Teeing off at your favorite course is exhilarating. Approaching the tee off at number one gets your heart racing. What will your day bring? Will the round be terrible? It doesn’t matter what the hole is like, or if you happen to like the first at all. It begins the round and sets the standard for the rest of the day. Arriving at the course begins a thrilling rise. This emotional battle builds until the last ball is struck of the day. The final chip or putt that ends the inner struggle against the clubs and the self. This emotion only begins to climb toward its pinnacle when you strike the first ball from the first tee on the first swing. It is a pivotal moment that dictates your mood and happiness for the rest of your game. It doesn’t matter how much you love the course. It doesn’t matter how many times you have played it. If you send the first shot into a hazard or worse tumbling thirty or so yards behind you, you will spend the rest of the day trying to make up for your first ball. Worse yet, if you send several shots off into the nether lands of out of playville, you will try that much harder to recover from the mental anguish and frustration of a bad beginning. There is good news golfers. With a little planning and some effort, you can learn from even the worst outing in memory.
Everyone has had a round they would like to forget. So why terrorize yourself? On such a round the only thing we can do as golfers is hold on for the ride. We can witness our worst swings and try to take in all of the hiccups that hinder our otherwise golden swings. A sound strategy for defeating the worst of these days is to merely try to learn as much as you can from them.
There are several simple things to keep in mind and to gather in order to ensure some gainful lesson from the best and worst days of your golfing hobby. The first is quite simple to take advantage of but equally easy to forget to bring with you. You should always have a digital camera (249.99 –Sony Handycam Flash Memory Camcorder (DCRSX44) with 4GB Internal Storage, 60x Optical Zoom – Silver Find it at www.Taget.com)and a mini tripod (Around $15-$30 average cost.See Dynex™ – Flexible Tripod 21.99 at Best Buy) with you in your golf bag. It must be a camera that can take video. Camcorders are perfectly adequate and can add some element of humor to the time of viewing your own struggles on the links. When you begin a terrible round, or even a particularly spectacular one, take out the camera and tripod. Each time you tee off, set the camera up behind your ball far enough away that your entire swing is in frame. Each time you take a shot that you presume is going to be a challenge, set the camera back up again in the same way. Remember to take a post swing snapshot or a short clip of where the ball wound up after the shot. This process is very useful at fixing attitude and emotional issues with your game. Not only will the hassle of setting up the camera get you to stop thinking so much about how bad you are playing but it will serve as a lesson in what makes you tick as a player once the day is over.
Take some time before viewing the footage. (At least a few days.) Come back to the collection of what you will assume is going to be pretty miserable swing mechanics and have your score card handy. If things go well; you will have a lot to think about that will make you a better golfer. You’ll be forced to think about where each shot was on a given hole, teaching you strategy. It will make you visualize where your shots wound up playing and you will have a better picture of how to play the course. The resulting lessons should provide you with an idea of how you actually played. Not how you thought you played. The basic idea is that when you have accomplished this task you will see what you did when you took shots on given holes and you will have a solid memory of what to do when you play next.
What else you ask? With the new knowledge of the course and your own limitations, you will be better prepared to play a great game. A game where you know the course and you know the shots that you need to make when placed in different situations. This is a solid approach to fixing your game and your mechanics. Not to mention if you pay for expensive lessons, you’ll now have a complete round of golf that you and your instructor game view. You can sit down and take each hole, one at a time. Each swing will provide a snapshot of how you use your body to overcome the obstacles that the game can throw at you. This is where you can really make strides. Confidence will follow. And as any golfer can tell you, confidence can make up for the worry of poor swing mechanics any day. If you step up to a shot with a practiced mind full of certainty that you won’t blow it, you will have many times the likelihood that you will ace the hole. Also, you will stop using the excuse of, “It was the club.” As new tech meets the trends of each year of golf, you will always have the chance to try new excuses as you try new things. But remember, it still comes down to you. Your swing and your approach to each shot makes all the difference. Try this strategy and let me know how things went. Suggestions may follow but the one thing that can be promised is, you will learn something that will aid you greatly.