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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Playing to miss???!!!

The mental game is the most important part of golf. Personally, I don't think that's an opinion, I think it's a fact. With that in mind, I can't believe I haven't written more about it or started a category on it yet. I'm going to change that now.

I hear a lot of people talking about "playing to miss." From amateurs I play with to commentators and pro golfers, I hear them say such things as "if you're going to miss, you don't want to miss left." Huh? I never got that.

I understand there are worse places to miss than others and if there's trouble on the left and a friendly spot on the right, it would be better to end up on that side. If you miss. However, if you approach your shot from a mental standpoint of not wanting to end up on the right, doesn't that mean you err to the left in your setup, swing and, in fact, aim? Even if it's only subconscious, it still effects your swing. And doesn't that mean you're not really going for your target so you're essentially playing to miss? How are you going to make it if you aim to miss? HOW?

Of course I guess it's different for professional golfers on Tour. Brains are programmable and for the most part, theirs are already out of beta testing. A safe strategy for them can make the difference in a few hundred grand in earnings. For me and others like me, it means we're programming our brains to miss, thus we will never have the luxury of playing it safe with a comfortable lead.

Next post.

1 comment:

srinidhi said...

I just started reading your blog after a gap of time. While the one about celebrity golf went over my head, playing to 'miss' intrigues me. While missing to the right or left may be more a technical aspect, I know people who do not want to start with a good hole, as they know they will mess up the rest of the round. They subconciously miss an easy putt or if they do make it, you can be sure they will mess up the next few holes. There are many such instances where we seem to make a 'sacrificial error' as if to appease some golfing gods. It can be hitting a ball into the water, straying into an OB, so on and so forth!