Above Par

How to Make a Birdie

September 27, 2023 Kathy Hart Wood Episode 139
Above Par
How to Make a Birdie
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever told yourself you needed to make a couple birdies on the last few holes?

Or maybe you categorize holes as "birdie holes" and up your expectations on short par fours or fives.

Chances are it did NOT turn out the way you planned.

You may have even made a bogey or two instead.

So the question is “How do you make a birdie?”

The quick answer is hit is close and make as short a putt as possible.

This is for sure an easier way to go about it but in this episode I want to shift the way you think about making a birdie so that you can open yourself up to more creativity and possibilities on the golf course.

And in the process help prevent you from make random mistakes and ugly swings on those last few holes or short part fives.

Connect with Kathy at KathyHartWood.com

How am I golf friend? How are you? What's going on, you playing lots of golf. Not a fall golf making lots of birdies. Pars, whatever is a good score for you. I hope you are because I want to talk to you today about how to make a birdie. And the reason I'm doing this podcast, because I talked to a lot of clients and members of my above par academy, who talk about how they just want to make some birdies coming in. They didn't have a very good front nine. They wanted to make some birdies on the back nine. They wanted to finish with a couple strong birdies. They were disappointed that they didn't make birdies. Matt has some easy par fives can't believe they didn't turn those into birdies. And I think it's so interesting the way our brain works relative to the game of golf. Right. We tell us, I just want to birdie this hole or I have to birdie this hole, or I have to finish with a couple of birdies. Or I should birdie all the par fives because they're pretty reachable and they're short. Or there's a short par four and I should birdie it. And this is the question I want you to ask yourself, how do you make a birdie? Like how do you do that? Tell me. When I asked my clients this question, the look on their face. Usually there's quite a few seconds of pause. They stare up into the corner of the ceiling. I was like, how do you make a birdie? The typical answer I get. The quick answer that I get is I hit a great shot down in the middle of the fairway. I hit my approach shot up there. Nice and close. And then I make. The putt for birdie. Easy peasy. And then I asked, is, have you ever made a birdie with not hitting it in the middle of the fairway? Well, yeah. But have you ever made a birdie and not hit the green? Maybe chipped in. Have you ever made a long putt for birdie? We have this picture on our head of how a birdie is supposed to be. We put a birdie on the scorecard and we're like, oh, it must've been this beautiful birdie. Just like. Textbook. Middle of the fairway, close to the pen. Rolled in a beautiful pot. And when that is our picture in our head, what we do is we put so much pressure on ourselves to hit the fairway. And then what happens if you miss the fairway? Right now, you're like, I lost my opportunity to make birdie. But that's not true. Have you ever made an ugly birdie? I for sure have. We ever said, thank goodness. There's not pictures on the scorecard. Cause that was ugly. Right. You walk up the hall and go, thank you. Not going to question it onto the next hole. Right. So we assume sometimes it holds or just easy to birdie and that's not necessarily not true. Is that a double negative maybe, but I mean, there are holes that you have maybe have a wedge in, but it doesn't guarantee you're going to make a birdie. Right. There's other things at play. So, what do you have to do to make a birdie? I want to give you some concepts around this. All. As you start answering that question for yourself and your game and whether it's a birdie or par, whatever your handicap is, it doesn't matter. Whatever you would consider a good score. When you hear yourself saying, I need to make a birdie. I'm just going to do it. Like how many times have you actually gone out and said, I'm going to birdie this hole and you've actually done it. Not very many times. And I promise you if you do it, you're like, holy crap. I just said I was gonna burn it that whole. And I did. And it was that easy to do to pull up birdies on demand. Like why the heck haven't you been doing it this whole time? Like, what are you waiting for? Turn it on. If it was that easy for tour players, the best players in the world to create birdies on demand and they're playing for money and for a living. Why the heck haven't they been doing it? Right. It's just interesting to listen to our brain, say that I need to make or I have to make a birdie. Or a low number. Or save a shot. Whatever the dialogue is in your head. So these are a couple of things that I want you to remember. One is you cannot force yourself to make a birdie. More, you force yourself to do something. The more pressure you're putting on your golf game and you're swinging. And the more you have this beautiful picture of how a birdie is to be made and you do not fit that mold. The less likely you are to make a birdie. So for instance, if you think it's pretty little shot, pretty little shot, pretty little pot, and that's how I make a birdie. The minute you hit your ball offline. Off the tee box. You think Birdie's off the table? So you can't will yourself or force yourself to make a birdie. Number two, there are a gazillion ways to make a birdie. You could top it off the tee, rip a three-word down there and chip in for birdie. You can hold it out of a bunker. You can bounce it off a tree. There's just a ton of different ways that you can make a birdie. So I want you to reframe how birdies are actually made. Number three, all you really can do. Stand over as many shots as possible from your preferred state. So that you can make your best swing so that you can think clearly. So that you give yourself a shot of making a birdie. The more, you're standing over a shot and putting pressure on yourself, trying to force something to happen. The less likely you are to make a birdie. And the other component of that is it's humbling to remember that there's some luck involved. Oh, yes. There's skill involved. Sometimes not scale. I've seen some birdies that were not skillful. And they still made a birdie, but you know, if your ball rolled through a divot, that was lucky because the shot with the ball and the divots much harder. On the green. You could hit a great putt and it hits something and go offline. You could get a bad bounce on the most beautiful approach shot ever. And it kicks forward or you hit the collar. There's so many different factors involved that it's not predictable to make a birdie. So I want you to ask yourself. When you've made a birdie in the past, how have you done it? Did you stand over the shots with lots of pressure or frustration or anxiety or fear? Maybe. I mean, you, you can do that and sometimes make a birdie. It's not predictable. Was there some luck involved. Was it a picture? Perfect birdie sometimes. Yeah. Are there days where you've hit the pretty little shot. Off the tee box and the pretty little shot into the green and just lipped out all the time. Just couldn't seem to make any birdie putts, no matter how close you hit it. There's other times you skank it down there and skank it up on the green and you knock in a 40 footer. Like we just can't predict it. So when you hear yourself saying that you need to make a number on a certain hole, or you have to make some coming in, you want to really. You ask yourself, how are you going to go about it? Because the answer on how you're going to go about it probably is going to come down to standing over your many shots as possible so that I give myself the best opportunity to make a birdie. That's it. That's all you can do. You can't force it. You can't will it. You got to hope you don't get some bad breaks. And you have to remember it doesn't need to be perfect. So hopefully your next round is filled with birdies. All right. My friends pay attention to those words that we tell ourselves and redefine the way that you can go about making a birdie or a par or a bogey, even when you're in horrible situations. There is more than one way to get the ball in the hole. And when you keep your mind open to that and keep your mind open to the possibilities you are going to get more creative and you're going to score better. Right? If I can help you at all with coaching or some of my programs, make sure you had to Cathy heartwood.com have a beautiful week and I'll talk to you next Wednesday. Bye.