Golf, Golf, Golf – That’s what I want to do. Only if I do it well!
I want my swing to be as smooth as Ernie’s and as powerful as Daly’s. I want my wedges to spin like Phil’s and be as precise as Annika’s.
I want my putting stroke to never let me down and I want to play the best I can!
And it would be fantastic to be very good at those individual skills, but they aren’t the most important skills to have if you want to play your best. There is one skill I’d take over all of those combined. Because none of those skills would mean a thing if you weren’t 100% confident on every shot!
Confidence is the name of the game – I’ll bet on the player that has less skill and more confidence over the player that has all the skills and isn’t as sure of themselves. Confidence breeds confidence and confidence breeds playing your best.
You want proof of this statement – two words – Ben Curtis, the 2003 British Open Champion. Is he a great player? Yes – or he wouldn’t have even qualified to play. Does he have the best swing, wedge game or putting stroke on the PGA Tour – not on your life! Was he confident in his PLAN for the golf course on those 4-days last year – You bet your life he was!
I could reel off name after name of golfers that you had never heard of – until they had won a “Major” tournament and you probably won’t hear much from them again. Not to say these aren’t great players, because they are great – compared to you and me – but all things are relative and they’re competing every week with the Vijay’s, Tiger’s and Annika’s of their respective Tour’s.
The key to Rich Beem’s victory 2-years ago at the PGA Championship wasn’t his superior skill – meaning Tiger, Vijay, Ernie, Phil and the rest of the big names with more skill played in that same tournament – the key was Beem had a couple of good rounds to start the tournament and he became confident. What triggered that confidence – he had a PLAN to get around the golf course by using his strengths and avoiding his weaknesses.
How can you start to develop this confidence in yourself – well, the old saying of “play one shot at a time” – is a start. Now if use that as your base and then take that statement to another level by knowing what are your strengths and weaknesses on the golf course, you can start playing to your strengths “one shot at a time” and stay away from your weaknesses the entire round. And the great aspect of using this in your PLAN, is the more you don’t have to play your weak shots, the more confident you’ll become. Think about it – aren’t you more confident playing the shots you’re good at, as opposed to the shots, you’re not good at? Are you going to have more confidence using your favorite club or your least favorite club? Your favorite club is your favorite because it’s the strength of your game – your least favorite club is your least favorite because it’s the weakness of your game.
Now some people might say – “Well yes, that’s pretty common sense” – and I reply back to you – “Well if it’s so common sense, why don’t you play that way?” When we go out on the golf course each day for your 9-holes of On-Course Instruction – we always ask the golfer that is about to play their shot – “How are you going to play this shot?” And often times the answer from the golfer is puzzling because from our perspective, they’re going to play to their weakness. And when we ask “why would you play this shot that way” – the answer often times is – “Well, this is how I always play this shot.” If you haven’t already guessed – this is not a good answer.
Remember, just because you’ve been playing that way for 10-years, doesn’t mean that that’s the best way for you to play. If you play to your weaknesses, you’ll never develop confidence! There’s a reason why many golfers can’t break certain scoring barriers, and will never break them. It’s because you’ll never develop 100% confidence that you can do it because you’re most likely playing to your weaknesses. And what might make matters worse is you don’t know what your weaknesses are.
A weakness in your game doesn’t necessarily mean that every time you use that club or shot – that it’s going to hurt your score. The key is understanding that if you play to your weakness only 6-times in a round, you might hit as little as 2 or 3 bad shots out of those 6-shots. But, those 2 or 3 bad shots might be adding 2 or 3 or 4 or maybe even 5 or 6 shots to your score every round.
So on that day that your swing feels so good and it feels as if every putt is going to drop and “this, this will be the day I break 90 (or add your number here) for the first time” – you choke on the 15th hole by taking a triple bogey and the next hole you take a double and then the next hole another triple and then when you know that breakthrough score is out of reach today and you limp onto the 18th tee with shattered dreams – you hit you’re best tee shot of the day, follow it with a magnificent 4-iron, and two-putt for par.
You look around and say “what happened?” And you say “the pressure got to me.” And you say “I choked.” And you say “I was so, so close.” And you say “my swing felt so good today – I should’ve done it!” And you say “……..”
And I say – You tried to do too much, you tried to play a couple of shots that might have been you’re weaknesses and your confidence started to leak. Then you started to press even harder, trying to make up for the 15th hole and by pressing harder – your tension built-up, the fairway looked even tighter than usual, and with little confidence, well, you know what happens. You hit a bad shot and then as you approach the 17th hole, “your Confidence Meter is on Empty.”
You started the day with a PLAN and your PLAN bred confidence and that confidence bred more confidence. You felt assured of yourself because you knew what you were going to do before you did it – you had a PLAN or as some might say – you were in the zone. When you develop a PLAN to play to your strengths and away from your weaknesses (and we all have weaknesses in our games), you’ll develop confidence. And when you develop that confidence – well – just ask Ben Curtis, Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel, Craig Perks, Orville Moody, Jack Fleck, Ian Baker Finch, Sandy Lyle, etc., etc., etc…….., about what it’s like to have confidence for 4-days.
There’s a reason we always hear Annika’s name, Tiger’s name, Vijay’s name, etc. “Because they have a PLAN to play to their strengths and practice their weaknesses.” And this PLAN develops their confidence to always be at the top of their game. Develop your PLAN so that you can join them and play to best of your ability!
Do You Have a PLAN?
Then When are You Going to get One?
Golf Made Simple!