I would like to address one of the most feared shots by the majority of golfers.. how to hit your golf shot over water.
We have all been there, it can be the ultimate card wrecker so let’s face and defeat the mental challenge, so here are some suggestions and thoughts which can easily be taken to the course in a couple of weeks time.
The ideas can be utilised for any perceived “pressurised” situation which you may find during the 18 holes. We can control these thoughts with actions and effective practice.
The additional pressure of the “water hole” is simply magnified as the ball is irretrievable which adds to the “snowball” effect of negative thoughts. We have vivid imagination to create a “horror” story even with longer term potential consequences. It is incredible these thoughts manifest themselves in a matter of seconds gathering additional “snow” unless we somehow stop it rolling.
Sarah Bennett hitting a shot over the water
Our golf swing does not miraculously change from a technical aspect due to the appearance of water but our undesirable mindset can certainly changes our ability to make a committed and fluid swing.
We suddenly find our brains working overtime our head is full with damaging statements such as “Don’t hit it in the water again” or I will just get my pond ball ready… I know these phrases sound familiar.
So in my view firstly change to use positive vocabulary or phrases which can help dramatically with the way we approach the shot over water. We must try to concentrate on the process of the shot in hand as opposed to the shot outcome, which has not even happened yet. I am sure the words “I knew that was going to happen” have been heard ringing out on the course many times.
So why not transpose yourself to a shot you have played recently and achieved a favourable outcome? This may simply be a tee shot or approach shot with the club in question. It is important to recreate as many of our senses as possible after the shot such as energy levels, body language and feelings, try a cheeky grin we all have one of those when we hit our Sunday best.
I think I liked this one!
It is generally recognised we recall negative incidences as opposed to positive ones so this is a reason why after every round I ask my clients to note their 3 best shots on the course. The aim is to build a diary of positive, productive and energised recollections.
Secondly, try to become aware of your own personal physiological changes when faced with a challenging shot. A few examples of noticeable changes maybe tense shoulders, white knuckle fists, rapid breathing and dry mouth.
One important key is identifying and managing the situation, a few simple breathing techniques can assist so inhale feel your shoulders rise towards your ears then exhale. Upon completion of total exhalation indicates a really relaxed state, the shoulders have dropped considerably and we are ready for the challenge ahead. It will surprise you how much excess tension we carry around during everyday life, so why not use this destress relief as part of your daily routine I am sure it will assist.
Sarah Bennett thumbs up
I hope you have enjoyed reading the article and would love to read your comments, I will be providing additional strategies to cope with those awkward tee shots during my on course management sessions so please keep an eye on my http://www.SarahBennettGolf.co.uk website in the Events calendar for further details.