In this day and age of endless information we realize our students come to visit us at the United States Golf Academy as much for clarification as information. They have read and watched and listened to a point of confusion. “I am thinking too much,” is a common complaint. Our answer is usually the same, “It is not that you are thinking too much, it is that you think at the wrong time.” Way too many missed shots are caused not from a lack of talent or skill, but a lack of planning. The following is basic guideline on how to plan for more successful golf shots.
Before you ever strike a shot there are a couple of questions you have to answer. The first is quite simply; “Where an I going?” Make a conscious effort to choose the place you want your golf ball to be to play the next shot. This is rarely the flag!!! When playing a hole we need to know how many shots it is reasonable to expect to reach the green. If you miss a spot then begin a new plan. We then need to know the expected landing area for each shot and once those decisions are made we can ask:
So we now have a basic plan to play the hole. Now, how do we deal with the shot at hand? To answer this question we need to know the distance to the target, and then chose the club and type of shot that will best get us to our destination. This choice can be as simple or as complicated as your skill level allows. Regardless, you need to make a choice and stick with it.
So we have described the task at hand and how to complete it, now is the time to just do it. Set the chosen club behind the ball, point the club the direction you would like the ball to travel; set your feet and swing the club. In that order! Don’t think about where and how as you have already decided that when you step up to the ball. If there is anything we know for sure is that you can’t make any of the prior decisions while you are in motion. Just trust your judgment, and swing the club.