I’ve been eagerly watching the poll that I currently have going in the sidebar asking you what your most dreaded golf shots are. It’s early, but as results have been trickling in, many of you have voted that your most dreaded are tee shots on tight driving holes. We’ve all been there. You stand on the tee and the hole you’re faced with looks about ten yards wide. There is trouble on both sides. Maybe it’s water, woods, out of bounds, or some combination of the three. There are deep fairway bunkers and the green looks so far away. You stand over the ball and all that trouble is swirling around in your mind. You’re thinking about penalty shots, water splashing, double- and triple-bogeys. It’s not a pretty picture. The most important thing to do on a tight driving hole is to get on the short grass. You need to eliminate the trouble to give yourself a chance to score well on the hole. Let’s see if we can get you on the right track.
I got to thinking the other day that golf presents a lot of challenges that can cause some anxiety, fear, nervousness, dread, and any other negative emotion that might apply. Certainly, a good mental approach is to train our minds to not be results-oriented and to play one shot at a time and to stay in the moment and all that. Let’s be realistic, though. If we amateurs were good at that, we’d play a lot better than we do. Every player has individual strengths and weaknesses. Better players have fewer weaknesses and the weaknesses that they do have are not as severe. Less skilled players might have huge holes in their games to the degree that they simply cannot play certain shots. I’m fascinated to know what your most dreaded shot is. In fact, I’ve changed up the poll in the sidebar so I can get a tabulation. If you don’t see your most dreaded shot listed, then leave a comment here or e-mail me and I’ll add it to the poll. I know
I really have a disdain for cold weather golf anymore. It’s hard to make any real improvement when I can’t get on the course or the driving range with any regularity. The conditions are more difficult to play in. The cold keeps my muscles stiff. Nonetheless, I was able to get out for nine holes today for the first time in weeks. I wouldn’t say I played well, but I did better than I expected. I’d say my ball striking was much better than I figured it would be, but naturally everything was just a little off. I wasn’t holing any putts and my short game was imprecise. I have to keep reminding myself that the weather and course conditions play a part in all that. In 44-degree weather, I need to remind myself to club up. When I hit a short drive, I need to remind myself that the fairways are saturated and there’s a 1 or 2 club wind in my face. The greens are fairly bumpy during this time of year. I’m
A while back, I put a poll in the sidebar meant to gauge your overall winter golf habits. It was an interesting exercise. As of today, here’s how you responded to the question, “Which best describes your winter golf habits?“: I play when I can in winter, if the temperature is above a certain level (38%, 54 Votes) If the course is open, I play, no matter how cold it is (28%, 40 Votes) I live in a warm/mild climate so winter is not a factor (11%, 16 Votes) When cold weather comes, I’m done until spring (11%, 16 Votes) Snow comes early and stays around so I can’t play even if I want to (11%, 15 Votes) It’s not the cold so much, but the wind will keep me off the course (1%, 1 Votes) At first, I was surprised as the results took shape, but as I thought about it more, I came to the conclusion that it all makes perfect sense. I half expected to find that most players hang up the