Nicola Stroud, Head Teaching Professional at Burnham & Berrow Golf Club is here to explain why we shouldn't try to fix our faults mid round
It’s very important to remember that golf is not a game of perfection! We should embrace our imperfections when we play, especially when we have a card in our hand or if we’re playing in a match.
Have a think about what you do when you mis-hit a shot, hit a slightly wayward drive or even miss a putt… I’d bet that you go straight to your technical thoughts. I’d also bet that sometimes your technical thoughts work for a few shots, but then you start hitting the “bad” shot again or missing your putts: one to the left, then one to the right. All of this just then leads to confusion.
Trying to correct faults during the round is a sure fire way of developing frustrations, increasing lack of confidence and in turn, creating an erratic score. Instead, when things aren’t going well, for example, if you’re pulling all your approach shots and missing on the left of the green more often than not, then I’d recommend allowing for the fault… Aim a little right!
Accept that today, this is your game and allow for it, but promise yourself that you will go to the range, get in touch with your coach or head out onto the course tomorrow to fix the issue. By accepting the fault and having a plan to deal with it later on, this will help you concentrate on getting the ball around the course rather than getting paralysed by technical thoughts.
Sometimes a simple thought process does the trick, but mostly, focusing on a good motion and timing will suffice. Play smartly, make sensible decisions and keep to your routines rather than trying a load of different things each time, or taking on high risk shots to try to make up for the shortfall in your game.
Give yourself permission to make mistakes, breathe and stick to what you can control.
Words by Nicola Stroud
In the last Mental Game Series article Nicola Stroud talked about whether we should have a practice swing - To practice swing or not to practice swing? That is the question - read here.