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Golf Question: How Should I Avoid “Blow Up Holes” When Playing Golf?If you have played golf for any length of time you will have experienced a “blow up hole”.
It can come at any time and without warning potentially destroying a perfectly good round of golf.

Blow up holes usually occur when golfers compound errors with more errors. For example; a player slices the ball into trees (bad shot one) before trying to play a miracle recovery and hitting the ball deeper into danger (bad shot two). They then play out safe and become frustrated, missing the green with the approach and finding a bunker (bad shot three). Now the hole is close to becoming catastrophic and the player knows it. The nerves hit and they leave the ball in the bunker (bad shot four). These errors are almost always followed by a missed putt or two and before they know whats hit them they are walking off the green with a triple bogey!

Blow up holes are mostly caused when golfers fail to respond well mentally to the situation. Keeping calm and fostering the ability to move on from a bad shot are absolutely crucial. Its something which many golfers will have heard before but taking one shot at a time is key to ensuring one error doesnt become many. To do this, use the “line of no return” and a solid pre-shot routine.

The Line of No Return

The line of no return is a fantastic way of not letting a bad shot effect the way you think about subsequent ones. It is an imaginary line drawn on the ground about two meters in front of where the golfer hit their last shot. When a player hits a bad shot they must commit to leaving any negative thoughts behind and letting them go once they cross the line. This is something practised by the best golfers in the world and will help you stay focused on the next shot and not thinking about the last.

A Pre-Shot Routine

After walking past the line of no return, golfers must then focus on their next shot, do this by using a solid pre shot routine.

  • Begin the pre-shot routine from behind the ball and assess all the different elements which could affect the shot such as lie, wind direction, weather conditions, obstacles to overcome, current position in match, etc.
  • After the different elements have been weighed up, select the club to be used and the type of shot you want to play. Its vital to commit to the shot you want to play.
  • Stand behind the line of the shot and imagine the ball traveling towards your target, really try and see it fly through the air. Imagining a great shot is a way for your brain to tell the body what to do.
  • Take a few practise swings again imagining the ball flying towards the target.
  • Set up to the ball after aligning yourself to the target and let the shot go.
  • Being confident, precise and thorough with a pre-shot routine and the amount of tension felt before a shot will be greatly diminished.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

The best way of mentally recovering in time for the next shot is to keep a calm mind and not focus even harder next time. Trying to concentrate too much can lead to negatives as well. Stay focused but dont become too intense so swinging becomes impossible!

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

There is nothing worse than playing with someone who cannot control their temper! Dont become a club-chucker and realize that as soon as your anger boils over the chances of a blow up hole occurring become instantly greater.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Although exploding with anger should never be an option neither should quitting or giving up. Remember that golf is a game which must be played and to never, never give in! Blow up holes can be destructive to a good round and must be conquered by thinking clearly.