Speaking of: ... Fear opponent ...

Published on   2023-04-06 by Kai

Yes, I admit it: I have a fear opponent in golf. He regularly awaits me on my favorite course, and always on hole 7. It's maddening with him. I can't get away from him. And 50 percent of the time, he makes sure I mess up the hole, ruining what had been a good average on the scorecard.

I'm sure I've written it here somewhere before: Golf has a lot to do with psychology. You play more against yourself than you do against your flight partner. The head makes the good score on the round - or the bad one.

That certain feeling

Do you know it too? You've teed off on the range, your swing has worked passably, your length with the driver is surprisingly good, and even your iron shots suggest a good round. And then you stand on the first tee and somehow you don't get that certain feeling.

That feeling that gives you security, that tells you that the shot will be right, that the ball won't end up in the rough or in the little wood on the edge.

Without thinking

That feeling that says that the little ball is going to stay in good distance on the fairway. It makes sure you don't think too much while addressing the ball. You just get in position and follow through. And it works.

But sometimes, or better: far too often, it doesn't. And then the struggle begins. The game gets tense, the motto "After the shot is before the shot", with which you immediately forget the anger about the failed drive and safely set the next shot, this motto cannot be implemented.

Not with the crowbar

I haven't yet found a method of forcing this good feeling. But that's probably the wrong idea, because it simply has to happen on its own. And only then will it work the way you want it to.

The keyword is psychology. And this is also what the fear opponent is about. He is not a real person, he nests in my head. And there he annoys me, manifests himself on the tee of the 7th hole. And this in the form of a pond over which the drive is to be hit.

It's not a great distance that has to be overcome, it's an estimated 35 to 40 meters before the ball then flies over land again and is supposed to land opposite on the fairway - even better: on the green.

There is room behind the pond, lots of room in fact. But every third, if not every second ball teed off there fails to reach the safe land opposite. It's exasperating.

Distance not worth mentioning

Again, written clearly: We're talking about a distance that even a rookie like me can easily cover with a short iron. But the demand is: The ball should not only go over the water, but as close as possible to the hole, especially since in summer the high grass behind the pond makes it difficult to find the ball. So 100 meters should be bridged, to the green even significantly more.

That's why I like to use the driver to get the ball over the water with relatively little power, but more technique. And although the long wood previously pleased me on the range and every, really every shot has loosely brought the required distance, suddenly far too often at this point nothing more goes. And it happens that also the good feeling described above, which was present up to course 6, has disappeared all at once.

Another nastiness

And there is another nasty thing: If the tee shot on hole 7 works (as I said: in about 50 percent of the cases), then everything is fine. But if it doesn't work and the ball disappears into the pond, then the error rate increases drastically. In other words: If the first ball goes into the pond, the probability is much higher than 50 percent that the second ball will also go into the water.

That is then the point at which I give up on the hole. 4 strokes on the scorecard and the ball is still not in play - this is so annoying, for one thing, that I'd rather resign than try again.

Ruinous for the score

It's also so ruinous for the hole score that a third try isn't worth it, because the shot count would land off any Stableford point. Assuming the third ball would not follow the first two into the cool water. Then the number gets into double digits. No one wants to see that on their scorecard.

I know I'm not alone in this fear mongering. The video posted above shows that as well. Unfortunately, it doesn't help much to know that many fail when trying to drive the ball over a water hazard. And unfortunately, so far all the professional tips have not helped either, no video, no podcast could free me from this problem.

A challenge

But in the end, this is exactly where a certain challenge lies for me. I always look forward to that 7th tee shot. And if the drive succeeds, I'm king of the world for a brief moment. If not: Well, somehow I'm already used to that. Get up, straighten the crown, move on. Until the next time on hole 7. Hope dies last.

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