I have one goal for 2020 and it’s process oriented. Before detailing, I’ve been drawing a tremendous amount of inspiration from the book: The Score Takes Care of Itself, by Bill Walsh. The Hall of Fame football coach details his controversial approach to leadership and building a world class organization, but the underlying takeaway is to get immersed in the details of process and good results will naturally be forthcoming. While a common theme from most sports psychologists, I needed to read his specifics about not confusing effort with results and found it inspiring.
Last season, I stumbled on a process-oriented adjustment in September and rode that to higher confidence and better performance in the Fall, and over the Winter. The experience was so positive that I will try to leverage for 2020. In 2013 I had experimented using the nine-shot drill that Tiger Woods made famous and found that difficult to implement. The drill requires you to hit low, medium, and high trajectories with straight, draw, and fade shot shapes. I couldn’t do them all but last Fall, during practice sessions and warm-ups I began hitting low, medium, and high straight shots with each club in the bag (lob wedge through 4-iron). Suddenly while on the course, I felt comfortable calling on any of these trajectories, which allowed me to play more aggressively and with greater confidence. To execute, you simply move your ball position from back to middle to front with each club. I practiced this way and warmed-up this way. The advantage, especially during warm-ups, is that on some days I’d find only one trajectory was working but I could take that one to the course with confidence.
Granted, this is somewhat of an advanced technique and you should have your swing mechanics in pretty good order. During a lesson last year, my instructor had me hitting full wedge shots using my lob, sand, and gap from the back position, and we really liked the ball flight. He recommended that I add the shot to my arsenal, and I did. I then added the other ball positions after experimenting.
Fast forward to this year. My goal is to get comfortable working the ball. Do I need to add all six other trajectories in the nine-shot drill? No. I’d just like to be able to control a draw or fade with the most comfortable trajectory. I know my biggest challenge will be with the fade because I hit a little natural draw and I can’t remember fading a ball on demand, but think I can learn this using the same approach. First up, some experimentation on the range, then off to my instructor to dialog the plan. If I can work the ball with the same level of confidence, great things are going to happen!
What are your goals for 2020?