By Paul Myers
There can be a lot to be afraid of on the golf course in terms of hazards and other bad places for your golf ball to end up. If you start to look around the sides of each fairway, you are sure to see plenty of places that can cost you shots should your drive stray too far off line. Allowing those potential trouble spots to get in your head can have negative effects on your golf swing, so try to keep focused on the good stuff and keep your eyes away from the scary places.
One way to make the course appear much less intimidating is to ‘eliminate’ one side of the course by making technical adjustments to your golf swing. The idea is to create a golf swing and a ball flight that will only move the ball in one direction, so you can feel sure that you aren’t going to miss on a particular side. For example, you could work on your driver swing with the goal of taking the left side out of play. That way, any hazards on the left of the hole will not be of concern to you, and you can simply aim down the left side and let the ball move to the right.
Try Using Altered Grip
Instead of rebuilding your entire golf swing to try and eliminate one side of the golf course, consider a slight alternation to your grip instead. Using the example above, imagine that you are wanting to eliminate the left side of the course as a right handed golfer. It might be as simple as taking a weaker left hand grip to prevent yourself from releasing too aggressively through impact. Turn your left hand to the left and see what kind of ball flight results – you might find that you are then virtually unable to hit the ball into trouble on the left.
Do What Comes Naturally
When you are working on blocking out one side of the course with your golf swing, work with your natural tendencies or it will never be as comfortable as you would like. If you are a player who hits a fade naturally, don’t try to make a draw your ball flight that you try to go to hole after hole. It can be helpful to have complete ownership over your golf swing and feel totally confident even when the pressure is on – and you may not have those feelings if you are fighting against what comes natural to your golf swing. Of course, you can work on improving your golf swing, but it’s also good to be true to your instincts.
It can be a great feeling when you are able to eliminate one side of the course and only worry about the hazards on the other side. Playing the game this way can give you a new sense of confidence and more of an opportunity to craft a quality game plan that you can stick with all day long. It may take some work on the driving range to get comfortable with altering your golf swing to take out one side of the course, but that effort could be rewarded with some of your best-ever scores.
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