Have you ever attempted a shot you were absolutely 100% certain you could not pull off? If you’ve played more than 18 holes in your life, I’m sure you have. We all have.
I was talking with a long time friend and golf professional a couple of weeks ago while he was visiting our resort. To protect the guilty party, let’s call him Joe Pro. Joe makes a comment about how difficult our Bermuda grass rough is to hit out of. I explained the summer heat was starting and this type of grass loves heat and when it gets hot out three or four inches of Bermuda rough is like six inches of his Kentucky Bluegrass.
Joe’s a pretty good player, and he starts telling me about the problem he had on one of our par 5’s. Seems he hit a very good tee shot that left only about 235 yards over water to the green. He pulls out his 3 wood and knocked it in the lake. Then I realize he was talking about hitting this shot out of the rough. “What were you thinking”?? Joe tells me he felt like he had to try to get to the green, even though he was trying to dig a ball out of 3 inches of Bermuda grass.
Wrong tool for the job, Joe! Did you really think you could pull this off or were you just trying to make your members feel good by showing them even you can hit a ball in the water? Joe smiles and says, “No, but the opportunity to hit this green in 2 doesn’t come around very often so you have to try when you get the chance.”
Now I know most of you reading this understand how difficult Bermuda rough can be to play out of. But, for those of you that don’t know, take a big sponge and cut a hole in it about 3 inches deep and just big enough to fit a golf ball. Put a ball in the hole and now try getting it out of there with your 3 wood!
Joe knew he probably couldn’t make the shot. Joe knows Tiger probably couldn’t make the shot! He hit a great tee shot that presented a rare opportunity IF he was in the fairway. He got caught up in the moment and went brain dead and tried the impossible. The club hadn’t even reached the ball before his brain started functioning again and he remembered he is not capable of this shot.
Just because golf professionals make dumb shots sometimes doesn’t mean it’s OK for you to do it. All it means is we all do it from time to time. When you are faced with a shot you know has little chance for success, or you just don’t feel good about it, use your head and have the discipline to play the high percentage safe shot. Your score will be lower, your golf ball expense will be lower, and no doubt your blood pressure will be lower as well.
Kim Anders is Director of Golf at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at Kanders@estrelladelmar.com or call 1.888.587.0609, Ext. 3010. Find out more about the golf resort by visiting www.estrelladelmar.com.