Most golfers today realize that a player must keep working on his swing if he hopes to improve and to play and score better. Now this can frequently present a problem: many a golfer becomes so engrossed with performing this movement and that movement correctly that even during the course of a round the chief thing on his mind is technique, not playing the shot. Of course, playing the shot has to come first. But then, how do you reconcile this with the concentration you must also put out to build a better swing so you will hit the ball better?
I can only tell you my ideas on the subject. To begin with, the practice fairway is the place where a golfer should properly concern himself with executing theory, developing the correct moves which he hopes will become habitual through practice and playing. When you are playing a round, the practice swing before a shot should serve as the bridge between the practice fairway and actually hitting the shot. When you perform your practice swing, treat it as a quick refresher course in the one or two specific points you were working on and hoping to incorporate into your swing. Then you must forget about the niceties of technique, and when you step up to hit the ball you must put all of your thoughts on hitting the shot, playing the individual shot you are confronted with. At the back of your mind, to be sure, there will be one or two permanent thoughts (such as starting back slowly), but at the forefront of your mind you should have only one conscious aim: playing the particular shot as well as you can.
from BUD HOLSCHER, Apple Valley, Calif.
September 8, 1957
playing the shot
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