ADDRESSING THE ADDRESS
According to the authors of Golf’s 8-Secret: What Separates Golf’s Greatest Champions, the key to any shot is the eight seconds it should take to play it. Those eight seconds are from the time you set your lead foot, step over the ball and swing to the finish. This comes after you have evaluated conditions, chosen the club and incorporated swing thoughts, which should add no more than 10 to 12 seconds, so 20 seconds in all.
THE COACH’S RULE
“It’s not the shortness of the routine that is key here,” says Luther Blacklock, Master PGA Professional at Woburn GC (lutherblacklockgolf.com). “It’s how little they have to think about. The more you have going on in your head, the longer you’ll stand over the ball and the more complicated the process will become. I teach, one backswing concept and one downswing concept. You can’t carry more than that.”
THE PLAYERS’ TAKE
“The longer I’m over the ball, the more thoughts I get in my head,” says Stephen Gallacher. So I have one look to make sure I’ve got my target, the next look to double check, and then swing.” “Be committed to whatever you are trying to do,” says Edoardo Molinari. “It’s easy to address the ball and question your club choice or start thinking about the wind. Once you commit, stick with it and believe in your choice.”
THE SHRINK’S VIEW
“Almost always under pressure there is a tendency to take more time,” says leading sport psychologist Bob Rotella. “But the real problem is when you start taking too much time between the last look at the target and the swing. I try to get guys going with their first instinct. That one is all about confidence and commitment. The second one can be filled with fear and doubt.”