In the opening round of the TPC Blue Monster at Doral last weekend, Sergio Garcia shot 5-under 31 on the front 9. He self-destructed on the back 9 with 6 bogeys and a triple-bogey on the 18th for 44, for a total of 75.
What was he thinking?
All golfers can relate to having a spectacular front 9 and then sabotaging it on the back 9 by thinking of score possibilities, and pressing to repeat the front 9 performance.
In the final round on Sunday, Garcia self-destructed his game again. On the par-4 438 yard third hole he drove his tee-ball into the water alongside the right side of the hole. He took a penalty drop in the rough where the ball crossed the water hazard and then failed three times to clear the pond. With his 9th shot, he finally hit over both the water and the green, then chipped on and two-putted for a 12. The press called it an octuple-bogey.
What would your motivation be after a devastating hole like this?
Garcia regained his composure making 5 birdies in the rest of the round, but closed by hitting another shot into the water on 18 for a double-bogey. He finished with a four-over par 76.
How do you recover from a disastrous hole?
We are all human and make mistakes. In life as in golf it is more fun if we keep our mistakes to a minimum so we don’t have to deal with the resulting emotional upset.
1. Learn from your mistake. All golfers have experienced hitting a shot out of bounds, or in the water, stepping up and hitting the exact same shot again. Take the time to decide on the correct club for the situation.
2. Be aware of the resulting emotion. Feel the embarrassment, humiliation, anger, etc. and then make a decision to release it by taking a deep breath and exhaling the feeling.
3. Slow down your thinking process. Replace the image of the missed shot by taking the time to rehearse in your mind your swing, the trajectory and curve of the ball and your target area.
4. Take practice swings. To eliminate repeating the first swing, take practice swings until you can “feel” the correct rhythm and tempo. Don’t hit the next ball until you are confident you have the timing you desire.
5. Trust and let it happen. Trust the picture in your mind and the feel in your body. Your mind tells your body what to do. You can’t force it to happen. Relax and enjoy the result you have programmed.
Play “In the Zone” With Joan
Since we are all part of the golfing community and want to improve, I would like to hear from you. Let me know what your concerns are, the parts of your mental game that you need help with, what excites you, and what you love about the game. .