At one time during your next round of golf, you will be called upon to make the right shot at the right time. This specific scenario is inevitable and might happen several times over the course of 18 holes. The expectation is that as your lower your handicap, lets say to single digits, you will make this needed shot more often than not. Well, I am here to tell you that the pressure of making the right shot at the right time does not diminish the better golfer you become. An yet we do succeed more that higher handicappers….why is that?
One of the possibilities that lower handicappers have a better chance to make the right shot at the right time is that they have been in that situation more often than others. The more times we are forced to perform during challenging situations, the more options are developed. Being able to hit a several different shots (a chip around the green from the long grass for example) during the same situation is developed over time and the increases any players experience.
Having confidence that we can produce success on demand is also gained through experience. In my case, I visualize the shot needed at that time. This skill is honed through making similar shots in the past. Hence, I believe that I can always make the shot at any time.
Before you think that I can make almost any shot on demand, there are limitations to my (or your) abilities to make the right shot. If I happen to be in a situation that is unfamiliar or excessively difficult, the pressure mounts. This pressure can (but not always) open the door to doubts which negatively impact my ability to make the shot I need, when I need it. I think that if we stacked up a 15 and 4 handicapper against each other, the lower index will prevail more often than not. I am sure that is not a very surprising conclusion. The pressure will be the same on both players, however the better players has more experience on how to perform under this pressure.
I play anchor in all the scramble tournaments is play. I do this for several reasons, but mostly because I have the ability to make the pressure shot. I am not successful (at least to my standards) all the time, but I keep our team in play, make the challenging chip, or sink the needed putt. Because I play anchor, I am continually improving on my ability to make the right shot at the right time. How lucky am I…..right?
Golf, like all sports, requires athletes to perform on demand in pressure situations. I would suggest that golf is a bit more demanding than most sports because of the plethora of stressors that players feel on every shot. To be considered a solid player, a golfer must conquer the ability to make the right shot at the right time!
Do you have that skill?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!