Two days ago, I happily made my way to the first tee. I was looking forward to playing and hoping that I could improve on my previous rounds. My round started with losing a tee shot (for awhile) in the long grass. After a 3 minute look, I hit found the little darling playing hid and seek under some mown grass. I hit my second shots (I was playing two balls) to short of the green and that is when things started to go off the rails.
I had two short 30 yard chips and grabbed my trusty 56° wedge. I have chipped in twice with this magical stick, so these shots should be easy peasy…..right? As I set up, I did not mentally feel focused and continued to hit anyway. I hit both shots heavy. They made the green, barely. I was able to salvage my pars and the made my way to the second tee. Not worrying about my poor chipping, I teed it up on the challenging par 3.
I made two good tee shots that were no more than 10 yards from the green. This time I grabbed my 52° wedge and was ready to hit the balls close. Again, I hit both chips heavy and I was starting to wonder what the heck was going on with my short game. I mentally went through all steps I needed to make a good chip, but my execution was very poor. After shooting one bogey and one par, I trundled on to the third tee.
I hit two good drives and was about 120 yards from the green. I used a PW and left on ball short and one on the green. As I set up to chip my one wayward shot, I took my time through all my chipping steps. Unfortunately, I could not seem to focus on my shot. Mentally, I knew what I was suppose to do, yet I could not seem to execute the shot I wanted. I walked off the third hole with two bogies. Walking to the fourth tee, I need to reduce the stressors I was putting on my game. The only thing I could think to do was stop playing two balls.
I hit a good shot off the tee with my 3 wood. I was 147 yards (laser finder) out and with my attention focused only on one ball, I seemed to feel better about making this shot. I hit a solid 8-iron and was off the right about 7 yards. My shot, however, was what I expected and was happy with the result. I grabbed my PW and focused on making a good shot. Surprisingly, I was able to mentally focus on my chip and I left my ball to within 2 two feet and a tap in.
As the rest of my round unfolded, my focus became sharper and sharper on all my shots. The next five holes I shot a birdie, a bogey and three pars. It was like a switched turn and I started playing golf the way I expect. It was a relief.
The important lesson I learned during my last round was that distractions can negatively affect my mental focus. In this case, I was playing two balls and for some reason this split my focus more than normal. I have experienced this challenge in the past. Sometimes life events were the challenge or I was taking too many pictures for my blog or I was too focused on helping someone improve their game. Basically, I was spreading my mental acuity too thin and I forgot about my game.
Of course their are many other ways to lose focus on the golf course and it is a real challenge for amateurs. Learning to shut out external stressors is important to playing great golf. My little reminder last round was all I needed to ensure that the next time I tee it up I am mentally prepared to play great golf!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
4 thoughts on “Losing Focus On The Golf Course”
Jim, very interesting that a second ball created the distraction. I have never experienced that but will keep an eye out next time I play two.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I am sure it was a one of. I still lplan to play two balls moving forward. But will remain wary of the focus challenges.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Sounds more like you found your focus. But I wouldn’t discount the idea of playing two balls altogether yet. Competing against yourself adds pressure to every shot. Something you might not be ready for this early in your season, but I would think that should be a helpful training exercise for competitive play.
If I’m playing two balls though I’m practicing. Not playing for score. I most likely won’t even be hitting the same clubs off the tee. That way gives my full bag a better workout. I’m practicing so if I fail, that’s ok. That’s when I want failures to happen so I can identify and shore up areas that need work. Flub a chip and I may go pick it up and hit it again. Or I may just go hit it where it is now. I’ll make the most of what I’m allowed without slowing anyone down. And that means when no ones behind me, I might spend half an hour around just one green. Hitting sand shots or lob shots or chips and pitches to different locations.
Also, I’m not so sure trying to count and record a score played with two balls is going to be fair to me. Take your 165 yard half hidden par 3 for instance. I would guess I would do a small percentage better at finding that green with two balls hit consecutively than playing one ball per side.
That’s just me, but in my book, playing two balls is just for practice.
LikeLiked by 1 person
You are right about playing two balls for practice. I intend to keep playing two balls, ot was just that day that I could not seem to get ahead of the curve. I am definitely not changing anything, it was just a blip on tje radar screen. Thanks for helping.