‘Chipping out’ – is not a sign of weakness – part two

chipping out1“One thing I’ve learned over time is, if you hit a golf ball into water, it won’t float.”Arnold Palmer

By Ian Hardie

In the post ‘Chipping out’ – is not a sign of weakness

I suggested that there aren’t too many things that the 100 million or so golfers around the world agree on or in reality even have in common

This is because golf means a lot of different things to a lot of very different people but there are one or two things

That I think are almost universal in the game

One of them is a mind-set which seems to be present irrespective of the skill or experience level of virtually all the golfers in the world  – which I describe as having a ‘flag mentality’

In simple terms that means that the golfers have a tendency when they find themselves in a bad situation playing a hole – to attempt to play their shot directly towards the flag

Regardless of what’s in front of them or how unlikely the chances of playing the shot well are

This seems to happen because most golfers view ‘chipping out’ to safety

As an absolute sign of weakness

Now you might be thinking that it’s mainly a mind-set that male golfers have but you’d be wrong about that as I have met plenty of female golfers – who think in exactly the same way when they hit their ball into trouble

I think one of the biggest contributors to this problem over the years are the highlights packages from golf tournaments that are shown on television

As most golfers don’t have all that much time to watch the entire telecast of each round of a golf tournament

A lot of golfers will catch the 30 – 60 minute highlight package

Which inevitably shows the odd incredible shot played from deep in the trees by the golfers who are doing well in the tournament that day

Over time if you have seen enough of them you would start to think – that playing the miracle shot through the trees – is the standard thing that should happen while playing golf

When in actual fact, there are a significantly larger number of golfers

That attempt those same shots – which you don’t see on the highlights package

Due to the fact that they are not in contention for the event – as they have missed the cut or fallen way off the lead as they didn’t hit the miracle shot but instead they went on to rack up bogey, double bogey, triple bogey or worse……………

Now before I go any further I want you to click on this link and take a look at the really cool video that you will be taken to on YouTube

Exciting action wasn’t it?

But as you will have worked out it was part of a movie that was produced using stunts, special effects and other movie tricks to make it seem believable

Meaning that there is an extremely small chance of you ever being stupid enough to try that in real life – there’s just no way you could actually do it for real is there?

Which means that your brain stores those images – simply as made up entertainment

Yet when you watch a PGA tour golfer hit out of a bad spot on the golf course – some part of your brain will store the idea that maybe one day – when you are on a golf course and in a similar situation to the golfer’s that you see on the highlights packages of tournaments

You can produce that same unbelievable shot that the pro did

Now even though the shot you saw was a real shot and not made up – you need to consider that shot in a similar fashion to the video you just watched

As what the highlights packages don’t show you is the other 10 or so pros who tried the exact same shot that day and failed

Going on to rack up bogey, double bogey, triple bogey or worse……………

The bottom line is this – miracle shots are real but they are also the exception – not the rule

Playing forwards for ‘the miracle shot’ every time that you get into trouble on the golf course

Will simply buy you higher scores on average than if you choose the smart option most times and ‘chip out’ to safety before continuing onto the green

Choosing to take the option of ‘Chipping out’ is not weakness – it’s a smart decision that you can make to give yourself the best chance of scoring well on a hole after a poor shot

Read that bit again and make sure you understood it!

Unless of course you rate your game on ‘that one great shot I hit years ago’ as opposed to how you score each time you play – in which case I’d suggest continuing to go straight at the flag every time!

Look out for “‘Chipping out’ – is not a sign of weakness – part three” where I’m going to share some ideas with you

That will help you figure out if the shot you are facing – is in fact worth going for

Until then

Play well


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