[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 25 - Date 08/08/12
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Tom's Featured Tip: Confidence
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Q&A Stats Goals
- Lesson Comments: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/testimonials.html
- Sponsors: The Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill CC
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Tom's Featured Tip - Confidence
It's a which came first - the chicken or the egg - conundrum:
Does success need to happen before you get complete confidence, or does
confidence breed success?
I certainly understand both sides of the argument, but for my money I want my
students that are playing competitively to be confident. I want them to actually have
a level of confidence that borders on arrogance, but I don't want them to display
that side to the public. Inner arrogance is a good thing in golf - even if you don't
currently have the success to merit it. Maybe swag is a better word.
I truly believe that a player needs to feel that in their gut if they are going to be all that
they can be, to borrow that old US Army recruiting slogan.
The great ones in any sport - or profession - have it. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan,
Oscar De La Hoya, Donald Trump. They all have supreme confidence. I think
that Trump takes it up a negative notch to supreme public arrogance, which is not
a good thing.
I read where Tiger was interviewed after Seve Ballesteros died and someone asked
him if they ever played together. Tiger said they had, recalling a few shared practice
rounds at Augusta. He recalled that Seve had used an impressive array of short
game shots, hitting pitches and chips with a wide variety of spins and trajectories.
But Tiger didn't make his own short game complicated, he just wanted to hit the
ball in the hole. When someone asked Tiger if he had thought of trying to copy
Seve, he said no.
Great players are confident in their own style.
Seve probably would have said the same thing had the tables been reversed, he
actually was renowned for his confidence - and gamesmanship.
Here are a few thoughts on confidence builders and destroyers. The fixes are pretty
simple to implement, and the bad habits are pretty simple to break.
- Practice your short game and putting, nothing will build confidence more
than the belief that you can get it up and down from anywhere, anytime.
- Give poor shots their due, but don't fret over them. Get yourself into a quick
analytical mode after a bad shot, think about corrections for your next shot,
then get on with your round. This is easier said than done, but it's a skill
that can be developed if you work at it. Obsessing over bad shots carries a
negative confidence hangover.
- Don't go in to a fit when you hit a really bad shot or putt. Besides the fact that
their playing partners and others close by might think that they are idiots, those
players that carry on explosively really are destroying their inner confidence for the
rest of their round, not for just the moment. Nothing positive is gained by this type
of behavior. I mean, how would you feel if your dentist suddenly slammed his
drill on the floor and shouted "man I really suck at filling cavities" ? I would
have to think I'd be done for the day with that appointment if I was the one in
the chair :-)
- Stay patient, patience breeds confidence. Here's what Arnold Palmer had to
say about patience: "The whole secret to mastering the game of golf - and this
applies to beginners as well as pros - is to cultivate a mental approach to the
game that will enable you to shrug off the bad shots, shrug off the bad days,
keep patient, and know in your heart that sooner or later you will be back on top".
- When you approach any shot, visualize the best shots you've ever hit from a
similar position and confidence will seep into brain - and your swing.
- Have and use a pre-shot routine for every shot. Simply having one is a confidence
builder; using it is even better.
Enjoy your golf,
Tom's Bonus Tip - Q&A Stats Goals
Q: After last week's newsletter, Don S, a low handicapper who is trying to build more
focus into his game, asked me for some reference numbers regarding the stats that
I recommended that should be tracked to check for areas of improvement. Here was my
answer to him:
A: Thanks for the question Don, here are the goals for scratch golfers, you should
strive to get as close as possible:
Fairways hit - 80%
Greens in regulation - 65%
Putts per round - 29 (averages to 1.6 per hole)
Three Putts per round - no more than one per round
Up and Down percentage - 60%
Birdies on par 5's - 35% of the time (top pros are at around 50%, it's a major winning factor at the professional level)
Birdies per round - 3
Enjoy your golf,
I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
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Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or at email@example.com
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All the best,
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
Cell: (716) 474-3005
Success Loves Preparation