Awareness Tames Tension

Awareness Tames Tension

Well here we are, the eighteenth hole at Pebble Beach, five hundred and 40 three yards. What a wonderful hole. You can see all the ocean and trouble to the left and on the right hand side we have some bunkers and also some out of bounds that comes into play. I am reminded of a story about Johnny Miller. This story has to do with players that are coming to the last hole and they have a chance to shoot their best round or maybe win a golf tournament. This was Johnny Miller’s case in 1996, he had Tom Watson chasing him when he won the AT&T National Pro-Am. Johnny had really been retired from golf and he had not played very much, so he is coming in and he is realizing that he was chocking or leaking oil, whatever you want to call it, but he realized it. What he also realized was that in that situation he had a certain tendency, which was to hit it on the heel of the golf club, and when that happens you tend not to hit it as far and the ball will tend to bleed to the right for a right handed player. So on seventeen he took an extra club, swung as hard as he could, aimed a little left and hit it about fifteen feet from the hole, which was a wonderful shot for him. Now he has to put it all together here on the tee of the eighteenth hole, so what he decided to do was to take a three wood instead of a driver. He knew he was probably going to hit it on the heel again and the ball was going to have a little bit of a bleed to the right. What he did was he aimed it at those trees in the fairway, made his normal swing, the ball went right into the middle of the fairway and he was able to go on and win the tournament from there. If he would have hit his driver with the same type of shot he probably would have ended up in the bunkers to the right or maybe even out of bounds. Golf is a wonderful game that really helps you to focus and recognize emotional balance on the golf course. What happened is that golf is a game of emotion and adjustment, you really need to be aware of that. If you can realize that if you have a chance to shoot your lowest score on a particular golf hole the chances are that some emotional stuff is going to come up there. Golf helps you to recognize that and it gives you the opportunity to catch yourself in the moment so that you can do something positively about it. Hope this story helps you with your golf game and helps you meet your challenges head on.

Category: Psychology
About the Instructor
Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650

Laird Small is Director of The Pebble Beach Golf Academy and is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and Golf Digest's #23 instructor in the world.


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