You’re going to hit some unexpected shots in every round — even great golfers do. And it’s natural to want to avoid hitting as many of those frustrating ones as possible.
You may believe that the key to reducing your margin for error over 18 holes has to do with delivering stellar technique, or managing the course well, or even playing smart shots. While those things are important, they don’t always prevent golfers from giving strokes away. In my experience, golfers can minimize big misses by following one important rule if golf.
That rule is giving yourself permission to play at your best.
Did you just think to yourself, “Well, duh! Isn’t that obvious?!” It’s okay if you did. But your reaction may be because we’re not exactly on the same page, so I’ll explain what I mean.
One of the main reasons golfers experience a big miss is not due to poor technical skill, poor planning, or even overly aggressive choices. Much of the time your errant shots are due to the fact that you’re choosing to proceed with a shot when you know you’re not ready to hit it.
In your last round, how many shots did hit when you clearly knew that you ~
- were still questioning the club in your hand?
- were lacking the confidence to hit the shot you wanted to hit?
- were just hoping for a good outcome, but were uncertain about what was actually going to come out?
- were rushing to just get it over with?
- were rushing because you felt like you were holding people up?
- or were distracted by someone or something rather than being completely locked onto your target?
I could keep adding to the list because I’ve probably heard every excuse in the book from my clients for why they decided it was acceptable to hit shots that they were well aware of not being ready to hit. Do any of those excuses sound familiar to you? None of them, absolutely NONE, are valid reasons for why you’d ever proceed with a shot if you really want to give yourself every advantage to play at your best from the start to the end of a round.
In order to minimize big misses, you must give yourself permission (on every shot) to play at your best. #golf #golftips #playgreatgolf Click To Tweet
Giving yourself permission to step out of a shot you know you’re not ready to hit is one thing. And I can attest to the fact that it’s a hard thing for golfers to do, especially when they’re worried about what others will think if they do.
But another reason golfers don’t step out of shots to reset as often as needed is because they really don’t know what they’re missing that’s contributing to their lack of readiness.
Leave me a comment below and tell me…
What’s preventing you from giving yourself permission to step out of shots? Are you leaning on excuses or do you simply not know what you’d do to improve your readiness if you did?
What it Means to Play at Your Best
1. To play at your best you need to have some skills, but perfect swing technique is not required. The more important thing is a consistent attitude of acceptance and confidence that whatever’s working in the bag is enough of what you need to play well. Too often I hear golfers talking about what isn’t working.
2. To play at your best you need to possess an understanding of how to navigate the course well. But that includes a willingness to be mentally flexible and creative in your approach, rather than rigidly thinking that the only way to score is to hit shots with the same clubs, in the same order, and about the same distance every time. Golf is a game that requires a lot of creativity because there are SO many different ways one can play a hole well.
3. To play at your best you need to play smart shots, meaning shots you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you can hit. This doesn’t mean trying to hit shots that were working last week, or even last round, but aren’t in the bag today. This also means selecting targets you know you can reach. So if you’re not hitting quite as far as you normally do you don’t take that as a strike against you. Tap into that creativity that I mentioned above and plan a shot that actually aligns with the “A” game in your bag today. And don’t play to avoid trouble — that’s trying to play “SAFE” shots which puts your into a defensive mindset that is not conducive to playing at your best.
You can play at your best consistently when you play with trusted mental routines before and after every shot. Trusted routines help you maintain the right mindset that drives an attitude of acceptance and confidence, flexibility and creativity to leverage the best of what you possess for the day, and smart decision making to minimize the occurrence of errant shots.
But even when a golfer is playing with great routines, his routines won’t produce good results if he lacks the self-awareness and discipline to reset BEFORE hitting his next shot. This importance of this rule cannot be minimized, nor can you continue to avoid adhering to it because you think you’ve got a good excuse.
Improving your game starts by giving yourself permission to step out of shots that you’re not ready to hit so that you can cultivate the mindset necessary to deliver your best shot, one shot at a time.
If you know you need a better mental game and truly want to lower your scores, then I’d like to connect with you so we can asses and target your biggest opportunities to save strokes.
CLICK HERE to schedule a free consultation call with me today. I look forward to speaking with you!