How much easier would the game be if you eliminated one, just one shot from ever happening again? Which one would you get rid of? The top, the skull, the shank (sorry, most people don’t like to hear that word), the chili dip? Forget it – I’m afraid we’re all going to have more of these bad shots. But, what if you were to never hit a left to right shot again, or never had the ball turn left when you hit it, how much easier would the game be?
I was playing with one of our members about a month ago and he hits a solid drive off the first tee that fades gently to the right about 15 feet, stopping around 270 yards off the tee. His comment – “Looks like I’m playing a fade today.” And, he did, at least for about the first 3 holes. Then he was loosened up and started to draw the ball, which lasted for another 3 holes before his little draw became a full blown hook with the occasional slice thrown in to really confuse his thought process.
After that he did not hit another fairway the rest of the round. Why? He didn’t have any idea which way the ball was going to turn once it left the club. I asked him why he didn’t put a little effort into eliminating one of the shots – it didn’t matter which one, just make sure the ball goes straight or only turns one way. He said, “Sign me up!”
The next day we went to the lesson tee and in a short time established his natural ball flight was either straight or moved a little from left to right. He had been fighting with the fade for sometime because he had it in his mind that a fade was weak and he certainly was not going to be known as a weak player. I reminded him that a couple of guys named Nicklaus and Trevino did pretty well with the fade.
Two days later he took his new thought process to the course and ended up having his best round ever by 7 shots! He did not miss a fairway to the left and only missed 2 fairways to the right. And, the best part is he realized when you fade or slice the ball into trouble you will generally need another fade or slice to get out of trouble and back on the course.
You need to have an idea of which way the ball is going to fly. It’s pretty hard to swing a golf club, with your fingers crossed, in hopes of a good shot. And, the guy that stands on the tee, aims down the middle of the fairway, and declares he will never swear again if the Golf Gods will just let him hit the fairway is in big trouble.
It isn’t that difficult to eliminate one shot from your game, you just need to figure out what your natural ball flight is and make a small adjustment so the other shot doesn’t show up unless you want it to. If you need help sorting this out, tell your local PGA Professional you only want to spray the ball one way!
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.