There’s no “If” in golf – part three

Ifhole

“Golf is about how well you accept, respond to and score with your misses much more so than it is a game of your perfect shots.”Dr Bob Rotella

By Ian Hardie

In the post There’s no “If” in golf – part two I asked you what your play would have been

If you had found yourself in the same situation, that a golfer who was about to play a shot to a green was in, when I observed them about to try and hit what I call an “If” shot

As you may remember the golfer had a few things that were going against them in their quest to hit directly to the green;

The ball was slightly nestled down in the rough with about half of it showing

There was a fairly large tree about 50 yards short of the green on the right, which if the ball was going to hit directly to the flag from the right rough, was on the exact line that the ball needed to travel on

The green was guarded in front by a little creek that flowed past the left side of the green and a fairly deep sand trap that was designed to catch any shot that was short on the right hand side of the green

I have drawn a diagram of the situation in the image at the top of this post – which you may notice is not quite as good as a Picasso but is pretty close I think – to help you to understand just what was going on

However, as ‘art’ of any form is definitely outside of my field of expertise – you are advised to read my disclaimer here before reading any further or using my contact form to suggest that I stop writing about golf to become a full time artist

As you take a good look at the image you will no doubt see that if the golfer did indeed manage to somehow get their golf ball out of the rough and heading over the large tree – an unlikely outcome for a start – there was still

An extremely good chance of their golf ball ending up in the creek or the sand trap

In fact the more I look at the diagram – it doesn’t look even remotely like it would have been a good idea to try and hit a shot straight at the green over the big tree from that lie – but that’s just my opinion and what I really want to know is

What would you do in this situation?

Pull out your fairway wood, hybrid or iron and then aim straight at the flag while thinking

“If I can hit a really good shot, I can get out of the rough, over the tree, past the creek, over the sand trap and onto the green”

Then end up making a big score on the hole or would you play a different shot that gave you a better chance of making a reasonable score on the hole?

Most golfer’s around the world seem to go for the “If” shot

Which as you will have worked out by now an “If” shot is where the golfer makes a decision to attempt a shot that is based on their belief that they will be able to produce it “If” they can hit their ‘absolute best ever shot with this club’

Something that you may have learned from painful experience over the years – doesn’t happen as much as you might like it to on the golf course

Which brings me to one of the most useful ideas about the game that I have ever written about and is something that once you understand it and follow it properly

Will help you to remove the ‘If’ shot from your game forever

It’s going to take a little bit of effort on your part to eliminate the ‘If’ shot from your game but I can guarantee you it is well worth doing

The first thing I want you to do is grab a notebook, a couple of big bits of paper or some sort of electronic device

Making sure that whatever you use will still be around in a month or so

Then firstly, I want you to think back over your last few games of golf and consider the good shots that you have hit – trying to compile a list of around 20 shots

For each good shot that you recall, write down a brief description of each one, then try to allocate a percentage of how confident you were in your ability to execute the shot before you hit it – so that it looks a bit like this:

  1. #6 iron from light rough 170 yards to middle of green – 85% confident

As you can guess this applies more to the larger shots played in your game as opposed to putting but if you want to include a few chip or pitch shots that’s ok – as long as you get to 20

Once you have done your good shots I want you to do the same thing for all the awful or bad shots that you have hit (if there were any of course!) over your last few rounds – also trying to compile a list of around 20 shots

For each bad or awful shot that you recall, write down a brief description of each one, then try to allocate a percentage of how confident you were in your ability to execute the shot before you hit it – so that it looks a bit like this:

  1. #3 wood over lake from 220 yards into lake – 30% confident

Got the idea of what’s needed?

Once you have done your two lists I want you to put a line under them or some sort of indicator and then over your next few rounds

Add to each list with both the good and bad shots that you hit each round

I’m going to give you a few weeks to come up with at least 40 shots on each list

By the way, if you would like to send me your finished list (which I may then use as one of the examples in the post ‘There’s no “If” in golf – part four’) then please use my contact form to do that which you can find here

Until then

Play well

 

Related Posts

There’s no “If” in golf

There’s no “If” in golf – part two

The reality of every golf shot that you hit

Why listening to other golfers is costing you shots every game

Is your golf based on other golfer’s false ideas?