One Shot at a Time
by Jason Blonder
The phrase "golf is played one shot at a time" is misunderstood by most individuals. I believe the misconception is to take your time, and bring yourself into a calm state of mind. "One shot at a time" means each shot is different from the next, and must be thought out very strategically. Bob Rotella coined the phrase, and he wants us to concentrate only on the shot at hand. Don't let your mind wander from the task in front of you.
I see too many weekend warrior golfers that aim right down the center of the fairway and expect to hit on a straight line. It doesn't matter if the wind is blowing right in there face at 20 mph gusts. Automatically a better player starts aiming out 15 to 20 yrds to left to play for a slice wind, and play a power fade out to the left.
As an instructor I am always asked the question, "How do I stop my slice?" I find in most situations that when I watch my students play they never over aim for a tough situation caused by elements around you. As a scratch golfer myself, I have no problem aiming out 25 yards to the left to account for a slice situation such as a strong wind into your face, left to right wind, or a downhill lie.
The point I am trying to make is that compensating for movement of each shot is one the most important factors. Most golfers keep trying to figure out how to hit it dead straight, while the better golfers just want to hit it solid, and allow the ball to move. The key is the better golfers understand where the ball will move. Now I don't expect most golfers to become a shotmaker overnight. A step in the right direction would be aiming out to the left correctly to account for a slice situation. One step further is trying to hit the ball to a single target out to the left. Adding this thought process must be learned in golf. Knowing how to handle each individual situation is the key, or playing golf "one shot at a time".