlooked was my approach shots with my 5 hybrid. With my hybrid, I could not land the ball on the green because my ball was coming in too hot, all the time. I had to play the ball short and hope that I chose the right distance to allow my ball to stop on the green near the pin. Hitting the green from 170 to 185 yards was lost to me, but I was slow to notice. Although I try not hit from this distance often, using a hybrid when I had to made it impossible to score well.
My blinders were ripped off after 18 months when I was in a tournament and missed three approach shots with my 5 hybrid that cost me a bogey on each hole. Those three strokes knocked me out of a chance to win and I finished fourth overall. Needless to say my disappointment caused me to re-evaluate my approach to my game. My first thought was to hit the range and hit ball after ball to fix my woes and I actually did. To no surprise, my time practicing did not help. Now, I was really in a quandary.
So, I decided to borrowed my friends 5 iron and hit a small bucket. I was pleasantly surprised at the results. The ball flight was great, distance was the same and my comfort of hitting to a distance of 175 yards was back to normal. It was at that time that my epiphany set in – I needed to put my 5 iron back into my bag.
To cut my story short, I did put my 5 iron into my bag and that led to my 4 iron making a triumphant comeback. It too is back in my bag. This whole lesson taught me to not be focus on one solution, but to keep an open mind as to what my game is telling me when I decide to make a change. Since my hybrid ordeal, I have made several changes, but always with the intent of seeing the whole picture and making my choices based on what my game is telling me.
Do you approach changes to your game with an open mind?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!