Mental Insights Into Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible

For those of you who are not familiar with Dave Pelz, he is the master of understanding and teaching the short game. His Short Game Bible digs deeply into the importance and probabilities of golf inside 100 yards.

Dave correctly explains that when a golfer feels pressure his body responds differently than when he is relaxed, but he falls short on explaining why. On the practice tee where there is no outcome at stake there is little or no self- imposed pressure. However, on the golf course the outcome becomes a primary concern for most golfers.

Focusing on the outcome creates this mental pressure and not only affects one's muscles and adrenaline flows, it affects the numerous biochemicals or neurotransmitters secreted by your brain. As a result of this mental pressure and chemical changes in your brain and body, it is impossible to duplicate the same golf shot you have on the practice tee and your ability to perform suffers both physically and mentally.

Dave advises that you counter these pressure situations by making a conscious decision to keep the strong muscles out of your short shots and to swing with "dead hands" in order to beat the adrenaline effect. If you practice with dead hands, he contends that it's a small step to doing the same thing during a match when your heart is pounding and your muscles are pumped full of adrenaline.

Besides being technically superior, what really makes swinging with dead hands work well under pressure is that it forces a golfer to change his focus from the outcome to focusing on the process of having dead hands. When you focus on the outcome of making the shot, you open yourself to the fear of missing the shot. The emotion of fear is the trigger which creates chemical changes in the brain that diminish one's ability to perform and totally destroys any touch you may have had in practice.

Since your mind can only focus on one thing at a time, by focusing on the process of swinging with dead hands a golfer automatically reduces his level of fear and self-imposed mental pressure. If a golfer is mentally strong enough to stay totally focused on the process and not the outcome, he could duplicate his strong muscle practice shots inside 100 yards on the course since there would not be any pressure or adrenaline affect. Since it's easier to learn using dead hands than to stop chasing the outcome, I recommend following Dave's advice as well as learning how to control your fear.


P.S.: Did you know that there are different types of eye sight and eye coordination capabilities? When playing a round of golf over 5 or more kilometres, and having to aim every shot or stroke, seeing properly is a key element for better golf. Here is a book I have personally read and can recommend: Improve your eye coordination capabilities



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