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Sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees

‘To be unable to understand a situation clearly because you are too involved in it’

 

Sometimes logic goes out of the window in golf and all it needs is a little friendly advice to see the world slightly differently.

I had Jim out on the golf course this week, Jim is in his Mid 50's a 8 handicapper whom has hit a fade all of his golfing life, for over 40 years.

Jim has been particularly struggling with two holes on the golf course, tee shots off the 14th and 15th hole at Craigmillar Park Golf Club.

The 14th is a short par 5 with out of bounds left.

14th14th hole at Craigmillar Park Golf Club

On the 14th tee I asked Jim to play the hole how he would in competition and talk me through what he was trying to do.

Jim - Ok I am aiming at the bunker and going to try and hit a draw off the bunker and curve it back on to the fairway.

Jim proceeds to hit his tee shot miles right.

Me - Ok let's get this straight, you have played a fade all your life. You have already said you hit fade on nearly every hole and your driving is pretty good. You step on to this tee, a tee shot you don't feel comfortable with and try and hit a shot you don't feel comfortable playing?

Jim - Pretty much yes.

So we set Jim a task 8 out of 10 drives (that were playable) hitting his fade aiming along the out of bounds on the left. I asked Jim what has meaning to him in terms of a consequence if he did not pass the test. After some thought and some questions from me, Jim came up with giving £2 to a golfing buddy that takes great joy in relieving Jim of his cash.

Jim nailed it 10 for 10. 6 out of the 10 were on the fairway and the other 4 in the rough right, however more than playable.

Then we got Jim to play his Draw for 10 shots, just to amuse us both.

First shot.....Well let’s just say Sherlock Holmes would have taken a few days to find his ball. We called it a day there as Jim got the point and we didn't want to endanger the wildlife on the course!

Onto the 15th, a 167yd par 3 with an elevated tee. The wind normally comes from the right via a valley on the 16th hole.

 

15th hole CPGC15th hole at Craigmillar Park Golf Club

 

Again I got Jim to talk me through what he was trying to do.

Jim - I aim right of the green, try to hit a high draw with and 8 iron and ride the wind.

Well it won't take a rocket scientist to figure out the conversation we had on this tee!

Again I got Jim to explore different shots and Jim figured out that a soft 6 or even 5 iron fading into the wind was the easiest shot to hit!

Sometimes you just can't see the wood for the trees!

Another example of this was with an experienced female professional.

The pro had described to me that SHE HAD ALWAYS SEEN shots on the golf course not in straight lines but in shapes, mainly left to right.

The pro's go to shot (a shot played when under pressure or not playing at peak) was a 20/30 yard slider left to right that the pro new exactly what the ball was going to do, move left to right a lot and therefore aim appropriately for this.

However in the last few years in the advent of drivers that spun less it was increasingly difficult for this pro to hit shapes on the golf course. With her new technology the ball was going much straighter, however this is not the way she sees the world.

Therefore she was making a conscious effort to move the ball more in the air with new technology in practice and in play. As a consequence she was trying to change a golf swing that had been very successful over a sustained length of time.

Results suffered on the golf course.

My advice, find golf clubs that allow you to move the ball in the air more without vastly changing what already works very well. 

In this case, and this is a rare find, it was not the Indian at fault more the Arrow!

Luckily we have an expert in Scott Gourlay to solve the arrow problem www.sggt.co.uk 

If you think you have a wood from the trees problem get in touch, I might be able to help.

 

 

 

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Peter Arnott Golf
Craigmillar Park Golf Club, 1 Observatory Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3HG

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