On any given day, I will make a number of miss hits. This is not because I choose to hit the ball fat or thin, but it just happens. I think I set up the same way and follow my pre-shot routine as per normal, but every so often I hit a shot like I am a beginner. Regardless, I often wonder if my miss-hits are the result of a mental error vice a physical one.
It is a challenge not to dissect every poor shot. Sometimes it just happens, but I also wonder why that particular shot was so poor. A perfect example is happened yesterday.
As per our previous discussions, I was playing the 10th hole at Osprey Links. I was in the exact position as in previous posts off the tee and chose to hit my 5 iron to 90 yards from the green for my second shot. This was the proper course management decision, unlike the last time I was in the perfect position to attack the pin.
I set myself up with my gap wedge and sculled it over the green, lost the ball and finished with a double. Talk about a deflating start. I have been thinking about this shot since I hit it and wondered what went wrong. I actually think that this particular shot was purely a mental error. I went through the motions of hitting my approach shot, but that was it. I was not in the moment.
On several drives during the above round, I neglected to finish my follow through for some reason and my ball developed a minor slice that drives me crazy. The reason I hate this result so much is because I play for a straight shot and a slice just does not work for me. I know that in these cases, my failure to make my intended shot is purely physical – failing to finish properly.
There are times when my swing faults are mental and others are physical. The trick is to determine which is which. The real issue happens when my physical challenges are the result of my mental failures. These type of swing issues are the hardest to identify. When they happen, the are also the hardest to fix.
I am lucky because I have two friends, Blair and Rick, who I consider to be my swing coaches. They know my swing better than any because they have seen me hit the ball thousands of time. So they know when my tempo, aim or routine is out of wack. The good thing is that they are not shy to tell me my challenges and when I am consistently doing something different than my normal swing. It is up to me to determine if my swing is mental and physical.
Hitting a miss shot is a frustrating thing for sure. Understanding whether it is mental or physical is important. Physical swing hitches can be fixed at the range; mental ones….well we all have to find our own way.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!