Stick To Your Game Plan!

Henrik Stenson by Golf Week

Henrik Stenson by Golf Week

Love this post by 3underthru2 on Henrik Stenson’s work ethic.  The message of committing to steady improvement is clearly directed to everyone but applies specifically to us desk jockey’s who try to capture a swing thought at the range and adapt it to our once-a-weekend round of golf.  I’m as guilty as the next guy, and admittedly Stenson’s approach is easier dialoged than implemented.  The closest I’ve come is when I play my ten rounds in six day marathons in Myrtle Beach.  I don’t let any individual hole or round get to me and view the entire trip as a process, not a handful of individual results.  But playing that much golf is not the norm.

Fast forward to the current state and I find myself coming off the worst statistical ball striking round of the year last weekend (3 GIR), but almost fully healed from my hip injury sustained July 7, and heading out to play a very hilly and difficult ball striking course at Little Bennett today.  Last week, I took the view of my round as part of a recovery period or journey and was actually quite satisfied with myself for managing my game while dealing with a pull or pull hook on every shot as I continued to over-compensate for lack of hip strength with an over-the-top move.  I kept the driver in the bag most of the day and despite my lack of control, carded a 9-over 80 at Poolesville.

I know I need to re-synch my timing by getting my hips to fire and pull my upper body through the shot, but can I commit to a single approach, as Stenson says, and not deviate when the frustration of a tough ball-striking course presents itself?  I have a plan today and I think I can stick to it, but often struggle to stick to my plans when adversity strikes.  Does this happen to you?

In war, they say you can “plan, plan, plan, but when the shooting starts, throw out the plan.”  I’m gonna try to stick to this plan today if it’s the last thing I do.  Wish me luck!

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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4 Responses to Stick To Your Game Plan!

  1. Game plans are nice but conditions and ball striking can alter them in an instant.

  2. Brian Penn says:

    Vet, you are so right, as usual. I went out to the course today with a game plan on how I wanted to strike the ball. In my warm-up, the plan was just not working, so I tinkered and searched / found a swing key that I played for the day. Hit 11 GIR and was only 5-over on a difficult ball striking course. I guess the best plan is to plan to adjust as needed. Thanks!

  3. Some of my best laid out plans have led to some of my worst rounds. There is something special in letting go and simply playing the game. I’m all for having a plan when practicing and working off the course, but once you tee it up you have to simply play. Sounds like you did that in your last round. Keep it up.

    • Brian Penn says:

      Some of my worst planning has been when I try to take a full swing key from practice to the course. But some of my best planning has been preparing for certain short game shots I know I’ll need on specific courses, and practicing those in advance of playing. I think the short game shots are more free of mechanics. I dunno, maybe it’s just an act of God as to whether you play well or poor on any given day. 🙂 Thanks!

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