There is a technical formula for every shot in golf. In the ideal world, every golfer would have the perfect swing, perfect tempo and would step onto the golf course with complete confidence in their ability to produce every shot in the book. We would all play “text book” golf.
In a perfect golfing world we would probably carry three different wedges and know the exact distance and trajectory of half, three quarter and full shots with each. We would always have the perfect shot in our repertoire to use in any eventuality.
But the real world of golf is usually a little different from this perfect image. We all have to start playing golf somewhere and we go onto the course with limited skill sets. Many golfers manage to make their way around the course using just one club because it’s the only one they feel confident with. Even advanced and experienced players haven’t practiced every single shot which might be required of you. You can end up in a unique situation behind a tree or on the wrong side of a lake, tucked up against the lip of a bunker, and so forth.
You are quite simply never going to be in a position where you have practiced and feel totally confident in every single shot which might be called for whilst out there playing real golf. And that’s just fine. There is in fact a trade-off in golf between technical ability and creativity. What you lack in technical skills you can more than make up for by employing your creative mind.
When you get to a position on the course where you know you ideally need a different shot but you just don’t feel at one with it, you have to find a way around this issue. The short game provides opportunity for some good examples. There are those high shots which you plan to land and stop, lower shots which are going to land and then run a bit, and many variations in between.
Let’s say you aren’t comfy with high lob shots; you can’t rely on them because they are too unpredictable. What do you do then? Well, you think about it logically and search for the next best option. It might be a pitch and run which you have to “guesstimate” but you at least like the feel of the club in your hands. Now you need to switch on your creative mind. You have to pick the exact landing point, see the trajectory and imagine the shot, visualizing the ball landing and running up to the pin and into the cup. Only when you have done that are you ready to commit to the shot and get the job done.
In this way creativity is utilized to build your confidence and commit to your guesstimated shot. The more confident you feel and the more committed you are the greater your likelihood of success. Here you can see the trade-off between creativity and technical ability. When you aren’t comfy with one club or technique, it is better to go with one you are confident with and sharpen up your focus by utilizing your creative mind. So long as you do this and commit fully to the shot you will have done the best that you can do, and nobody can ask for more than that. You are also highly likely to pull the shot off.
Your goal in golf competitions and tournaments should always be to choose shots wisely and to play your shots to the best of your ability. This means playing golf within the skills set which you already have and committing fully to every shot you choose. After the tournament is over, you will have ample opportunity to analyze your game and identify areas of technical ability which you may wish to work upon. You will also have time to contemplate how well you employed your golf mind and creative ability and see if they too would benefit from some attention.
Roseanna Leaton, avid golfer and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the golferwithin golf mind training system.
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