Quite possibly my greatest discovery in golf happened at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills two weeks ago. The single most important principal that carries the most weight, in my opinion, and has greater influence than all other variables in the performance recipe for progress, then success, is moving forward to the next shot without regard to the previous.
Most would assume I am talking strictly about frustration or anger but it is truly my opinion success in the game is mishandled internally just as often as they react poorly to failure. That’s right. I will repeat what I just said. Golfers mishandle successful or great shots just as frequently as when they hit poor shots. So either way, learning the art and science of moving forward in golf, is in my opinion, a most difficult skill to become competent.
Here are some ideas on how to move on the next shot or as mentioned last week, how to move forward. Dr Morris “Mo” Pickens taught me this: Pretend you are a slow moving bulldozer, tank, train or barge moving along and is simply unstoppable. Dr. Mo also offered this too: Pretend to be Superman with bullets and bombs bouncing off while moving buildings with all the special power and strength.
When my son, Wesley Bryan, was a wee little fellow, like many, and just getting started he was more excited about hitting into trouble than straight down the middle. Here are two true stories, I’ve told both before, but maybe not together yet.
Wesley used to ask me, “Dad, will I ever be able to hit my ball far enough to get to the woods? All I ever do is hit short and straight. George
Then Dustin Johnson comes bouncing down the fairway on #13 at Persimmon Hill with a big wide smile on his face as an 11 or 12 year old. He had just drilled his tee shot deep into the trees and I asked him, what in the world he so happy about after this wild tee shot and his reply was, “Every time I hit into the woods I get to make a great shot out, plus I always find new balls.”
Wesley anticipated the trouble shots as fun, while Dustin was actually having fun with them, then getting a twofer.
Incidentally, Wesley got his wish and more.
These two players are the greatest I have seen or known on the PGA tour moving to the next shot.
Here is another traditional idea that could help you move forward in your next game; assume your percentage of on-line, solidly centered good shots are exactly the same percentage as the current PGA Tour Players, 10-20 percent. So this means that 80-90 percent of your shots will be off-line and off-center of the club face. Since most of your shots are misses, enjoy seeing how good your misses can be. Then when you hit on-line and solid, celebrate.
Shane Rogan won the Herndon Chevy Columbia City Golf Championship and Hunter Watkins, Daniel Eskew and Palmer Mason all had top twenty finishes. Palmer Mason won the Junior Division, Mike Caulkins won the Super Senior Division while Carey Hite, from Irmo, placed 7th.
Burke Cromer won the Pro Division and Chase Butler of Chapin placed 4th.
Shane Rogan had a rough stretch during college golf that reminded me a bit of what Wesley endured. Many give up their dreams when things get turbulent but Shane has stayed his course, maintained his dream. His City Championship results for 7 under par for three rounds at Columbia Country Club is solid.