Many amateur golfers will relate perhaps to playing a few shots more than their normal score when they go play a new course. On the face of it, this is probably something that most golfers expect. After all, you don’t have the benefit of “local knowledge” and thus it can be easier to get caught out by visually confusing hole set ups or subtle greens.
It is easy to become more than a little complacent when solely playing one’s own home course. You get to know what club you use on this hole of that, you get to know the breaks in the greens and the prevailing wind direction. In reality, you stop practicing the mental evaluation part of your pre-shot routine. Hence you become a little rusty in this area.
It’s good to go play other courses, and then you have to really become aware of the various things that we are tested with in golf. Holes are set up in such a way as to draw the golfers eye in an inappropriate direction and create a state of visual confusion. They are set up with hazards that test ones ability to ascertain the safest shot, the best route to the pin and also ones nerves!
A key part of golf is the ability to read a course, read a hole and read a green. The actual performance of a golfers shot is in fact only a very small part of the overall game. To only play ones home course means for many that they miss out on a lot of the fun and challenges that make up the game of golf.
Additionally, if you only play one course, or one type of course, there are probably many shots that you do not get an opportunity to practice. You might find that you are only comfortable playing low running chips and that when faced with the necessity of a high lob style shot you find you just cannot see how to make it happen. You might find that you can only play out of shallow bunkers and not deep ones. You might find that you can only play slow greens but not fast ones.
There are many variations of the instances that you might identify with here. The long and short of it is that if you don’t want to become a one course or one type of course player, then it is important to give yourself an opportunity to play all of those different shots. It is also important to get practiced in reading and evaluating holes and shots.
It’s like the difference between being able to source food and cook it as opposed to simply warming up a ready made meal in the microwave! A huge part of the game of golf is mental. One of those mental aspects is what I am talking about here; the ability to think your best way around a course.
There are many other mental aspects to the same of golf. Confidence and focus are hugely important and both of these rely upon a solid foundation of good thinking and the making of good shot choices.
Roseanna Leaton, golf addict and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the GolferWithin golf mind training system.
P.S. Discover how to focus your golf mind and play winning golf through golf hypnosis. Check out my website now.