RICK SMITH

The post-birdie screw-up

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents -

Why do you blowup af­ter a birdie?

There’s a statis­tic on the PGA Tour called “Bounce Back”, which in­di­cates how well the pros re­cover from a bad hole. Many am­a­teurs ex­pe­ri­ence the op­po­site of a suc­cess­ful Bounce Back.They fol­low an ex­cel­lent play, say a birdie or a maybe a par on a tough hole, with a train wreck on the next.

Why does this hap­pen? If you just made a great score, the ten­dency is to let your ex­cite­ment carry to the next tee.You get jacked up, and that can cause havoc to your game. Grip pres­sure gets firmer, the back­swing gets shorter and the tran­si­tion into the down­swing gets quicker. The re­sult is a dis­jointed swing and poor con­tact. It’s no won­der you of­ten pump the post-birdie tee shot out-of-bounds or top it into the wa­ter.

So how do you avoid blow­ing the mo­men­tum you just gained? You need to calm down as best you can be­fore you hit your next shot, and fo­cus on mak­ing a bal­anced and fluid swing.

Think of giv­ing your­self plenty of time to com­plete the back­swing. This thought forces you to slow down and swing more in sync, like nor­mal.You’ll be more likely to hit a bet­ter shot – and maybe add an­other birdie to your score­card.

Just put a birdie on your score­card? Don’t fol­low it with a blow-out.

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