This post is a follow up to part 1 on your Putting-Intention.
Having a strong Intention for where the ball is going to fly, makes golf much easier. And its not always about hitting outstanding shots. If you select the correct shot to play, have a strong intention and DO NOT strike the ball well, generally, the ball will still go somewhere near the target and not into the water or trees. Let me explain:
I was out playing 9 holes the other evening. I had a 2nd shot into a par 5 which I can just about reach in two shots (after a good drive). I have drawn a rough picture of the scenario (below) to illustrate what I had to contend with on this shot. I have already had offers from the Louvre in Paris for the Picture, but, I turned them down.:)
- The fairway is above where the second shot is played from
- Steep dry slope starting from inside the left portion of the fairway and left off the fairway kicking balls down to the Obi-Wan Kanobi (O.B.)
- Right side of fairway: favorable side slope with light rough that feeds balls down towards the green/fairway
The Shot and Lie
Here is where my Intention – or lack of it – resulted in the ball firing off towards Obi-Wan.
The ball was not sitting up. From a lie like this I would usually hit down on the ball and play a ball that flies left to right. I think and feel that this selection of shot will give me the best chance of striking the ball solidly up near to the green. I’m right, but, there is a problem with this shot selection, left is a “no-go-area”, and if I don’t cut the ball successfully, I’m over with Obi-Wan; seven shots for the hole is a probability.
Because there was O.B. left, I subconsciously did NOT Intend to play a big cut, just a slight fade with a downward strike with my 3-wood.
I did not cut the ball – and the ball flew left then bounced viciously to wards Obi-Wan. See rectangular shape with 1 next to it (divot 1) in picture.
I immediately Reviewed the shot (M.V.F.E.A.R, R is for Review), realized that my shot selection was wrong, through down another ball and went behind it to imagine the shot and swing I wanted to play. This time I aimed a little right. Despite having a poor, dry lie, I intended to play a shot to the right with a hint of right-to-left curve (see rectangular divot #2 in picture). Not an easy shot from this lie. And, like the first shot, I didn’t strike the ball well. But, there was big difference in the outcome and where I would play my 3rd shot from.
It was harder to play a straight-to-draw shot from a poor lie, but, it had ZERO risk. If I miss-hit the ball across the ground which is a common shot from a poor lie with a 3-wood, because my shot selection and Intention were safe, no problem. My intention means that my swing path will be straight regardless of whether the ball is struck well (see divot 2 in picture).
Autopsy on first shot
I was not fully imagining a strong strike down and big curling ball flight, subconsciously – because there was O.B. right there, I was torn between cutting across the ball to get at it cleanly and the O.B. lurking anywhere left of the fairway.
What to do?
1. Can’t go wrong with the strategy and intention for ball 2. Tougher shot to play from that lie, but you will still be in a fine position for a short 3rd shot to the green.
2. We know that the Intention and the strategy for shot 1 was wrong…or was it?
If you have a strong intention for hitting down on the ball and can visualize the ball fade up to the green; if you can feel the steepness in your swing that is required; if you can feel your hands hold off through impact and the club staying open and you feel confident playing the shot, go for it!
You have to do what I just mentioned or play the conservative 2nd ball strategy (also with a strong feel about the swing you intend to use, albeit with a straighter swing-path).
DO NOT go for the riskier strategy (starting the ball left and attempting to cut it back into the fairway) and not FULLY COMMIT to the swing and shot – like I did on ball 1.
The moral of the story? Play smart golf, and fully commit to the shot that you feel comfortable playing. I would suggest the conservative strategy (ball 2), but, if you feel confident about playing a more aggressive strategy, play it, but only if you are 100% fully committed to the swing, using the M.V.F.E.A.R. process (Mental, Vision, Feel/Energy, Action, Review) see #2 above and The Automatic Golf System .
Use these tips when you play next…commit fully to the swing…how it will feel, and, play smart golf. For more details on playing with more feel, and vision and less technical mind-babble, go to the Automatic Golf System.
P.S. Who is Obi-wan Kanobi?
Jedi Knight in Star Wars – the movie… He uses the