“The value of a shot”

This past Tuesday and Wednesday I competed on the Florida Players Tour in St. Augustine, FL. The first event was played at St Johns CC, where I shot  two under par, 70, and finished 2nd. The second event was played at South Hampton GC, where I again shot  two under par, 70, and finished in 5th place. My total earnings for the two rounds was $400. If  I had scored one shot lower each round, I would have earned $900. That is a substantial difference in earnings at this stage of the game, and brings me to the title of this blog post: “The value of a shot”.

“The value of a shot” was a phrase i regularly heard from my coach Ben Hannan, while playing golf for the University of South Alabama. Every practice  he would constantly be reminding us that each shot holds the same value and is as important as the next one. At the time, I felt like I got his point and played golf with this in mind. However, after the past two days I know for certain what the value of a shot really means.

Essentially, each shot for me is a business decision. Attack the par5 in two or lay up? Hit a full 7iron or an easy 6iron? Aim for the flag, or for the center of the green? These are basic questions that I have to ask myself on every shot, and the decisions I make ultimately lead to the size of my pay check. Some might view this as pressure, I find it extremely exciting and empowering. Gone are the days when I would halfheartedly slap a 3foot putt at the hole without committing to a line. Gone are the days when I pull out my range finder, get a number to the pin, and recklessly hit my shot. Now, I am going to work on having a process for each shot that will help me make the best decisions in the present moment. Of course, this method doesn’t mean I will never shoot a poor score again, as I still have to execute a swing on each shot and battle against difficult conditions and sometimes unfavorable bounces. But what it does mean is that I will have  more consistency in my game and a new means to analyze my scores based on the decisions I made that day.

Overall, these past two events were filled with great golf and greater learning experiences. I do not have another event for three weeks, so I am going to take the time to improve my decision making process, my short game, and enjoy the Fourth of July Holiday!


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