I play in three ladies leagues and one league I specifically selected for the course. It’s not a long course for me because, in this particular league, the ladies play from the forward tees (4495 yards). I picked the course because of the topography which really makes the game “target golf.” You must know where to land it to take advantage of the slopes and stay out of trouble. And, the greens are very fast and very tricky (it really tests your putting).
When I first joined the league, I was playing well but then I hit a slump and over the weeks of frustrating play I just started to “hate” the course. One day I was playing with a golfer I really respect and trust, Nancy. I quietly admitted to her I was beginning to hate playing this course and could not understand why I went from playing well to so poorly on this track. She asked if I had the same issue at my other leagues and I said “No, not really.”
I told her I was stressing over approach shots and felt my putting was just awful and I never has so many swing thoughts in my head. She said “You have a great putting stroke, I love it when I can get the line off you because your stroke is so pure.” Wow, what a nice complement!! I was so surprised. She said to me “Let’s play a game on the back nine. I said “Oh great, I’m playing crappy and you want to add the stress of a side game.” Nancy said “It’s fun, all we are going to do is focus on getting on the green in regulation. You have the length to get on every green in regulation.” This was true, because as I mentioned it is not a long course.
So on the back nine all I did was focus on GIR and it was a game changer for me. What it did for me was to get all the bad thoughts out of my head. I wasn’t frustrated on every hole or thinking I must put the ball close to the hole to avoid three-putts. I just relaxed and had fun. My only thought was GIR and it got me just focused on one shot at a time. The proof was in the scores between the front and back nine – seven strokes better on the back nine with a 40. I thanked Nancy for her great advice. She said “Well, with your game I think you should easily break 80 on this course.” I love her positive spirit!!
It’s only been a few weeks since I’ve made GIR my main focus and I still have off days like any golfer but the focus on GIR has helped me mentally more than I could imagine. When I feel like things are going off track, I just remind myself to focus on getting on the green.
Catherine, what a great way to eliminate swing thoughts! GIR is the most important stat in the game. Keep riding this approach until she bucks you off.
Thank you Brian! I always appreciate your comments.