Par 4 tee shot = Driver
Par 5 tee shot = Driver
Par 5 Second shot = 3 wood
Chipping around the green = 60 degree
Shot from the trees = low stinger 2 iron (which you can’t hit)
Sound familiar, Playa?
The autopull. The same holes, the same shot, the same results. The same frustration.
Auto pulling specific clubs is killing your game and adding unnecessary shots to your score. Forget the Strokes Gained 25 handicappers who all became statistical experts and weekend golf pros after reading a poorly written internet article!
This game is not rocket surgery and for many moons, it was played with a balata golf ball, wooden woods and blade irons. Do you think Jack Nicholson, the major-winning machine, had time for nonsense?
If his driver went left on the first hole, right on the second hole, then Jackie would tell the caddie ‘okay bro, it’s 1 iron all day today’ and shoot a tidy 67. Then he's go work on the driver on the range after the game.
Jack was a true rocket surgeon. Tiger Woods was a rocket surgeon at the British Open slow poisoning the field with his irons off the tee, knowing his game, knowing himself and trusting himself.
Become a rocket surgeon
If you play the same course regularly, it’s easy to play without thinking, hitting the same shot on certain holes or in certain situations every time you play. Sometimes you don't even take into account the lie of the ball.
I’ve been there, and I still do it now. Our brains switch off and we go into unthinking autopilot, hitting shot with no purpose, filled with discomfort and doubt. We all know the results are terrible.
I want you to feel comfortable over every shot, so eliminating Copypasta Golf is about:
- Hitting shots you know how to hit
- Planning the current shot to setup your next shot
- Hitting the stress free, easy shot to set up another stress-free easy shot.
- Selecting the shot based on multiple factors influencing the shape and flight
When you approach the ball what are you looking at?
Are you using your time effectively to assess all the information available so you can select the correct shot for the situation?
For a lot of people, the answers are no, and no.
What should I assess before my golf shot?
The lie of the ball
- Above or below your feet. Above your feet usually the ball goes left. Below your feet usually goes right.
- Uphill or downhill approach. Hitting to a raised green reduces the carry distance of the ball. Hitting to a green below you, increases the carry of the ball.
- Upslope or downslope lie. Upslope lies go higher and tend to pull left. Downslope go lower and push to the right.
- Closely mown grass or rough. You can’t hit the same lob wedge shot from the tight lie as you can from the fluffy rough. This takes practice, paying attention to feedback and experience. Practice has a side benefit of making you appear full of imagination around the greens. All you're doing is growing the arsenal of shots you can implement on the course.
The next list take experience in YOUR conditions - I can’t tell you how each will react.
It depends on your grass type/ground conditions/soil type and climate. But the most valuable thing you can do is be conscious of what happens and then use that information for future shots. In Copypasta Golf, we just hit mindlessly the same thing over and over.
Way of the Playa golf is conscious and we use the information to gather an arsenal of shots we can play in every situation. I’ll give examples of my own experience in the tropics on tropical grass.
- Moisture on the ground. In the morning and after a sprinkle of rain, moisture between the ball and the face, according to my experience can increase distance a little bit and put less spin on the ball. Your experience may be different but notice the difference between a wet grass and a dry grass. Use the feedback.
- Hardpan or normal or soggy under the surface If it’s hard pan, I know I’m probably going to have a sawn off follow through to make sure I hit down on it so I don’t thin the shot.
For chipping on hardpan, I’ll always play a low lofted chip and run shot.Normal ground conditions, you have a lot of shots to choose from.Soggy under the surface and I’m looking at ways to avoid the fluffed shot. I don’t want to hit a normal follow through here too. I will try sweep it off the turf.
If it’s soggy then the green is probably softer so I can fly it further to the hole knowing it will stop. I want to avoid chip and runs or putting from off the green when the ground is super soggy.
- Grass behind or in front of the ball. Some grass behind the ball can reduce the distance but sometimes it could increase the distance plus have more rollout from the reduced spin.
It depends and is a case by case understanding through experience. The grass I play on will be different to yours. You must begin to understand the interaction between the club and the grass, turf and ground conditions.
- Grain of the grass. I play on bermuda a lot. Hitting a ball that is sitting on grain growing toward me means the club will get stuck on the follow through and I’ll hit a popup shot. The divot will be broken up into small pieces.
If it’s down grain, the club glides through the turf and I hit the ball 3-4 more yards further than into the grain. Into the grain, I might try sweep it more. Down grain, I want to make a nice fillet mignon divot that flies 20 yards.
Chipping onto a green, into the grain, I want to hit a firmer bump and run or fly it further to the hole. The grain will stop it. Downgrain, I want to hit a baby bump and run onto the front edge and let it trickle down the speedy grain!
- Sand! This can vary course to course, let alone region to region. Each course will have differing sand conditions. Some are more playable than others. All you can do is learn and remember for future.
