Your Golfing Ego
If stupidity is defined as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”, then are most of us golfing morons? How many times do you hear somebody say - and sometimes that somebody is you – “I do that every time I play this hole”! It’s usually because we THINK we can hit THAT shot, when in actual fact we probably can…. About one in ten times. In a game of limiting damage control, those aren’t very good odds.
As I type I find myself thinking I sound like every golf book, magazine, article, excerpt I have ever read about this game – Don’t let ambition outweigh ability, take your medicine etc. – but what if the medicine tastes bad? I can make this shot Carl!
What do you bow to?
I can make that shot Ego: You know the situation, you’ve got about 120m to the pin over rubbish, off a less than perfect lie – you take dead aim, after all it’s only 120 with a wedge, it’s not like I’m trying to hit my 3 iron 200. Then just before you take the club back you mind wanders to all that rubbish in between you and the green, to your dodgy lie and then you think stop, walk away and play the percentages. It never ceases to amaze me how much information can run through your mind in such a short space of time but no, you stay with it. Where did it go? Right in the lumberyard!
I can carry that Ego: There might be par 5 you play with a fairway bunker right at driver distance – and you find it every damn time and odd time you don’t you bail out and find worse trouble on the other side of the fairway! But it’s a par five and you want to blast off, I have to hit my driver! Forget what your mates call you, take your 3 wood, take the bunker out of play and hit your next from the fairway. Ty would have split the middle every time though, blindfold on!
Stiffer the better Ego: As a general rule your swing speed determines the stiffness of your shaft, not your mate’s opinion and certainly not because some random tells you “what you need”. Next time you feel the need to visit your local golf store to check out the new Vulcan V10’s, take your driver and ask if you can test your swing speed. Explain to the retailer that you want to make sure you’re playing the right shaft. If they are serious about helping you, they won’t mind. They will probably put a few demo drivers in your hand, after all they may make a sale! Warm up with a few hits then take about ten shots noting your swing speed each time. Better still, pay for some help, have a teaching professional assess you. You won’t be sorry; the shaft is where it’s at.
Tour Ball Ego: If the pros use it, then it must be the best. Assess your game honestly and choose a ball that will help minimise your mistakes. If your wayward off the tee – play a ball specifically designed to have low driver spin. If you play a regular shaft in your driver, maybe opt for a lower compression ball to suit your swing speed. It matters not what brand you play, only the model.
Driver Loft Ego: There is a fair chance the majority of golfers don’t have enough loft on their driver. Modern drivers are designed to minimise spin, but the less spin your driver generates the less forgiving you may find it and if you don’t create sufficient club head speed you will need more loft to get the ball “airborne” anyway. Some drivers will spin more than others, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Combine extra loft with spin and you are in a better position to put more back spin rather than side spin on the ball, you’re misses may still find the rough, only the first cut though.
Do any of these sound like you?
It's a hard bloody thing to do, but next time you’re going for a hit, be it the monthly medal or a lazy nine on Sunday arvo, leave your ego in the boot when you take your clubs out.
Or maybe you have to play the game for long time to have your various egos bashed out of you and now you just grimace and swallow the bloody medicine.
It’s the ultimate leveller. Golf doesn’t care how smart you are.