This is a continuation of our A.C.E. Routine. This is Part 3 of 3:
Jason Day, after his win at this year’s PGA Championship held at Whistling Straits, admitted in the press conference that he had a thought come into his mind, “Don’t hit it short in the water.” He went on to say, “That’s the moments where you have to pull yourself back and say, nope, I’m not going to have that. I’m going to stomp on that thought.” These types of thoughts or distractions happen to the best of us. But it’s what you do with them that will make you or break you!
EXECUTE: execution is simply swinging the club. There is virtually no time that takes place between the time you become committed and the time you swing. The commitment trigger not only counters any negativity but also fills the timeframe when most negative thoughts creep into your mind. However, there are times when you need to back off of a shot, regroup and recommit. This would include:
- Any negativity creeps in your mind
- Your eyes drift to, say the pin, when your target is something else
- You get distracted
- Score comes to mind
- The wind speed or direction change
- You’re not really 100% committed
No one else is to blame for the shots you hit – it is your responsibility. Back away and gather yourself if needed. The best level of commitment is one that engrosses you so much in your shot that you don’t even notice the distractions that are around you. Being so into the process of your shot allows you to disregard poor shots helping you to put them behind you and dramatically aiding your ability to bring a clear and focused approach to your next shot.
This is a continuation of our A.C.E. Routine. This is Part 2:
Jack Nicklaus always said that he was very consumed in the particulars of the shot and that doing so always kept his mind off of any negative thoughts. Sometimes negative thoughts creep in during the last couple of seconds when we’re over the shot. The second part to our routine – Commit – will help get your mind quiet and your shots more effective.
COMMIT: this is the few seconds just before you hit the shot and where you need to create your own trigger that confirms you’re in a beneficial frame of mind and ready to swing. A Commitment trigger helps fill those vital few seconds and assists with keeping the demons out of your thoughts. A Commitment trigger keeps things positive and helps you stay focused on what TO DO.
- “I see a runway leading from my ball to the target then I swing.”
- “I see the apex of the shot in the air then I swing.”
- “I burn a thin red laser line into the green on the trail in which my ball will take to the hole then I roll the putt.”
- Say to yourself “This is perfect!” then swing.
- Say to yourself “Right at it!” then swing.
- Say to yourself “I own this!” then swing.
- “I let out a breath then swing.”
- “When my feet feel grounded and solid then I swing.”
- “When I feel connected to the target I swing.”
- “I look at the target 3 times then swing.”
- “I count to 4 … ‘1’ is positioning my club behind the ball, ‘2’ is my feet getting set, ‘3’ is when I look at the target, and ‘4’ is my backswing begins.”
Experiment with a commitment trigger when you’re on the range to see what helps you get engrossed and consumed in the process of what you want to do instead of what you don’t want to do.
We have a routine template called A.C.E. that we go over with all of our students. This will be the first post of three parts. A.C.E. stands for Analyze, Commit, Execute/Exit so today’s post will be about the Analyzing aspect to the routine.
The outcome goal in golf is to get the ball in the hole in the fewest number of attempts. Your goal however is to do the best you can with every shot you’re faced with. How you do that and stay focused on what you WANT to do will always come down to the process, or your routine, for each shot. A.C.E. is a routine template to help guide you into the “process” and not the “result.” It is a game on golfscrimmages.com that measures how well you’re focused on the process.
ANALYZE: this is where you evaluate all of the factors that go into choosing the appropriate target, shot and club. Items you must thoroughly Analyze include:
- lie of the ball
- yardage to pin, yardage to clear any trouble/front of green, yardage behind the pin
- wind speed and direction
- location of hazards and obstacles; best place to miss
- elevation change
- surface of landing area
It may be true that you do incorporate factors but not accurately so learn from your mistakes and find out what the true root cause was. For instance, are you not accurately measuring the force of the wind? Are you not being factual about the normal distance your clubs go? Do you not understand how much to add when the green is elevated? Learn how the affect your ball and shots so that you don’t miss the shot before you even hit it.