Carmel Magazine

Summer 2017

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TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT B Y D A N PA S Q U A R I E L L O A N D L A I R D S M A L L 90 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 7 Bouncing Back from Golf Nightmares ou're at Pebble Beach, and through six holes, you're playing lights out! You're thinking to yourself, "Wow, Pebble Beach isn't all that hard." Standing on the tee at the par-3 seventh hole with a sand wedge in your hands, no wind, and only 98 yards between you and the flag, you're staring down a real birdie opportunity and a chance to get your round back to even par. Even par through seven holes on your first trip around Pebble Beach? You're living the dream! Then, suddenly, your dream becomes a nightmare. You pull your tee shot into the left greenside bunker, then skull your next shot over the green onto the rocks below. Your fourth shot barely clears the bunker, and you finally chip on, two-putt and walk away with a quadruple-bogey 7. On the next hole, determined to get those strokes back in a hurry, you go for the green on your second shot from 210 yards and hit it thin, watching it barely clear the ocean chasm separating the fairway from the green. After a poor pitch shot, then a chip past the hole, it takes three putts to get the ball holed for a triple bogey. Double bogeys on holes nine and 10 leave you seething and won- dering just how all this happened after such a great start. You have just experienced what is commonly referred to in golf as "having the wheels fall off your game." It happens even to the best of players. John Daly shot an 88 during a PGA TOUR event in 2008, making a 10 on a hole and shooting a back-nine 51. Even Tiger Woods shot an 81 in the third round of the 2002 Open Championship at Muirfield, recording seven bogeys and two double bogeys in his first 14 holes. What matters is that you have a plan, so that when those wheels start to come off the wagon, you know how to put them back on and pull the cart into the barn. By practicing a little more emotional control and patience, and understanding what your tendencies are when your game comes under duress, you too can find a way to bounce back from the very bad holes. Here are a few guidelines that will help: Play to Your Personal Par: Use your handicap to determine a realistic par for each hole—stop trying to play like a scratch golfer. Use Caution on the Tee: After a bad hole, play it safe and choose a club on the next tee that will help you get your confidence back. Learn to Recognize Tension: Recognize when the environment is causing you stress, and play for how that stress is going to affect your shot. Don't Attach Yourself to the Outcome: Forget your negative history with a particular shot; instead, embrace the challenge with a fresh attitude and change the results. Take a "Second-Shot" Mentality: Approach your first shot like it's a mulli- gan, and swing away like you've already put the bad result behind you. Keep Your Chin Up: Stop berating yourself after every bad shot. Walk the course with your head held high and it will start to impact your game in a positive way. Take the SAT Approach: Use spor ts psychologist Dr. Glen Albaugh's post-shot process to identify mistakes and reframe them: Strategy: Was it correct for the hole or shot you attempted? Aim: Was it accurate, or did you hit a good shot and were misaligned? Trust: Did you trust yourself when you struck the shot, or were you not committed to the shot or club? Give these ideas a try, and we know your game and attitude will bounce back! Come visit us at the Pebble Beach Golf Academy for additional tips, les- sons, golf fitness evaluations, club fitting and more. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you make golf a fun and enjoyable game. Call us at 831/622-8650 to schedule your session! By practicing a little more emotional control and patience, and understand- ing what your tendencies are when your game comes under duress, you too can find a way to bounce back from the very bad holes. Y

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