Golf’s Greatest Asset: Hope!

Every golfer I know plays golf with a large smattering of hope in their bag. On many slightly wayward shots, they hope that their ball will take a fortuitus bounce and end up with a great lie. Hitting the ball in the woods also delves into the well of hope that first they find their ball and second, they have a shot. There are many other instances where hope plays a crucial roll in their game, but is it really a strategy the leads to lower golf scores. My response to that statement is yes and no!

My non-committal response is purely based on experience. As my journey to playing better golf unfolded, I found that I relied on hope less and less. However, there are certain times during my game when hoping for a great bounce was required. The Gary Player adage of “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” is true today as it was years ago. If a player is luckier, then less hope is required because they likely hit less wayward shots. I know that is my case for sure.

Blair hoping for another hole in one at the 17th hole of Osprey Links.

To be honest, hope has helped me shoot lower scores. I remember playing at Osprey Links a few years back and was sitting at even par with three holes to go. On the long par 5, 16th hole, I pulled my ball left into/near the trees and hoped that I had a clear second shot. As I arrived to the my ball I was in the open and had a straight shot up the fairway. I thought all was well until I struck my second shot with my 3 hybrid.

Trying to play to the 100 yard marker, I over steered my ball left (again) into the trees again. I verbally said as my ball sailed to the edge of the trees, “get lucky!” Obviously, I was hoping for a lucky bounce and poof, my ball it a tree and finished in the fairway about 120 yards from the pin. The golf Gods were with me that time. After a solid wedge shot and a two putt, I walked off the green with a par. Talk about avoiding a potential high score. For your interest I finished one over for the day, but was very happy with my round.

Hitting poor shots is not an unusual part of any golfers round. It happens to the best players and definitely happens to amateurs. During those wayward shots, all golfers hope for a great outcome. It seems inevitable that we do….right? However, the more I did practice and play, the less I relied on hope because I hit less wayward shots. It is the evolution of every golfer if they decide to take the time to improve all aspects of their game.

If you are wondering where to start improving, I recommend starting at the pin and working backwards. Work on the fundamentals of your short game before devoting all your time to the ‘Big Dog’. It will quickly lower your scores, improve your confidence and reduce your requirement to use hope as a course management strategy!

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

2 thoughts on “Golf’s Greatest Asset: Hope!

  1. Good solid advice. I make a point of spending more time practicing short game than hitting full shots. Full shots don’t require finesse like the short game does.

    The only other piece of advice most amateurs I know really need to take heart is ‘let it go’. You can’t be getting angry over every bad shot and you can’t carry that anger into the next one ever.

    I flubbed a flop shot attempt tonight and watched the ball come halfway back to me. Then I chipped in because I don’t carry one shot to the next. That’s how I won my first skin tonight. A 4 wood and a 2 chip. lol I was way behind. 4 down to of the guys and one to the other. I won the next hole too and then tied my way out. So I finished one down for the day. 2nd place. 1st loser. lol

    I was pretty happy with what I saw in my game though. I just didn’t get the luck of getting them down alone often enough and that happens playing these guys. They’re sharp as tacks after playing the course daily for a decade.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      Letting go of a poor shot is one of the best mental tips amateurs can learn. It is frustrating sometimes, but our ego has to take a second chair to our mental side of our brain when playing golf. Congrats on the recovery skin.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

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