Golfing Greedy – Like The Atlanta Falcons

Remember in this year’s Super Bowl when the Atlanta Falcons came out and took a 28-3 lead after four minutes in the 3rd quarter.  Then what happened?  They got greedy and continued to try and throw the ball instead of running out the clock out, which ultimately ruined their chance for victory.

Today, I learned that greed is not good on the golf course either.

Yesterday I had a full swing lesson and continued to work on my ball striking.  Today’s round started off great at Rattlewood.  I was nutting my driver, making good decisions, and working my lesson plan perfectly.  I played the front nine with one bogey and one birdie and felt very much in control, and maybe a little bit cocky as we headed to the par-5 10th hole.  I pounded a drive and left myself 215 yards uphill.  Then the Kyle Shanahan in me took over.  I forgot I was still in learning mode and elected to go for the green with a 3WD.  I have never gone for this green in two but had never driven it this far before.  What would you do?  I knew the green was surrounded by bunkers and felt a greenside bunker shot to a middle pin position was no problem.  Sure enough I landed in a bunker, but then chunked two sand shots and made double.

Feeling cheated out of a birdie opportunity, l stayed aggressive and tried to drive the green on the 11th hole which was playing downwind, downhill, and only 323 yards.  I stepped on a driver but blew it into the lake guarding the right side of the fairway – bogey.  On the par-3 twelfth hole, I clubbed down and tried to hit a 3-iron on a shot that called for a 5WD and pulled it left for another bogey.  At the end of the inward half, I had carded a 10-over 46, and like the Falcons, left the course in a state of shock.  Where did I go wrong?

I think it was the second shot on #10.  I haven’t hit a bunker shot in a month.  During my lessons, I’ve been focusing on full swing and no short game.  I’ve had plenty of reps with my sand wedge from various distances in the fairway.  I should have laid up to a good yardage and pitched on for a good birdie chance.  The decision on 11 tee was flat out stupid.  I could have hit a 4-iron in the middle of the fairway for an easy wedge or 9-iron to an accessible pin.  The rest of the back nine was a combination of mental and physical mistakes that compounded themselves.

What’s frustrating is that I know not to get greedy and to play to my strengths, but I do it anyway!  It happened to me and to the Falcons, does it ever happen to you?

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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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8 Responses to Golfing Greedy – Like The Atlanta Falcons

  1. More times than not in the game of golf, you just have to go for it.
    More times than not, the golf course always wins!
    Enjoyed the story!

  2. Brian

    Personally, I like your decision on the 10th hole. You were playing well, making solid contact and finishing solid. I would have went for it as well. The challenge was your tee shot on the next hole. I have a tendency to compound errors and I think that is where the train left the track. It looks like that is where you got greedy. It does sound lime your game is coming along, I will be interested to hear how you play the 10th hole next time.

    Cheers
    Jim

    • Brian Penn says:

      Jim, you can be sure the next time I play that 10th hole, if I go for it, I will have prepared a little better by hitting some bunker shots in advance. I thought at the time that the decision was okay to go for it and that a simple greenside bunker shot with a good lie was a good leave. I just chunked it. The 11th tee was definitely the gamble that didn’t need to happen. Lesson learned!

      Thanks,

      Brian

  3. I agree with Jim. I like the play on 10, but 11 gave me pause. It sounds like you’ve already figured it out though! It’s hard to resist the temptation to get it all back at once. I like the Falcons analogy since I’m a Pats fan 🙂

    • Brian Penn says:

      Jimmy, I’m getting more positives for the decision on #10. I guess if I get it up and down out of the bunker things turn out totally different. Oh well, that’s golf!

      Thanks,

      Brian

  4. Brian,

    In the meat of the season when you’ve been practicing all faucets of your game I’d strongly disagree that going for #10 in 2 was a bad choice, but since you haven’t been hitting sand shots I’ll give you a pass on being critical of this decision, haha…but still, you can’t lay up from 215 too often before people start to talk 😉 nice front nine!

    Cheers
    Josh

    • Brian Penn says:

      Josh, I think the consensus was that the tee shot on #11 was the mistake and it was a good call to go for it on #10. Might have done something different in a tournament depending on if I was trying to protect or be aggressive.

      Thanks!

      Brian

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