Over Thinking Your Golf Shot

I have never been accused of overthinking anything, but last weekend I think I changed that. As you know, I played in a 2-man scramble at the Mattawa Golf and Ski Resort where the postage stamp elevated greens and very dry conditions added a touch of difficulty to every shot. It was during short chips and longer putts that my brain was in overdrive!

Blair and I had many opportunities to score, but never seemed to get anything going; especially on the last day. We had a tendency to over read breaks on the putt and under value the difficulty of hitting to dry elevated greens. We would have longish discussions about what we thought would happen then fail to execute the shot.

My thought of the Day!

We lipped out on at least 7 or 8 holes each day that we thought would drop. During 4 putts, the ball would either drop away from within 3 inches of the hole and stay on the lip or not break at all. Blair and I have slightly different putting strategies; I like to hit the ball 8 inches past the cup and Blair plays with a bit more finesse. Unfortunately, I was not hitting the ball past the hole and that was my problem.

We would discuss many putts, but from our own putting perspectives. Therefore, the line we would pick was different and that caused us many confusing decisions. Eventually, we ended up reading our own putts and seemed to have better success. We definitely over thought the reads and as a result missed quite a few shots by less than an inch.

The sad part for me is that I forgot my two golden rules to putting! Well, I am back on track now.

During our chipping, we could not seem to get the ball to respond to our generally solid chipping. The elevate greens were protected by some steep banks. Additionally, these banks were hard and not forgiving at all. On many shots we would be about a yard or two short to allow for the ball to bounce onto the green, yet we ended up chipping again. Our ball would bounce left or right or stay in the exact spot of contact. It was a strange thing and something I would need additional practice if I played at Mattawa more than once or twice a year.

I think I gave the elevated greens too much credit. As we discussed the reaction of the ball to the hitting to into the bank, I should have just used ore elevation and landed on the green. Our discussions were fruitful, but hitting the ball on the green and accepting a longer putt was far better than chipping again. Being more aggressive on my approach or chip shots would have produced better results.

The 9-hole golf course at Mattawa offers some unique challenges. The small elevated greens are their best feature. It is challenging to play these small areas of real estate, but fun nonetheless. I like playing under tough short game conditions and look forward to returning in August.

Do you ever overthink your golf shots?

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

Golf Tip: Putting to Lower Scores

Putting is the cornerstone of low golf scores. There is no golfer, amateur or professional, who has not questioned, dissected, or overhauled their putting stroke. As a golfing fanatic, who is always trying to expand my golf knowledge, I like to ask golf questions to, well, anyone who will listen.

A couple of years ago, I penned a 5 part series on how to putt. It dealt with several different parts of golfing and I think they are still valid. If you are interested, click here to start at Part 1.

So, here was my question from a couple of days ago:

I have to say I was a bit surprised by the results. I have always been taught to roll the ball 8 inches past the hole. Putting 8 inches past the hole will make sure, more often than not, that the ball will drop, but not so fast as to stay out if the center of gravity of the ball is on the inside of the lip of the cup.

Putting is a tough skill to master in golf!

Putting is a tough skill to master in golf!

There are many different views on putting. The 17-inch rule by Dave Pelz has guided many amateur golfers through the years. Personally, I find hitting the ball almost 2 feet past the hole a bit too aggressive for my game.

Other pundits recommend that just dropping the ball in the cup is the way to go. I find that by trying to hit the ball so it just drops in, my putt generally ends up short. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but the yips become more of an issue when I am putting tentatively.

The consensus from my Twitter question suggests that dropping the ball in the hole is what works for most of the respondents. Ultimately, it is up to the player and what they find most comfortable. personally, I am sticking to putting the ball 8-inches past the hole.

I would be interested in what your preference is: past the hole or just in?

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