One of those McGladrey commercials has Davis Love III’s bad caddy telling him all the bad things that could happen on a putt, pointing out that his opponent just eagled, and then walking away wishing Davis luck. Davis just stares at him as he walks away and says “Thanks a lot.” Lately I’ve been playing the role of Davis and his caddy.
My home course has the threat of out of bounds on every hole. Until a few months ago I’d been O.B. on all but two of the holes. Now it’s down to all but one.
I was needing new grips a while ago, and my clubs (especially mid-irons) were at risk for slipping just before impact. I hit a few shankaroonies during this time, including one off the tee of the 17th, a par 3 I’d never been O.B. on. As you can guess, it went O.B.
I’ve now regripped my clubs, but every time I step onto the 17th tee my mind fills with the image of a weak shrimp toward the O.B. fence. I can hear my internal bad caddy saying “Don’t go right. See that fence over there? Don’t think about it. Forget about that shankaroonie you hit.” I’ve hit another one out, several shrimps half-way to the green, and some big pulls as I executed a don’t-go-right swing. This is all new to me – I never thought about a shank or shrimp before.
It’s beginning to infect other mid-iron shots. I hit two others today, in addition to one off the 17th tee. Needless to say, it’s wrecking my game, and it’s wrecking a part of my game that used to be one of my strengths.
So I’m on a search for replacement thoughts, or at least a lack of bad thoughts. Maybe a nice song drifting through my mind, something with a good swing tempo. Maybe a lobotomy.
There still is one hole left I haven’t gone O.B. on. It’s a par 3 too, with O.B. on the right. The hole slants away from the fence and the road, so it’d take a really bad shot to go out. I can imagine how bad that shot would have to be.
“Got my toes in the water, …, life is good today.”
“Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain…”
Anybody have a lobotomy kit? Maybe there’s one on e-bay?
I hear you. Once a negative thought inserts itself between the ears on a particular hole, it is hard to get it out. You might consider taking a bunch of balls to the tee, hit them until you get a couple to perform well. At that point, do your best to to implant the vision of your tee shot slightly drawing toward the flag on that hole. I find recalling a good shot helps me visualize a good shot later on. If I have no recent success on a hole, then I have no prior shot to dredge up from my memory.
Good suggestion, Brian. I’ll try to catch the hole at a slow time and hit balls until I like a few. I really need to change that image.
I also think I learned something else from my experience with old, slippery grips. I was slow to get them changed and that increased the odds of bad stuff happening. If I’d changed them quickly I’d have been much less likely to hit the bad shots to begin with.