Can You Tell If You Made A Great Golf Shot?

The most obvious tell of a great golf shot is the results. It is a tangle but metric that every golfer can identify. I would challenge aspiring golfers to open their focus, remove the blinders, and be open to other methods of what constitutes a great golf shot. It might will challenge some paradigms, yet it is worth exploring if we want to gain a deeper appreciation of our golf game. The challenge for many is the ‘how’ of noticing a great golf shot when the end results does not scream in our ears.

Arnold Palmer provides a wonderful example of what constitutes a great golf shot for his game. Watching the perfect flight of any ball can be nirvana. I would contest that hitting the fairway is a boon and coming to rest in the first cut or rough does not take away the greatness of the golf shot.

The next would be the perfect sound of the club striking the ball. It is hard to describe, but you will know it when you hear it. In the video below, pay attention to the swooshing sound and then contact with the ball. As you can see, not all shots resulted in a great position, but the sound was there and worth emulating.

Lastly, making a great recovery shot does not always mean we finished in the perfect position. What it does suggest is that we gave ourselves an opportunity to make a much easier next shot. Much of success of these shots comes from making great contact with the ball. The following compilation of Tiger Woods shots shows that not all (although most did because it is Tiger) shots result in a perfect position.

4th of July image from Image used from

Making a great golf shot is not rooted in just the results. Ball flight, sound and contact are major contributors to a great golf shot. Over the years, I have hit many great shots that did not have the greatest result. It did however set me up for success on my next shot.

I want to wish all my American friends a fantastic Independence Day. I hope your celebration is fun and full of laughter. Have an awesome day and remember to be grateful.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

10 thoughts on “Can You Tell If You Made A Great Golf Shot?

  1. Jim, even for advanced players, it’s very hard to reconcile a good swing with a poor result – very hard. A month ago, I played a round and on my first two holes I hit five shots that were perfectly struck as planned and I made two bogeys because of bad bounces and miscalculations. It’s tough to take but we must persevere through positive self talk. That “could have been” feeling is difficult to overcome.

    On occasion, when the guys on tour aren’t on a birdie-fest, a very tough setup will provide a stern mental test that’s fun to watch. Seeing the best in the world struggle for the same reasons is good theater and a valuable teaching moment.

    Thanks for the Independence Day wishes. I will shoot one up for you and all our friends and allies north of the border!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      We all experience tough bounces or an unlucky lie after a great shot. It is a fact of golf and you are right that keeping our mental focus on the positives is key to playing well for the rest of the round. I hope you play well today and hit many great shots!

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great is subjective. A well planned and executed shot may be great, and it may just be good enough. What I know for sure is that they beat a poorly planned and executed shot every time. 😂

    I know when I put a great swing on it. I put a great swing on the 4 wood today on the 10th tee. Nutted it. But the line I chose wasn’t the right one for the extra distance I got from that swing and I found the water hazard. Now I missed the target line by less than 2 feet. That’s how far the ball was left of the waters edge that I’d aimed down. That’s a great golf shot gone bad thanks to a planning error. But it’s that swing that I remember best about the day. I couldn’t hit it any better than that. 🏌️‍♂️⛳

    Liked by 1 person

      • Rather than adjust my line next time I think maybe it might be best to just hit a smaller club. The four hybrid is still going to get me inside a 9 iron range at worst. Adjusting the line will bring in some of the same trouble that keeps me from hitting the driver on that hole so clubbing down is likely the better option in this case to make doubly sure I don’t get to the trouble at all.

        I’m planning a couple minor changes to my hole by hole strategy for next week besides the one above. It’s our last round there before we move on to another course and I still haven’t broken 80 there in this rotation though I was close enough this week that the 4 wood shot is enough to have gotten me there had I not splashed it.

        More importantly though is one of the high handicappers beat me twice in a row now (net). It’s never happened until now and I certainly don’t want to allow him to shut me out. lol But I’m going to need the whole game present to do it if he shoots like he did this week. His net this time was 64 and that’s a number that’s tough to beat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin,

        Beating a net 64 is a real challenge. Sounds to me that this persons handicap should be lower if he beat you twice in a row. Regardless, you know that playing to your handicap will win most matches, so that would be my goal. Have a good match and have fun.

        Cheers Jim


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