Avoidance Is Not a Good Strategy

As you know, golf is incredibly challenging because there are so many different facets of the game. While most golfers don’t have the time or resources to become an expert, that doesn’t mean you can’t be proficient enough to see progress.

A common trap that golfers fall into (myself included) is avoidance. Sometimes, one part of the game is so daunting that you choose to try and avoid it at all costs. Recently, I played with a golfer that reminded me just how damaging this strategy could be, and I’m here to offer you all some advice on how to get through these hurdles.

Exhibit A

Several weeks ago I was playing with a golfer who was quite skilled. He was a 4-handicap, and I was particularly impressed by his driving ability. Although he was two decades removed from playing Division 1 tennis, it was evident that his athletic skill allowed him to drive it relatively straight at 275+ yards.

But I noticed on shorter par 4s he kept hitting irons. Since my thinking on that strategy has changed, I asked him why he was keeping the driver in the bag when it was obviously his best club (which he also believed). He told me that he was terrified of 30-70 yard wedge shots, and tries to avoid them at all costs. I also asked if he spent any time practicing from those distances, and he told me that it rarely happens.

That fear came on full display when he putted from roughly 60 yards on the next par 5, which I hadn’t seen done on a course other than Phil’s “stunt” at the final round of The Memorial.

“I saw that playing out differently in my mind.” ? – Phil Mickelson after putting from 78 yards outpic.twitter.com/okBuTfzuhC

— GOLFonCBS (@GOLFonCBS) July 19, 2020

In my head, I knew this golfer was completely capable of hitting those wedge shots with his physical talents. And to be honest, I knew how he felt.

My Avoidance

I’ve been playing golf for more than 25 years now. I’ve dealt with pretty much every single fear and problem that all of you have. The only part of my game that I’ve ever felt consistently confident in is my iron play. I have no idea why that is, but that just seems to be my golf DNA.

Over the years, I’ve played the avoidance game quite a bit myself. I, too, was terrified of those awkward wedge distances. Also, I spent many seasons trying to evade my driver as much as possible and hit other clubs off the tee, thinking they would give me a sense of security. Lastly, I spent most of my time as a golfer, never working on my putting all that much.

The result was frustration, mismanaged expectations, and a level of play I was generally not happy with.

But, I’ve learned a few things on how to conquer these avoidance issues in my own game, and by also closely watching other golfers.

Three-Pronged Approach

Golf will expose all parts of your game eventually. If you want to become a better player, sweeping problems under the rug just

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By: Jon
Title: Avoidance Is Not a Good Strategy
Sourced From: practical-golf.com/avoidance-is-not-a-good-strategy/
Published Date: Tue, 04 Aug 2020 18:48:49 +0000


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