Posts Tagged ‘G’

Championship Problem Solving

The first step in championship problem solving is to make sure you determine the exact nature of your problem. Many a tournament has been lost by the player who attempts an impossible shot from the rough in the vain hope of making birdie where bogey will win the day. The six or seven he winds up making takes him right out of contention. Precisely defining the problem is an art in itself.

Golf teacher Tommy Armour, author of the timeless masterpiece of instruction, How to play your best golf all the time, was a master at finding a player’s problem and no one was better at accurately defining it. One day a club member approached him to schedule a lesson.

“What seems to be your problem?” questioned Armour.

“I can’t get backspin on my long-iron shots, like the pros do,” he said.

“How far do you hit your 3-iron?” asked Armour

“About 175 yards,” replied the member.

“Then why on earth would you want to put backspin on the ball?” asked Armour.

Ben Hogan had a similar laserlike approach to problem solving. He believed in breaking the problem down to its simplest form. Late in 1992 he sat down for lunch with one of his greatest admires, Nick Faldo, who had recently won
his third British Open. Both men realized they had similar attitudes to hard work, practice and determination. For his part, Faldo was fascinated by Hogan. He found himself in total agreement with everything the Hawk said. At one point during lunch, Faldo asked Hogan for any advice he might have on how to win the US Open. Hogan remained silent. As their meeting was about to end, Faldo again asked if there was one secret that could help him win that elusive US Open. “Shoot lower scores,” responded the great champion.

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