This is part of my Series on Golfing-in-Exile.
The drama on the fairway has subsided only to be followed by the gutteral mutterings of your playing partners as they flub multiple shots from green-side bunkers, patches of gorse, and sadly for one, a wet marshy area that sprays mud across his newly purchased and expensive outfit. He is further enraged now because his iPhone somehow got wet as well. Naturally, as you are all GIE's, no one thought to bring a towel- de rigeur for golfers who play regularly. Though it's a fact that cursing and invective is greatly muted on the green compared to let's say- the tee box, the heightened level of tension here can be devastating for many.
Here's where all your well laid plans for a successfully played hole can come to naught with the wrong mental approach. Be cool. Don't absorb all this negativity. Block out the many painful memories of flubbing these "easy" shots in similar situations. You’re actually just on the fringe and have a normal lie some 25 feet from the pin. Here’s what you need to do:
- Take out your PW and take a few practice chip-swings. You are going to let the club do the work and go through the ball, keeping your wrists firm and unbroken through follow-through and ahead of the ball. You are not going to try and guide this shot.
- Get the feel in your hands and a sense of the distance, etc., then address the ball. Make a crisp chip and whatever you do, do not de-celerate. Go through the ball. It will bounce a couple of times and roll gently somewhere near the pin.
- This guy explains it pretty well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyzcyrBoab0
- Next, when it's your turn, take the putter straight back and straight through with the putter face following the ball to the hole.
- This is key: Pluck the ball out of the hole and keep moving. You’ve just tricked your body into thinking it can play golf so don’t pause to contemplate what just happened.
You made par. You’re becoming an accomplished GIE. You’re actually having fun for a change.
For Part 5 of this Series, click here.