Have you ever had an argument with yourself about your golf swing. You know, when you are hitting the ball well (or poorly) and you decide that you need a change. The change many not be required, but you start to have an internal dialogue with yourself about how to squeeze that little bit extra out of your game. Sometimes this internal argument lasts for seconds and others for much, much longer. It really can be a game changer for your golf swing and usually for the worse.
I do not know about your golf swing, but mine is fairly well grooved. There are some very minor changes I can make that might improve something, but for the most part my swing works best when I stay within myself. The moment I think I can squeeze a few more yards out of my swing, that when trouble ensues. I have a perfect example from my last round.
I was playing very well and hitting the ball off the tee slightly above average. I was playing the 9th hole (currently the 18th) that had water down the left, a bunker on the right and water on the far right. I have played this hole hundreds of times and always aim at same location. The right side of the fairway at the corner of the bunker on the right.
I have made this shot more often than not and when successful, I am left with 135 yards or less to the green. It is a standard shot without any challenges. What is frustrating about my internal argument on that day is that was sitting one over and looking for a birdie to shoot even par.
Instead of hitting my normal shot and relying on my approach shot to accomplish my birdie, I started to think (argue) with myself that if I put a bit of a draw on the ball off the tee that I would be closer and have an easier approach shot. Then my common sense kicked in and said to forget trying something new on the last hole. However, as my mind played ping pong with the idea; I did the most unforgivable thing. I started my pre-shot routine without settling on the shot I should make.
You will never guess what happened? Yup, I hooked the ball into the pond and had to drop leaving 165 yards from the pin. I gathered myself and hit a crap shot into the bunker short and right of the green. Now, I am fuming with myself because I have opened the door for a double bogey…..grrrr!
My bunker shot was 20 yards long to 6 foot elevated green, with the pin on the short side. I mean it could not have been a more challenging bunker shot to finish a great round. Well, I gather my thoughts, focused on what shot I wanted to perform (with no arguments this time) and hit the ball to within a foot of the pin. It was the best bunker shot I made is a while.
So, after the tap in, I walked off the last hole with a bogey and a score of 2 over 73. Except for my tee shot on the last hole I was very happy with my round. Actually, it was not the tee shot that annoyed me so, it was the mental breakdown I had at a crucial moment in my round. What a buffoon I am! Well, lesson learned and I will be ready the next time my mind decides to wander off the game plan.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!