When you're not so sure
I’ve made a serious commitment to write four or five blog posts a week. Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with something interesting and beneficial. When I get stuck I write. I stop thinking and let the pen (keyboard) flow. Almost always something of real value comes to my mind and I get the job done. I learned this approach from Geoff Slattery, a journalist and (my) mentor.
I now approach golf in a similar way. Most rounds confront me with a difficult decision. Do I hit the six iron or seven? Or should I lay up or go for the green? When this happens I relax, clear my mind and choose a club. I then play golf. I have found that it doesn’t matter what I do as long as I play golf. Playing golf ensures I make the best swing most of the time. This allows me to shoot the best score possible.
On Sunday I was confronted with an interesting decision on the third hole. It was a short, downwind par 4. A well struck drive would finish near the green, giving me a good birdie chance. Being Pennant, I didn’t want to gift the hole by hitting it into the thick ti-tree. I wanted to be aggressive and play safe at the same time. Decisions, decisions.
I relaxed and cleared my mind. I selected the 5 iron and made a good swing. I nailed it. The ball sailed too far and into a fairway trap, leaving a difficult recovery. I didn’t panic or get upset with the result. I had made a good swing and got a little unlucky. I simply repeated the process with the next shot and ended up with a par.
It wasn’t perfect golf but I played the hole perfectly. Every shot was automatic and I didn’t over analyse, or make a bad shot through confusion. Once I chose the club I switch to autopilot and let the game flow. I know this sounds like commonsense, but many golfers play with doubt and confusion.
I believe you are far better to make a great swing with the wrong club than to make a bad swing with the correct club. Make a decision, then go for it. You have nothing to lose.