I think we can all agree that the ability to perform under pressure is an essential ingredient to winning tournaments. What goes into the ability to perform under pressure? The real answer is many different things under the 5 Elements of Success that will contribute to how an athlete performs under pressure. In this article I want to focus on one of those things which is having a reliable go to shot.
A go to shot could be considered your default shot that shows up when you aren’t trying to do anything specific with the ball, just look at the target and swing. Go to shots can vary based on the player’s movement tendencies, equipment, and ball flight preferences. Everyone has this default shot, yet very few own that shot to the point where they know how to use it in different situations and specifically under pressure.
If someone asks you what shot do you play when you have a 7 iron to a back right pin with wind off the right and a water hazard to the right, what do you answer? Perhaps you need more information, but many great players can answer very specifically. For example, “I will aim at the pin with my end target 20 feet left of the hole. In order to do that I will hit my stock straight shot and let the wind take it.” Another example is “I will aim 15 feet left of the hole and hit a fade to hold the ball against the wind and fly straight to the end target 15 feet left of the hole.” What shows up in both answers is a specific end target, specific starting target, and specific shot shape.”
Practicing your go to shot on the range by talking through different scenarios with someone else can really help to clarify intention when utilizing your go to shot. Remember, unclear intentions lead to bad swings. Take the time to run through this in practice and you’ll have a go to shot that holds up better under pressure.