2 really solid shots from my round yesterday.
First was a 190 yd par 3, flag tucked about 8 or 9 feet off the right edge of the green. I aimed right at the center of the green, absolutely flushed a 6 iron as good as I've ever hit a 6 iron, pushed it a little bit, ended up exactly pin high 6 feet to the right of the flag, had less than a foot of roll from its' ball mark. Sunk the putt for a birdie.
Second was an approach shot to a par 5. I had 245 left, and was a couple feet off the edge of the fairway and had some really low overhanging tree branches about 20 feet in front of me and a pond that intersected the fairway about 30 yds further up. The rough wasn't bad at all so I had a clean look at the ball, so the plan was to hit a punch 3 iron under the tree branches and let it roll up hoping it would go like 150-200 yds or so.
Moved the ball back in my stance, kept weight and hands forward, gave it a solid swing and watched the ball start out under the tree branches then as soon as it cleared the branches it started to rise and ended up landing just short of the green and rolled through the green to the back fringe. I was shocked that it managed to go that far. The ball flight looked like one of those "stinger" videos that people post on social media, it was really cool to see (even if it was somewhat unintentional)
The opposite is far more true.
It's much, much easier to accept losing by blow-out than to accept losing on the last hole.
In the former, you just didn't have it, you accept your fate earlier on, you were clearly outmatched, etc. In the latter… you had every chance to win and still couldn't get it done.
I’m scratch and I still 3 putt once a round. GIR is king, then its nGIR. One thing I noticed with some of my students is they don’t even know what lines to take the ball off the tee. Play to the safer side of the landing area. Don’t try to actively avoid rough. It’s not usually long enough to where it’ll hurt you.
At soon-to-be age 74, arthritic and working diligently to return to bogey golf, these great remarks describe my current game. My drives are 180 carry, 200-210 if roll. So, I have worked on owning the 2nd shot. Not there with my 5-wood, but the 3 hybrid iron is close so I am getting on the par 4's in 3 and par 5's in 4. Diligent work with putting has helped reduce those bad 3 putts substantially. Still a work in progress (like me). Great topic! Best, -Marv