In many sports, athletes are told to dig deep and find that little extra something in the last minutes of a game. They are asked to exceed their normal playing abilities and shift gears to the next level. As an athlete who played many sports of the years, I can honestly say that it is possible to find that little extra something for a short period of time. Expect, I have never been able to find it on the golf course!
I play anchor in all scrambles. The reason for this is because I have a better than not chance of hitting a pressure shot to keep our team in play. Unlike other players, I am not hitting last so that I can crush out some extra yards with my long clubs because I do not know how. It is really that simple, I do not have the ability to change gears to produce more yardage. I have tried, boy have I tried, yet I never seem to successfully increase my distance on demand.
My limitations might seem to strange for a single digit handicapper, but it really should come as no surprise. My golf game is built on consistent, controlled, and manageable movements that I can repeat on a regular basis. It does not include hitting long bombs off the tee or fairway. Now, occasionally I will poke a tee shot out a little farther than normal, but that usually is caused by a hard bounce off the fairway; not extra ball flight.
In reality, for me to shift to a higher gear, I have to slow my tempo down, which increases my swing speed. This might seem strange because these two topics should be in parallel not opposites, but they are for my golf swing. Every time I try to increase my club head speed on the fly, my tempo goes awry resulting in a poor tee shot. When I control my tempo by focusing on keeping my head still and following through on my intended line (which I try to do on every shot) I receive a more positive result with some increased distance. Unfortunately, we are only talking about 10 yards max; not a significant distance in the big scheme of things.
Hence, I have accepted the fact that I do not have an extra gear in my golf game. I will continue to rely on my steady play during scrambles and stroke play to lower my golf score. I believe that hitting the ball close from 150 yards is the key to my game and finding an extra gear at that distance is very unlikely. I might be more aggressive once in a while, but that is not a shift in my game as much as course management.
I have played golf with others who have that extra gear. They can hit the ball longer from time to time, but they loose accuracy. I guess this is a reasonable trade off, especially in a scramble, and I want those type players on my team. We played many men’s night events with Murray in 2019 and he had that extra gear which we relied upon; when it worked, we would be hitting from 30 yards closer than normal. Now that is what I call shifting gears.
Golf is not like other sports. I do not think that many golfers have the extra gear in their game. I certainly do not! Yet, it is nice to see a player dig deep from time to time and produce something amazing; I applaud that ability. I gravitate towards consistency and control; how about you? Do you have an extra gear in your golf game?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
4 thoughts on “Finding That Extra Gear in Golf”
Jim, I too do not have that extra gear. When I try and crank up a tee shot, inevitably, I’ll pull the ball even if I hit it solid. Comes from getting overactive with my hands and arms and out of proper sequence. You nailed it by slowing down your swing. That’s probably building in more lag by starting your action a little more from the ground up, and permitting a more inside path.
When I’m on my game, I’m driving it very straight. I take it as an ultimate compliment when playing partners or opponents call me “boring”. 🙂
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Boring is the new “cool” thing in golf for sure. The word is used to describe my game from time to time as well. I will take it for sure.
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I haven’t even looked for that extra gear in years. Don’t want to damage this old bod. And besides, I haven’t been in a best ball tournament when looking for it makes since in two years since I injured my wrist on the first hole in last years tourny.
Ok, here’s a first review of the Cobra One Length 3 Hybrid. It feels weird it’s so short. I checked the specs on my clubs and at 37.5 inches it’s closer to my 8 iron than my 7 as they advertise (my irons a 1/4 longer than standard and 1 degree upright which I replicated with the new hybrid). But it feels so short, it’s almost like hitting a wedge.
Distance wise, it hits more like a good 4 iron than a 3. I’ve hit it maybe a dozen times so far and like the flight I get when I hit it well. I still haven’t taken it to the range so I can’t say too much more yet, and I haven’t yet had a chance to hit it from the rough. But hitting from the deck seems to be as easy as hitting it off a tee and that’s a bonus for me. I’ve not in the past really liked hybrids. This shorty though is a little easier for me to get the hang of so I’ll be keeping it, but I think it’s going to be a club I swap out depending on the course I’m playing. Any course where I don’t generally pull my 3 wood out is a prime target and my home course is one of those. There are maybe three holes here I’ve even had a thought to pull the 3 wood and in general, I’d rather hit an iron instead. That hybrid though gives the perfect distance on a couple of holes from the white tee box where they play tournaments here. Or at least they will again after covid. And I’ve been doing to scouting/practicing to prepare for that day already.
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Your new hybrid sounds okay. To me you are adapting your game to the club and not the other way around. But, as you said it is still early in the usage phase. A range bucket will likely help a fair bit.