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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Remember the Good Ones

I think it's a good idea to keep vivid memories of your good shots.  We all hit them.  If we really think about those good shots, remembering the situation, how we felt before hitting it, what we were thinking, how much time we took, etc., often a picture emerges.  

But even if it doesn't we should all really savour the good shots we hit.  It's easy to get discouraged by our bad shots, especially since there are often more stinkers than there are really good shots for most of us.  My dear, departed friend, Gerry was a great example of a guy who just tried to break 100, but absolutely loved his golf.  He had a very short memory when it came to his bad shots.  In fact, they were gone often before they had landed in the bushes, the water, or someone's backyard.  Gerry had perfected the "automatic reload," where as the ball sailed off into another County, his right hand would come off the club, reach into his pocket for another ball, and drop it at his feet.  Gerry would be preparing to hit another one as the first errant shot was landing.  He didn't mess about.

But after the game was over, the only thing Gerry would remember and want to talk about was the great shot he hit on number twelve, or the chip he holed on eight.  Even in his round of 100 blows or more, there was always a few good ones for his memory bank.  He was a good man to copy in that respect.

Too often I've been that guy who, after a round, moans about the putts missed, or the shot in the water on thirteen, instead of remembering the good shot, or shots, I managed to hit.  The fact is, I'm not good enough to moan about bad shots.  Everyone hits bad shots.  That's part of the game.  And sometimes the bad shots actually set us up to hit really good shots.  Some of my favourite shots were ones made from behind a tree, or under the lip of a bunker.  Recovering from bad shots is an exciting and exhilarating part of the game.  

What have I learned from remembering some of the really terrific shots I've hit?  In almost every case I had to think about the shot.  It was generally a shot that required me to manoeuvre the ball around, under, or over a tree, or maybe land it softly, or run it in.  It was a shot that required imagination.  In most cases I took a little more time, really visualized what I wanted to do and mentally rehearsed how I would have to swing and strike the ball to do it.  Essentially, what I learned that most of my really good shots came when I was really invested in the shot.  I was concentrating like mad, totally caught up in the shot I wanted to play.  

That most of my great shots were trouble shots also teaches me that bad shots are just presenting us with the opportunity to make a great recovery shot.  And when you do recover, that's when you really feel great.  There is nothing like saving a par, or a bogey, from jail.  

I think it's a good idea to remember your good shots.  Even if it often requires a poor shot to give you the opportunity to hit a great one.