What’s your idea of a perfect round of golf? If you were to shoot 72, would that be a perfect round to you? The best players in the world only hit approximately 70% of their fairways and 12 – 13 of their greens in regulation when they play, and yet, they can still shoot 72 or better. So if the pros aren’t perfect, and they still shoot great numbers, what should your idea of perfect be?
You’re idea of perfect is should be that you can never achieve it. Why’s it so important to understand that you’ll never be perfect? It’s so important, because at your level, trying to be perfect puts added pressure on your game. The game of golf has enough pressure already without you adding more. So if you stop trying to be perfect, you can lighten up a little and have more fun playing this game.
Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes
If you can understand that you’ll never be perfect while playing this game, you can finally give yourself permission to make mistakes when you go to play instead of getting down on yourself. You can stop scratching your head in disbelief after you hook that drive or miss the green because even the best players aren’t perfect. Permission to make mistakes will also allow you to focus on your future shots, instead of dwelling on the past. Before your next round, tell yourself that you’re going to hit some bad shots and there’s nothing you can do about it. If you tell yourself this, you’ll reduce the pressure you are putting on yourself allowing you to have a more enjoyable round.
Pitching, Chipping and Greenside Bunkers
These can be some of the most difficult shots in golf. Because these shots are so difficult, and because people rarely practice them, it should be obvious that you’re not going to hit all of these shots within 3 feet of the hole. The next time you’re faced with a tough little pitch shot, a long chip or tough bunker shot, instead of hoping to get the ball close, why not think about just getting the ball on the green? If you just try to get the ball on the green, you are not pressuring yourself to hit a perfect shot. If you take this new approach you might be surprised at how close these short shots will end up.
If you think you are going to make every 6 foot putt you’re mistaken. Putting guru, Dave Pelz, figured out that the pros only make 50% from 6 feet, 20% from 10 feet and 10% from 15 feet. Once you realize these stats, you’ll stop getting mad at yourself for missing putts. If you miss a six footer and whack your foot with your putter in disgust, not only will you have a hard time walking to the next hole, but it will be more difficult maintaining your composure on the next tee shot. So the best thing you can do when you miss a putt, is to tell yourself that it’s no big deal. The stats prove that even the best players in the world, only make a small number of putts.
The Practice Range is for Practicing
In teaching golf for over 15 years, I have been exposed to all types of golfers. The main thing I see on the practice range, is that people care more about where their ball is going than they do about what they are working on. Because of this, they often get angry when they hit bad shots. If this sounds familiar, you have to realize that the practice range is the place you should be practicing. You should be working on something in your game that needs to be worked on. It is not a place where you should be trying to hit every shot perfectly.
If you’re working on a swing position or change, there’s no way you’re going to master it in 5 minutes. This means you should be hitting bad shots when you practice. Make sure that the next time you go to the range, you use this time to work on something. Forget about trying to hit perfect shots and think about perfecting the positions you’re working on. The faster you make the changes, the closer to perfect your shots will become.
How Perfect Are You?
If you really want to see how perfect you are all you have to do is put yourself to the test. Go out on a quiet Sunday afternoon and hit 2 balls playing the best shot with each ball. Keep your score and see how you make out at the end of the round. Once you add up your score, you’ll truly see how close to perfect you really are.
All the best,