When Jack Nicklaus describes a shot as “The most unbelievable, gutsy shot I’ve ever seen,”, you know you’re looking at something very, very special.
I don’t think there’s anyone out there who has hit as many of those “gutsy shots”, such as the one we witnessed on Sunday. It was simply awe-inspiring, miraculous even, and it’s what makes Tiger the player he is.
Being 2 back with 3 to play, and being in the position he was, there was simply NO margin for error. He had to hole it. Jack said from the commentary box:
Tiger has a habit of showing us how mental a game golf is. Yes, a solid technical approach to pulling off a flop shot like that is imperative, but the focus on the positive is what we amateurs can take away. Tiger is looking to hole out every shot from within 50 yards. His visualization would have been so acute during that shot (despite the enormous pressure), that he would have picked the very spot the ball was going to hit and rollover to the hole. He commits to it and has no fear of what the negative outcome might be. The shot was executed exactly as he thought it would be.
He got into his routine (“the zone”) and focused on the most positive outcome possible – to put the ball in the hole.
Next time you are playing, no matter what the situation, consider how powerful your visualization and determination to get the ball in the hole can be. It’s not a coincidence that Tiger pulls off those shots more than any other player. His belief that he can do it and commitment to that shot (seeing that outcome before he hits the ball), is greater than any of the other players. Like Tiger, imagine holing every shot around the green – there’s simply no reason not to. Don’t try and “get it close”, thinking about holing it will get it a lot closer every time.
Take another look and next time believe that you really are capable of pulling off these shots. Give it a try…
Photo by TourProGolfClub