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Friday, October 18, 2019

The Mental Side of Shot Shaping (Video)

I bet many of you saw this tip from Zack Lambeck on Morning Drive and, when you saw the last part, you said, "Never works for me." Today I'm going to help you MAKE it work!

You got to that final approach tip and shook your head, didn't you? Zack said that if your normal shot curves 10 yards to the right, you need to aim 10 yards farther left... but it didn't work like he said, did it? You aimed 10 yards left of the target, alright...

And then your shot curved 20 or even 30 yards to the right and you were in worse trouble than ever, correct? It never works for you, does it?

That's because you don't understand -- and nobody ever explains -- the mental side of this tip. Let me do that for you now.

The simple answer to 'why' it doesn't work is that you aren't approaching your 'adjusted' shot the same way as you approach your normal shot. When you try that initial shot that curves 10 yards to the right, you aren't trying to curve the shot at all. You're aiming at the target and your natural swing tendencies keep the ball from going where you're aimed. You're trying to square the clubface and hit the ball straight... and it just doesn't happen.

But when you aim farther to the left, that's no longer what you're doing because your mindset has changed. Now you're TRYING to curve the shot! You may be aimed 10 yards farther left but you're trying to hit the ball at your original target. So what happens?
  • You make a different swing. You don't swing where you think you're aimed; you swing a little more to the right, toward your original target. Or maybe you swing a bit more to the left and cut across the ball. Either way, the ball is going to curve more because...
  • You don't square the face. Your target is now to the right of where you think you're aimed, so the clubface is more open than before and the ball curves more than before.
As a result, you hit a bigger slice than you originally did and you don't even realize it!

So what's the cure?

It's really simple if you just think about it. When you were originally aimed at the target, you tried to hit the ball to the target and your natural swing created a fade. So now, when you set up for a new target that's 10 yards to the left; you actually have to try to hit the ball at your new target that's 10 yards to the left.

To put it another way, at first you tried to hit the green but missed the green to the right. Now, in order to hit the green, you have to TRY TO MISS the green to the LEFT! That's the mental trick that makes Zack's approach tip work.

I won't lie to you. This is going to be a tough adjustment for many of you. You are so focused on hitting to the flag that purposely hitting away from the flag is going to be hard. But that's what you have to do to make your normal miss happen when you're planning for it, instead of creating a worse miss.

And should you find that you actually miss the green to the left when you aim to the left, then it's clear that aiming left changes your swing in a positive way. So then, instead of aiming to miss the green on the left, you start aiming to hit the left edge of the green. And if that works, you start aiming to hit the green about two yards from the left edge. And you do that until you figure out where to aim in order to get as close to the flag as you can.

That may take some time. But at least now you know how to make Zack's tip work. Good luck!

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