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|It's those little creature comforts, like a new head cover or putter grip, that can turn your golf game around (Kristen "Golf Chick" Williams)|
Golf is a personal game. The combination of why we play, how we play, what we wear, what rules we follow and what gear we use defines each of us as a golfer. An accurate conclusion can often be made about the nature of a person if you know her nature as a golfer. The golf gear a person uses can be an obvious indicator of personality traits but not necessarily how well they play. For example, if a guy carries a one iron it doesn't mean he can use it effectively, but if he has a ball retriever he's probably not overly concerned with looking macho.
We all have our own swings, routines and processes, even the pros: While some of them share certain aspects of their swings that look almost identical and are sometimes trained by the same coaches, there are variances. Some routines are strikingly similar (pardon the pun), from the way someone addresses the ball, performs a waggle or lines up a putt, but each person puts it all together in his or her own way.
Golf gear and equipment are also very personal. Technology can play a part but more important is how you feel about your selections. You might find comfort in swinging a driver with the latest and greatest technology and an enormous club head or in using a tried and true set of irons you've had for years. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the most important aspect of anyone's golf game is mental. The gear and equipment you use can have a big impact on your mental game and an area where individuality really comes into play.
If we gave every PGA Tour player the exact same set of equipment, Tiger Woods would still come out on top. His mental game is just that strong. Move on down the rankings and you might find some people out of order, though. Why? Simply because of how they think or feel about a certain club or ball affects them differently. Let's take away their personal effects as well. Without his tiger club head cover, Tiger's going to play with confidence. Take away Sergio's bull and that simple change might be enough to make him miss a few key putts.
The tiniest influence, whether physical or emotional, can dramatically change the results on a scorecard. Yes, even if you're not a sentimental softy like I am.
Think about which club in your bag is your favorite. Now think about why. Maybe it's your 5-wood because you have memories of hitting that one really great shot with it at Pebble Beach. Or your 4-iron because it consistently gets you out of jams in the trees. Or your driver because your best shots are off the tee and you know you can produce that perfect draw with it around the dogleg on that one hole at your home course. Or your putter because you feel you need to have a relationship with it. If you're fickle like me, your favorite club probably changes from time to time. For awhile, my favorite clubs were my pitching wedge and sand wedge because I nailed aces with them on back to back weekends. Before that it was my driver because I hit it straight almost every time. You're going to play better shots with a golf club in which you have confidence than one you fear. If you're ambivalent about all your clubs, you're either not passionate about the game or you might be a really good golfer but lousy company.
Customizing an item can make you attached to it as well. My putter is now my favorite club because I have a new grip on it that holds personal significance. I also have a modified club head cover I love. Whether or not my emotional investment in these items impacts my score, it definitely adds to my enjoyment of the game. Maybe you couldn't get through a round without a favorite towel or ball marker. Like I said, little things can mean a lot.
Comfort and confidence: Two key elements that not only make life more enjoyable, but often lead to lower scores on the golf course. And what golfer doesn't find enjoyment in that?
April 3, 2007
A woman relatively new to golf and known for her wit and dedication to her rapidly improving game, Kristen "Golf Chick" Williams has won fans for her blog and WorldGolf.com golf course reviews. She pens her golf articles from her home in Southern California.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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