I have learned to approach most golf shots without fear. This is a self-taught skill that I employ routinely. However, there are still a few shots from time to time where the pucker factor grows and I feel less sure about the shot I have selected. The funny thing its, my FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) appears to manifest in a particular situation regardless of how much a practice. My apprehension is not constant, nor is always, but it does show up. And frankly it annoys me to no end!
The situation I am talking about is a 40 yard chip to a short sided pin. I know what shot to make, but sometimes when I stand over the ball I have a problem visualizing my shot. I have tried using a sand wedge lately because my lob wedge does not seem to work that well from this distance. My gap wedge comes in too hot, so a sand wedge it is.
But have no fear, I have a plan! I will planning to work on this distance in the spring using my DIY chipping area in my front yard. Until then, I have to stew over my short-comings and pan for success. I think that my sand wedge is the right club, but will experiment with my lob wedge as well. It is always a good idea to a back up plan and this is it for now.
As you can tell from my article, every golfer as waning confidence from time to time. Luckily, I know my short comings and have a plan to fix this challenge. Has this ever happened to you?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
6 thoughts on “FEAR Eroding My Confidence In My Shot Selection”
Jim, I can relate. You are not the only person to struggle with the half to three quarter shot. Personally I find the sand wedge works best for me for those kinds of shots, but the best thing for my game is to minimize the need for the those kinds of shots.
I play a lot of rounds on courses with difficult green complexes such as Heron Point (Slope 137 at 6100 yards) or National Pines (Slope 136 at 6200 yards). Leaving half shot approaches is going to make for a long day, so the plan is to try and leave a full shot in. Of course, plans don’t always work out so plan B in those situations is don’t get cute, go for the centre of the green with a SW. My friends and I tease each other that you have jammed yourself when you leave a shot like that.
I would rather have a longish putt than to chip again. So going for the center of the green is a good idea. I feel, however, that being a 3 handicap I can be a bit more aggressive at that range. Let’s just say I am still working on game….as always.
Jim, other than the long bunker shot, what you’ve described is the hardest short game shot for me. I’ve found that however you decide to play it, you need to accelerate through the ball. My worst attempts are when I get cute and baby the ball. Good luck!
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Agreed! Decide and commit to the shot and magic can happen. Getting cute rarely works for me either; usually a recipe for disaster.
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As for which wedge is right for the job, it always depends on the shot in front of us. The layout and contours of the green and area around it. That said, from 40 yards out, for me, I’d be generating a bit more spin with a lob wedge then I’d like even on a short sided shot unless there was just no other choice. I’d rather swing a little softer and let the sand wedge land short and run out towards the hole. I find that the most comfortable way to play it. Most times.
I can surely understand about having trouble visualizing a shot and being able to get behind it also. Both my partner and I had trouble with one this week on a short par 4 made shorter by temporary tee boxes. We both hit great drives. The flag was on the left and the only opening to the green you don’t have to jump over a sand trap on is also on the left as were our drives. I was 30 yards out and my partner was 10 feet behind me so I got to watch him first. He chose to bump one up to the hole which was just 4 paces on. He almost hit the pin doing it, but it ran by at least 20 feet. I don’t know why for sure because I would usually use my sand wedge like I explained about, but I chose the lob wedge this time. The green slopes away and I guess I was scared it might come out too hot maybe. Anyway, I hit the lob wedge. But after seeing his scream past the hole I had my own doubts and did my best to put them away, but I’m not so sure I did that real well as the still came up just short. Shots like that aren’t easy. When you have to hit a tiny landing area, you can’t expect to hit them perfect all the time. That shot might not be needed every time, but sometimes it is. As it turned out for me, I may have missed my landing spot by a foot or two, I may have had a tad too much spin and made it stop too short, but I was left with an easy two putt from about a foot off the green on the first cut. My partners first putt come up real short and he had to sink a 6 footer for his par. So that shot was a win as far as nerves go. It’s one we want to have in our bags even if we chose not to use it every time or even most times.
“There’s a perfect shot out there tryin’ to find each and every one of us… All we got to do is get ourselves out of its way… You got to seek that place with your soul”
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Thanks for your description of your shots. I can definitely see how you and your playing partner had tough shots. With the two different approaches, I can see that the options are varied depending on what you see. Great pars for sure.