The day has come for you to make a commitment to your Golf Game.
The Player makes a commitment to “play to their Strengths and stay away from their Weaknesses!”
The Monkey doesn’t even make an attempt to know what their Strengths and Weaknesses are!
So what are your Strengths and Weaknesses? Most Golfers aren’t honest about what they do well, or what they do great or what they’re so inconsistent in doing that they shouldn’t even consider doing it on the golf course.
So if you had to write down one thing you do well on the golf course, one thing you do average and one thing you’re really inconsistent with – what would they be? Though, one consideration – Unless you average 32 putts or less for 18-holes, do not list putting as something that you do great. Also, unless you average getting up-n-down around the green 55% of the time, do not list chipping, pitching, wedge shots or whatever you call these short shots from within 20 yards of the green as something you do great.
So now that we have that out of the way – are you ready to make the first step?
The Monkey will unfortunately seperate their rational decision making skills from their golf game and yet, your decision making skills are the most important aspect of your golf game. You’re the one hitting the golf ball on every shot – so you better make rational decisions before you swing. And if you’re not the same rational thinking person on the golf course as you’re off it – then we have a problem.
Now, answering the question about your weaknesses – a Monkey says: “Scoring, the weakest part of my game is scoring.” That’s not a legitimate answer, although I hear it all the time. Why isn’t it legit? Because scoring is a result of good ballstriking from the tee, the fairway, the rough and around the green – and putting may also play a small part in the scoring process.
If you’re wondering why you’re not scoring well – it’s because those above reasons have to improve. You can’t just say I need to improve how I score and read a book or take a class on scoring. You first need to improve your ballstriking, your putting and your decision making!
So where do you start?
You start with being honest on what you can expect to accomplish on the golf course. Meaning I find that one of the least popular clubs to hit on the golf course is the 3 iron. And I believe the reason for that is that it’s not a strength for most Golfers – it’s probably closer to a Weakness than it is a Strength. Yet, if it’s a Weakness – why would you even consider using it on the golf course?
Why wouldn’t you find a club that’s more of a Strength and use it. Here’s an example – You’re playing a Par 4 of 390 yards. About 20 yards in front of the green is a water hazard, lets say a small creek that’s about 10 yards wide. You hit your Drive ok and it goes around 180 yards. You now have 210 yards to the center of the green and maybe 195 to the front of the green.
This means you have to hit your ball a little more than 175 yards in the air to get over the creek. To hit that ball in the air for over 175 yards, you need to hit your 3 iron.
What would you do?
Well the Monkey that’s not making Rational Decisions with their golf game would use their 3 iron – even though they know that they would have to hit the golf ball next to perfect with a club that they rarely hit perfect. This is what I would define as not making a Rational Decision!
The Player knows that the 3 iron is out of the equation. So what does the Player do? The Player understands that they’re strongest with their Pitching Wedge, and they’re going to put themselves in position to use their Strongest clubs. The Player says that they believe they have a 10 out of 10 chance to get the ball on or around the green with their 3rd shot when hitting with their Pitching Wedge rather than their 3 iron.
So this Player sees that they’re 195 yards from the front of the green and 165 yards from the front of the water (175 to carry the water). So this Player is going to hit a shot that stays well back from the water, just in case they hit it too good. This Player then takes out their Pitching Wedge (since it’s a Strong Club for them) and hits it 110 yards down the fairway. This leaves the Player with 85 yards to the green with their strongest club.
Now, even if you don’t hit both Pitching Wedge shots perfect, you’re either going to be on the green putting for Par or just off the green where at worse you should make Bogey after a mediocre Driver.
The Monkey is going to play to a Weakness by using their 3 iron to try to carry over the water 175 yards away. How many times out of ten will the Monkey carry that water? I’d be kind if I said 3 times. Yet, I’m going to be down right hospitable by saying that the Monkey carried the water 5 times. Out of those 5 that carried the water – how many are on the green. Again, being very gracious – let’s say they get it on the green 2 times out 10. Which is also being generous because a PGA Tour Player will hit their 3 iron on the green “only” 4 times out of 10 shots!
Oh wait, how many out of the 5 that didn’t carry the water went into the water? How about we say 3. The other 2 shots that didn’t make it over the water – take your pick: bad shot that only went 40 yards (leaving you with a 155 yard shot to the green that you still have to carry 135 yards over the water) or a bad shot into the trees on the right (which besides wasting a shot punching out of the trees, you still have the water to contend with).
Now, if we add up the totals for the 10 times you played this hole, who would have a lower average score – The Monkey and their 3 iron or the Player with their Pitching Wedge? And the answer isn’t even close! The Player using their Pitching Wedge will make nothing but Pars and Bogeys. The Monkey and their 3 iron will make Pars, Bogeys, Double Bogey’s, Triple Bogeys and Quadruple Bogeys.
So what does this tell you?
It tells me that the Monkey is more committed to playing for that miracle shot. The Monkey is always hoping to hit that great shot that will allow them to hit a golf ball from 195 yards with their 3 iron because they might have done it once in the past. And they think that because they did it once, that they should do it every time even though they’ve failed to do it their last seven attempts.
The Player understands that they could hit their 3 iron shot and be successful sometimes. But the Player knows that Golf is not a Sometimes Game – it’s an Everytime Game. So if you can’t hit a club well just about everytime you hit it – don’t use it. Commit to only using the clubs that are working for you.
The Monkey after they hit that one miracle shot uses the absurd phrase – “That’s the shot that keeps you coming back to the Golf Course!” After hitting 99 shots that make you want to be away from the Golf Course!
The Player knows every shot has the same amount of importance, so they PLAN by “playing to their Strengths and away from their Weaknesses”
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life