ASK GOLF DI­GEST

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - News -

Why’s it al­ways eas­ier to hole out af­ter a cru­cial miss?

Q

When­ever I miss an im­por­tant putt, with­out fail I make the next one. I’m talk­ing one-handed, with my back to the hole, while walk­ing away. Why can’t it be that easy to make the one be­fore? A Your part­ner was won­der­ing the same thing. Es­pe­cially be­cause that miss cost him too. Get your head in the game! But back to your ques­tion: The rea­son it’s so easy to sink the sec­ond putt is the same rea­son it’s easy to hang up on a tele­mar­keter dur­ing din­ner at home – anger. “When faced with a big putt, one typ­i­cally has anx­i­ety, which can in­hibit func­tion,” says sports psy­chol­o­gist Dr Tom Fer­raro. “If you miss a putt, the anx­i­ety of­ten turns to anger, and anger in­hibits a re­oc­cur­rence of anx­i­ety.The newly felt anger frees the player’s body and mind, usu­ally in help­ful ways.” Know­ing this, our rec­om­men­da­tion for fu­ture rounds is to ask your part­ner to sneak up on you and punch you in the shoul­der right be­fore it’s your turn to putt. Would fat­ter grips on all my clubs give me more dis­tance and con­trol? ▶ ▶▶ Com­ing to grips with your grips, eh? Well, we could bore you with re­search as to why fat­ter grips are no panacea for dis­tance or feel. But why do that when we can ask two-time ma­jor cham­pion Bubba Wat­son. Bubba has grips with 10 wraps of tape un­der his top hand and 12 un­der his lower hand. “It’s eas­ier to hold onto,” he says. “It feels like my wrists aren’t go­ing to roll over and hook it so much.” His mes­sage: Build­ing up the grips down by the lower hand might give your game a tan­gi­ble boost. It’s also re­ally help­ful to swing at 200 kilo­me­tres per hour. Are there any rules for how tee mark­ers should be set? ▶ ▶▶ Based on an in­for­mal in­spec­tion of cour­ses near our of­fice, we’ve con­cluded green­keep­ers love to ori­ent tee mark­ers in such a way that leads us to drive it into ev­ery trou­ble spot on the course. It’s pay­back for fail­ing to re­place div­ots and fix pitch marks. They can do this be­cause there are no rules for how tee mark­ers should be aligned.The Hand­i­cap Man­ual does of­fer ad­vice on the po­si­tion of mark­ers in re­la­tion to daily course setup (it’s of­ten weather de­pen­dent). It also says they should not be closer than two club-lengths to the back edge of the tee­ing ground. But if the mark­ers are slightly askew in re­la­tion to the fair­way, it’s up to you to no­tice and ad­just your stance. It’s tempt­ing to al­ter them dur­ing a round but that could re­sult in dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion (Rule 11-2).

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