Colorado Golf News
Love your misses!
By Kathleen Heiney
DIVOT Contributing Writer
Take a minute and think about the last round you played. How often did you miss a shot? Meaning it didn’t go where you wanted it to go. It was thin, fat, short, right or left? Did you notice a pattern of misses? Do you know and understand your common misses? Golf is clearly not a game of perfect shots it is a game of great misses.
Playing and teaching golf for over 40 years has taught me a lot. Not only how incredibly challenging the game is, but how often we are playing missed shots. When you think about the golf swing, it is miraculous that we can actually put a tiny clubhead square on a small ball, propel it forward 150-300 yards and pray it goes where we want it to. The good news is sometimes it does and that is why we love it!
The great golf shots are what keeps us coming back. Missed shots are the ones that bring us down and create doubt and negativity during a round. A missed shot doesn’t mean a failed shot. We put so much pressure on ourselves to execute amazing golf shots, and when they don’t occur, we are hard on ourselves. When I was a kid, my Dad always told me “Honey if you have had 3-4 GREAT golf shots in a round you have had a good round” the shots he was speaking of were the ones that went exactly as intended. The rest were great misses!
It is imperative that we know, understand and love our misses, for those are the shots we are playing. A great way to do this is to start a performance journal. Start tracking different misses during a round. For example, are your drives most commonly moving right? Is your short game suffering because you are using the wrong club and/or you are not familiar with your distances? Are you averaging 3 putts during a round because you are moving the ball left? These are just a few things you can start to track so that the next time you play you can start to see a pattern. Once you have established these patterns you are able to expect some of these misses and start to play them during a round.
My natural ball flight is right. The funny thing is, it has been that way since I was a kid. I often think maybe someday I can draw the ball, on occasion it happens, but more often than not it doesn’t. I have learned to play the left side of the fairway just in case, so when I do miss it right it is expected and I know I can recover.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to not compare ourselves to the tour players. Watching tournaments on T.V. and focusing so much on all these amazing shots, however, what we tend to forget is that they are spending a lot of time playing missed shots and scrambling to score. The scrambling is what makes a good player a great player.
We must stop wasting so much time trying to perfect the game, because perfection does not exist. Let’s spend more time enjoying the game, playing the missed shots and scrambling to score. That is what makes golf a lifetime sport!
Kathleen Heiney is a LPGA Class A Professional, Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor. For more information please visit the following website: www.lincgolfandwellness.com.