Your shot space
- Can you make a full swing?
- Are there any hindrances to your swing movement?
- What type of shot would work and how will the ball react to that shot?
- What shot will get me where I need to go, with the least stress?
- What shot do I want to hit, but know I shouldnt? (Don’t hit this shot)
- Does the lie of the ball mean you need to adjust the length of your swing?
- Does the lie of the ball match the shot that you have in your arsenal?
The path to your target
- Are there any objects in your target line? E.g. trees, long grass.
- Could you end up in a hazard with a mis-hit shot? Could you finish in a hazard with a shot struck too well?
- Are you opening up the best angle to the pin on the green, for a chip, if you come up short?
- Which way is the wind blowing?
- How strong is the wind?
- Is the wind accentuating or reducing your natural shot shape?
- Do you have the right club taking into account the strength of the wind?
- Do you have special wind shots or will you be guessing, trying to hit a shot you’ve never hit?
- Can I run the ball up to the green under the wind?
- How many clubs is the wind helping/hurting?
These are just a few of the things that enlightened players will be looking for and processing before they make a shot. You will only know how to tackle these situations by being in them, and taking notice of what worked/didn’t work when you tried to take them on.
You need to become a rocket surgeon, capable of making precise decisions in the moment and be in full command of the tools you have at your disposal.
As you can see, these situations aren’t what you will find at your local driving range. This stuff all happens on the course.
How to implement this Enlightened Rocket Surgeon Golf?
When you get 10 yards away from your ball, start assessing the shot.
Look at the lie.
Is it good or bad? Why?
Is there trouble? Where? Is there a safe place? Where?
How is the wind? Where is it going?
Do I have a shot for this situation?
How do I feel IN THE MOMENT?
And then say to yourself: 'In this moment, the best, most stress free shot I know how to hit, to setup another stress free easy shot, is________________________.'
The Phil Nicholson or Tiger Woods thread the ball through the eye of a needle shot is not it. The floppidoodle dandy over the bunker to a pin cut tight on the edge of the green is not it either. Pick the shot you KNOW you can hit.
The shot YOU know how to hit in that specific moment, based on your confidence level, your arsenal of shots, your understanding of the lie of the ball...that’s the shot you hit.
- 348 yard par 4, slight dogleg right.
- You think you can hit the ball over the edge of the dogleg, hitting driver every time. You hit a fade so it suits the hole right?
- 5 out of 10 are in the bushes on the dogleg after a large slice. 3 out of ten are pulled left across the dogleg trying to hit it too hard, deep in the scheisse. The other 2 are successful and you use those two upon which base your future success on the hole with the driver. Your average score: 5 or 6.
- How about a safe iron or hybrid to the apex or just past the apex of the dogleg? What’s your favorite approach distance? Do you like a pitching wedge from 135?
- Could you hit a 210 yard hybrid or fairway wood?
Why should I play so mindfully? Seems like a lot of work!
To be better at something takes work. There is no spoon-feeding here, just heightened consciousness.
What a lot of people do not get about the Way of the Playa is a very simple concept that makes golf fun.
Control of your decisions is Maximum Masculine Fun
Being in control of your decisions puts you in control of your emotions. This is one of the most powerful states to be in.
Being out of control of your decisions playing Copypasta Golf and getting frustrated with making bad decisions is a reason you may be reading this. You keep doing the same thing over and over and think that life is happening to you.
Nope, you're in the driver seat.
No one understands how FUN it is, as a man, to be fully in control of yourself. It doesn't happen in a lot of mens lives. It's sad. We are all victims of it at some point but when we gain control of our emotions and decisions, everything becomes clearer and slower, more relaxed and more effective.
If you control yourself, you control the game. You can feel the Big Richard Energy coursing through your veins when you are in control.
In golf, and in everyday life, being in control of decisions means you’re in control of your fate. You’re in the driver seat. You’re not swayed by the whims of emotions or the uncontrollable urges of hormones. You own the day and you own your actions.
You know which is the most common situation you're failing at this very aspect?
Being swayed by your friends who laugh at you hitting iron off the tee, so you hit driver Oscar Bravo, just like they all did, and they’re hitting their 4th from the fairway. And soon you will be too.
Have you ever planned a hole properly and upon tapping in for a satisfying boring par, you look up to see your friends' pained expressions after they picked up for a 9? That's the difference between someone in control and someone who lets life happen to them.
Don’t let negative programming from music and Hollywood movies fool you. Don't let the nonsense infiltrate your mind. Stand guard at the entrance of your mind. What you're feeding your brain is influencing how you live which influences how you play golf. Being a slave to your urges, emotions and desires is not a virtue.
NOTHING IS MORE FUN THAN BEING A MAN IN TOTAL CONTROL OF HIMSELF. NOTHING IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THAT.
Prove me wrong.
You know it’s true.