We are often spoilt watching the top PGA professionals on television with how they pierce the fairways with long, booming drives and ‘throw darts’ at pins. Professionals at the top of their games have the confidence and ability to get into a state of flow where they make the game seem effortless. What is important to consider on the weekend of tournaments are the guys and girls who have maybe not made the putts their game deserves or they have been punished for some wayward play which has seen them shoot scores around par.
In this day and age, tournaments are often won by golfers shooting 3 or 4 under par each round. However, what can the enthusiastic golfer learn from this? The professional golfer looks create opportunities. Let me explain.
Every hole requires some form of strategy to allow you to get from the tee to the green and eventually the hole, in the least shots possible. Professional golfers and their caddies plot every hole on where they what to drive the ball, the landing zones and how they can approach the next shot. From the fairway, they measure the distances to the front and back of the green, how far to carry hazards and where the ball needs to land along with the required spin. They have charts of the pin positions and a green ‘graph’ on the slopes and borrow required. Club golfers are generally not privileged to have such information and perhaps they lack the consistency of the professional golfer.
I am really fortunate to be able to work with some really inspiring up & coming golfers whose handicaps vary from 6 to scratch. The lower the handicap, the lower margin for error and in my coaching sessions with golfers, I am keen to emphasise how reframing their games can make a difference to their mindset and help increase the chances of shooting lower scores.
Creating opportunities is about giving yourself the best chance to shoot the scores you desire. By hitting the fairway, you are creating an opportunity to hit the green. By hitting the green, you are creating an opportunity to hole a putt. If you miss a green, your thought process is to give yourself an opportunity to save the hole.
Sometimes creating these opportunities will fall outside of your ‘desired result’. This means you may mishit a shot but still end up well placed on the fairway. See it as an opportunity to attack the green rather than being disappointed with the contact on your tee-shot. If you are 70 yards from the pin and you put the ball 15 feet away rather than 4 feet, see it as an opportunity to hole a mid-length putt.
Next time you play, think ‘Create Opportunities’ and see if it helps reduce the expectations of playing the perfect shot every time.