The perfect shot….at the perfect distance with the perfect landing spot followed up by the perfect roll into the center of the cup.
It’s the shot we all strive for but the problem is it’s unobtainable. There are too many variables for it to happen. We can get close, sometimes very close, but to “fire on all cylinders 100% of the time” is a near impossibility.
With my belief that the above statements are true and accurate, the question that begs answering deals directly with the seeking of perfection and its adverse effects on performance.
Does seeking perfection harm our scores and if so….how badly ?
One area where perfection is sought and the end results of our efforts are immediately visible is on the Trackman. We see in “real-time” our distances, shot placement, landing area, path to target, and a multitude of other relevant data. In my experience, the more I immerse myself in the numbers and shot patterns, the greater the possibility of disappointment in the results. I begin to ask myself why I can’t “pinpoint” my landing area, why can’t I get 15-20 more yards out of my Driver, and why my shot disbursement (shot groups) aren’t in a tighter pattern. The greater the depth of my inquiries, the greater my disappointment in my results. I begin to call adequate shots…inadequate.
I have to often remind myself the following….
1. The fairway is a large area. Pick a general location on the fairway where I want the ball to land and aim for that spot. Hit the spot….fantastic. Don’t hit the spot…it isn’t the end of the world. Let go of the bad….follow up with a better next shot. Lastly….whenever possible, land the ball in the fairway and stay out of the rough.
2. Distance helps….accuracy helps tremendously. 250 plus yard drives are worthless if I can’t find the ball after I hit it. 180-200 yard drives where the ball stays on the fairway will ALWAYS be the better play …at least in my case.
3. The Short Game is my great equalizer. I don’t abandon or neglect the long ball component of my game but a solid short game will allow me to score much better than I have been. I’ve learned to LOVE my short irons, wedges, and putter…and for good reason.
4. Don’t be so hard on myself. Mistakes will happen, bad days on the course will happen, and my best made plans will sometimes fail. To get down on myself for a mistake or allow negative energy to effect my attitude only serves to assure the remainder of my play will be both frustrating and substandard. I have to fight the urge to be perfect.
For me these are not easy tasks to accomplish….but the must be accomplished if I am to score well and meet the performance standards I have set for myself. I have to allow things to happen…allow them to develop…and NOT force things to happen then suffer discouragement when things don’t go as planned.
The Trackman has been a tremendous help to me as it allows me to receive immediate feedback and illustrates not only my areas of deficiencies but my progress in correcting those deficiencies. It also allows me the unfortunate ability to critique every aspect of my game and begin to “sweat the details” in such a manner as to add unneeded stress and doubt in my progression. I may be criticized for writing this but at this stage in my development does it REALLY matter if I’m 10 or 60 ft. left or right of the center of the fairway when just 10 months ago I couldn’t hit the fairway …period ? Is an accurate drive 180-190yds. in distance a better option than a 220-230yd drive that ends up on the far left rough ?
This game is humbling….as well as being an activity that can take you to the highest highs. The toughest part for me to date is having to fight the urge to be perfect.
…and I suspect it will remain difficult for some time to come.