On Friday I had the pleasure of playing Beaverbrook Golf Club in Surrey which is one of the most exclusive clubs in the country. The experience was first class from start to finish and a thoroughly enjoyable day had.
The reason for this blog is something that dawned on me which is something as a coach I would say to people but as a player had become vague. Beaverbrook insist on having caddies which for me was perfect considering I was playing the course blind and knowing the greens are undulating, was nice to have someone help read the greens.
I played superb for me, I shot 2 over going out and 2 under coming back for a level par round. Had my putting not had been so woeful I could easily have shot a 66. My ball striking and long game was on point with so many drives I can be proud of. Now, my ball striking always remains pretty strong but this performance was different. In the car driving home I was thinking to myself why do I think I just played so much better than normal considering I prepared and done everything else exactly the same as always.
My conclusion was this. Playing a course blind and with the intricacies of the layout I put a lot of faith in my caddy to tell me the lines. Having that definitive information and therefore having the confidence to commit to that line I feel made the difference to my ball striking. As i said earlier, I know as a coach the importance to get my players to commit to their shots but maybe for myself, where I tend to play courses I am familiar with, complacency can set in when executing shots. As a golfer, the more exact and precise the information you can give your brain on where you want your ball to go the better.
So a lesson relearnt to myself when I play to really think of an exact target and commit to that line instead of just looking down a fairway or at a green.
Brendan Howell, PGA Golf Professional.