Project 2 Handicap

Online log of a quest to drop my golf handicap from a nine to a two within sixty months. Sink or swim, I'll give it my best shot. Advice is not only appreciated, it's encouraged!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Goal for Sunday: Make Every Shot

Wednesday, emotions kept me from playing my best golf. If I'm to reach my goal, I have to do a better job with emotions. Not controlling them, because emotions are part of golf, but playing the game the right way regardless of the emotions that I'm feeling.

So Sunday, I'm gonna try a little experiement...

A little while back I heard Dr. Joe Parent, author of Zen Golf discuss the idea of "making every putt" on a GolfSmarter podcast.

By "making every putt" Dr. Parent doesn't mean "holing" every putt, he means that we should try to roll every putt along the intended line, at the intended speed and consider that to be a successful putt. In other words, in order to keep emotions from interfering with the putting stroke, remove the desired outcome of holing the putt from the definition of success.

Easier said than done to be sure, but I have had some success with this on the greens recently.

In my next round this Sunday, I intend to extend this thought to my full shots too. Except that I'll have to revise it just a bit for full shots. "Success" on a full shot will mean that I played the shot without any emotional baggage.

Emotional baggage could mean, as with putting, concern about the outcome of the shot. Or it could mean playing a shot too quickly because I'm still miffed about my score on a prior hole. Or it could mean playing a shot that I don't really believe I'm capable of pulling off just because I want to make up for a prior poor shot on the hole.

Playing the shot without emotional baggage will mean playing within my routine; planning the shot and swinging the club in the manner that I believe will produce the shot that I've planned. Each shot that I play this way - in the present and free of emotion about the past or the future - will be counted as a successful shot.

The result of the shot will not be a factor in whether or not the shot is considered a success. So a skull, shank, top, chili dip or whatever could be a successful shot as long as I play the shot without emotional baggage affecting my preshot routine or my actual swing.

If I can pull this off then I can honestly say that I played the best golf that I was capable of playing that day.


At 5:41 AM, Anonymous Macy said...

Well written article.


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