Have you ever stopped to think about how you reach your decision for each golf shot? Do you rely on a specific piece of information that solely determines your club selection or do you use a myriad factors? I know every player is different, but I was wondering if you use a specific decision making process when selecting your club of choice.
My process is very simple…..I think. I start with the yardage and that generally offers a possibility of three clubs. Then, I look at the wind, ground conditions, temperature, elevation, pin location, and temperature. Next, I calculate the type of shot I want/need to hit (high, low, shaped, or special). Lastly, I added how well I am hitting the ball that day (feel). I calculate all of this in a matter of seconds and then I commit to my shot, select my club, and positively execute my decision. That about sums up how I make each shot.
To be fair to anyone looking at my process and saying that it is far to complicated; I would counter and suggest that this process was developed of many years of playing golf. It is not something that I developed overnight. There is one major challenge I would caution beginners to be wary of:
“When an individual is unable to make it through a problem-solving step on the way to making a decision, they could be experiencing analysis paralysis. Analysis paralysis is the state that a person enters where they are unable to make a decision, in effect paralyzing the outcome. Some of the main causes for analysis paralysis is the overwhelming flood of incoming data or the tendency to overanalyze the situation at hand.” (Wikipedia)
Analysis paralysis is a very real thing in golf. If you are a beginner, I recommend that you focus on hitting to yardage first. After you are comfortable with that it is time to start adding other factors. Which ones are completely up to you, but the other factors I mentioned will affect every golf shot. So, the sooner you can comfortably incorporate them, the better.
Choosing the proper club to make the needed shot on demand is a critical skill every golfer needs to develop. My decision making process has evolved over the years, but the one constant I continue to use to start the entire process is yardage. From there anything can happen.
Do you have a specific decision making process? If so, is it similar to mine?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!