“Don’t let fear hold you back”

I played golf with a few mates on Monday morning. It was a charity day and things were very relaxed. A chance to enjoy the company, a different course and not get too stressed on score. Just how I like it.

On the 15th tee I hit a low bullet draw from the tee – it was my best shot of the day.

“How did you do that?”, asked Glenn.

“Oh, it’s easy”, was my reply. “All you have to do is strengthen your grip by half a knuckle, rotate harder in the backswing and make sure you take a full wrist cock”.

I could see that Glenn was leaning into my words. I continued, “On the way down I make sure I keep my right shoulder pointing at the target line and then rotate my forearms really hard”.

Andrew started laughing.

“What’s so funny?”, asked Glenn.

“Strachan is winding you up, he doesn’t think about much when he plays”, was Andrew’s rely.

“Oh shit. Well how the hell did you hit that low draw?”, Glenn asked for a second time.

“There’s no magic here Glenn. I look where I want the ball to go and then walk in and swing freely. There’s no guarantee but if I can keep out of my way the ball will often find the target”.

“I don’t believe you. Surely you must have to think about your golf swing?”.

“Nope. I’m certainly aware that the ball moves further back in my stance and my alignment in further to the left than normal when I want the draw, but there’s no conscious thought to do anything in the swing. I look at the target, get clear on my intention and then swing. It’s as automatic as throwing a ball.”

Our conversation continued as we walked down the 15th fairway.

Glenn: I could never do that. If I set up for a draw I’d be worried I’d hit a slice.

Me: That’s rubbish. You’re letting fear hold you back. You’ve gotta choose – you have to have a clear intention on what you’re hoping to achieve and then have the courage to walk in and do it. If you’re worried about slicing when your natural shot is a draw, then you might as well go play tennis.

I wasn’t surprised to see Glenn hit his best approach into the 16th green and then hit a belter of a shot up the 17th (he actually hit the ball so well it found a fairway bunker which he thought was out of range). Glenn has a good swing. But he’s been letting fear of the bad shot hold him back. Instead of playing with his natural draw shot, he plays straight because he’s worried about the slice and all sorts of others. He is hedging his bet but this is like playing golf with one arm tied behind your back. It results in a half hearted attempt when nothing short of full commitment will do.

Don’t let fear hold you back. There’s no room for uncertainty. Choose your shot, swing freely and repeat. It’s how you tackle the fear/nerves/self doubt head on.

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3 Comments

  • Glenn

    Reply Reply May 23, 2014

    Great article Strachan.
    I’m looking forward to getting out for a hit on Sunday and practicing what you preach!

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply June 1, 2014

      How did it go Glenn?

  • Lukey

    Reply Reply May 24, 2014

    I feel fear got in the way with me today and it aint great.
    Cheers Lukey

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