Now for something a little mental, and I am not talking in the madness sense, well I guess you could relate it to madness as thats what I went through in spells on my Medal round Sunday. I’m learning about the game of golf the costly way, you can quite easily hit a ball on the range but taking this out onto the course is the first step, and then taking this out onto the course in a competition becomes the next progressive step. This post will talk about my experiences from my comp on Sunday and what I experienced courtesy of my beloved subconscious.
A weekday comp I played in on the Friday was interesting, I had a shocker again (like the week before), and to be honest I’d rather not be compiling posts about this as it would be then permanently engrained in my thoughts. However what I did do was take a long hard look at myself in between the two tournaments and evaluate where I’d gone wrong. To be honest I’d hit some great shots, but the reality was that i’d putted shit, short game was awful and driving lacking confidence and poor. But why? I’d hit the ball sweet in practice, both running up to the tournament and on the day of the tournament so I was convinced this to me had to be mental related. Something was eating me up inside and it really just need to either be removed or obliterated! So as I am a slow learner I went back to a Bob Rotella book I’d read last year, and you’d think i’d have known and remembered this inside out by now, and how wrong was I after reading it to rekindle some memories! After getting back into the book, within minutes i’d realised that the issues I’ve had of recent are more than likely down to subconscious swing thoughts, a quest to be perfect and a lack of concentration on the “correct” things that matter when in the pressure cooker.
To back this up and prove my mind is the trickster at the moment I failed a few tests on Sunday that cost me a good conservative Five shots, these were quite comical when I reflect, so I will give you some comedy and recall my pain in order of failure!
Hole score of 10 (par 4), this was a hole which is 2n’d hardest and 440 yards uphill, you always need a good drive on this hole to set you up well and not face a shot which relies on precision from outside the fairway with a wood (for me), I’ve par’d this hole a couple of times in open play and i’ve got as far as a bogey in comp play, and with this being a long hole for the high handicapper is more or less a par 5.
Anyway, scoring 10 on a hole like this is by no means acceptable even for me and this involved 3 drops in total, I think now in hindsight my subconscious was telling me I’ve pared it, I can keep going for the green in two but but in reality under pressure it will take a while before I can just snap out of a poor dropped shot to repeat the feat I’ve done under a no pressure situation. I recovered well here to get back into the present with Par on the next two holes!
If under preassure release the value and change club in able to perform more sensible lay up!
A fluff/chilli dip! This was comical, I overhit the green on a wedge approach shot, and the person in my group also did and ended up being about 2 foot in front of my ball on the second fringe. He said would you like me to mark it? first thought was no, I thought i’d just get it on the green and in the hole and down for my third par in a row!. Net result however was a result of my sub conscious knowing the ball was in front of me and potentially something I could hit but my confidence pulling me the other direction and just saying go for it based on performances on the previous two holes!
Think when I end up in a different unusual situation stay in the present and don’t let the confidence i’ve built up lead me astray.
I hit the wrong bloody ball! How bad and embarresing was this. To explain why my subconcious led this in a previous competition I was advised unbeknown to me that I should be able to identify the ball (fully) not “oh yeh its a callaway warbird!”, without wanting to remember numbers on a ball and put yet more stress on my mind I bought a sharpie and finally marked for the comp this week!. This next error occured at the turn on the 10th, which if hit well uphill catches a bank that starts at 230-250 and can add 30 or so yards if hit really well. One of the players in my group who had the same ball type had the tee honor and went first on this hole and hit a tree on the right, which to be honest did look like it had gone through onwards. Then onto me, I did everything write and this really felt fantastic, wallop an absolute peach up the middle.
When walking up hill I was not impressed, there was a Callaway sitting right in the middle of the fairway, 10 yards from the 150 marker, which is usually where I land so was convinced it was mine. My opponents waited for me to play, and hovered in between what I immediately thought were their two other balls 50 yards ahead and me. It was strange something just didn’t feel right here when being set into my preshot routine, It was as though I had an itch I couldn’t scratch in my brain it was awful, the brain was saying “Dan you’ve got Warbirds, your ball is usually here so just get on with it and stop holding up the two other players” but something inside was saying “you’ve hit a peach Dan, this can’t be your ball, say something here or this could end in tears of embarrasment!” well you guessed it, i’d hit the wrong ball out of pure subconcious thought that is engrained on this hole which ended up with a Two stroke penalty, but the twist in the tale was I hit a really good third shot that landed just off of the fringe and got holed!!!! So I bogeyed….not to let this get me down I got back up, brushed myself down and thought about the positive that that really was just a birdy!
Thinking about my ball markings would be a start for next time but again if in doubt pull out! Simples, if I feel in doubt I will most certainly be pulling out of the shot to avoid such schoolboys errors.
I think at the end of my round I proved most of theory that it was mental state getting in the way of a decent performance, i’d played awful with my 3W all day so I decided to lay up on the final hole and par the hole rather than risk and reward, something that I knew would work well to keep my score to a respectable one and not let the sub conscious thoughts i’d engrained with previously poor shots with the 3W effect my end result, the destiny was in my hands and it felt great! Rules also came into play a bit here, rules are rules in Golf and most