The Start of my 2016 Golf Plan to Lower Scores

My 2016 adventures on and off the golf course are as holistic as ever. I believe all aspects of my life directly impact my golf game. How I am feeling emotionally, my mental state, and inner harmony are only a few areas that I focus my efforts off the golf course. Spending time exploring the tranquil path of a calm mind has tremendous and positive impact on my ability to excel on the golf course. Continue reading

Seeing and Believing

Welcome to the second installment of “Seeing What is Important” when playing golf. As we prepare to watch The Masters, it would be in our best interest to pay attention to what the players and caddies are saying and where they are looking while preparing to make a shot. Value is gained by focusing on their conversations and the language they use to discuss influences on their game.  The last post dealt with knowing your yardage, what the wind was doing and how the ground felt.  I wonder if the pros at the Shell Huston Open are talking about how these variables affect their score!

Learning the finer points of golf can occur anywhere; watching the pros, your buddies or complete strangers navigate around the links. Rarely is a golf course hazard free. Every hole as something that will catch your eye; something the makes your hair on your neck stand up; or something that makes the voices in your head start to speak!

Uphill shot

Landing area is higher than tee. Expect to hit shorter off the tee.

down hill shot

The green is below the ball. Time to throttle back!

Unlike a mirage, most changes in elevation on the course are real. Elevation changes are the most misunderstood challenge on any golf hole.  Modest changes to the elevation will create a 1/2 to 1 club difference regardless of the yardage.  The challenge for most players is to determine if the modest changes in elevation are real or not.  Here is my guideline – if I can see the entire fairway leading to the green without it looking smaller – throttle back and think about hitting one less club.  If the fairway looks like a railroad track going away, the yardage is as paced.  If the fairway disappears quicker; add one club to your approach shot.  This rule of thumb works for me.  Thanks to the Dave at One Bearded Golfer for this topic!

Cooler and Humid

Your ball will travel further on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!

The second point for today deals with the temperature! Most experienced golfers are saying that the colder the temperature the shorter the shot; but wait, there is more. Temperature is really broken down into three categories: Temperature, Barometric Pressure and Humidity.  As an overview, the ball travels further if it is hot, your golfing at a higher elevation like my buddy Craig in Denver, and the greater the humidity. For amateurs, this is hard to believe, but it is true.  For a more detailed explanation, check out Golf Digest.

Last tip is to believe is what you see and visualize what you want.  How many times have I heard the saying, “come on, this is ridiculous!”  There will be many times over a round when a player thinks they hit the perfect shot; only to walk up to the green and wonder what happened.  After shaking their head in disbelieve, they walk to their ball and hit a poor shot and blame it on their lie.  As an experienced golfer, I would have to tell that player that the lie did not cause the problem – it was caused by disbelief; then frustration.  Acceptance to the situation is extremely important to lower scores.  Everyone hits poor shots, it is the next shot the will determine if you score a par or double bogey – you get to choose.

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There are many optical illusions in golf and it takes an experienced eye to identify them and adjust their shot accordingly.  Understanding and recognizing the potential hazards is one of the first steps to lowering your score.  Anyone can do it, it is a matter of “Seeing and Believing!”

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