Forget mechanics and just hit it

A creator’s attention to detail is what differentiates common artwork from masterpieces. In the golf world, Sebonack Golf Club is a masterpiece designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Doak, and masterminded by Michael Pascucci, the club’s owner. Located in Southampton, N.Y., it is enjoyed by the hungry golf elite of the financial world – as did this golf pro this past weekend.

It has fast become one of my favorite courses in the world. It has some of the most severe greens I have ever played, cleverly so and not contrived.

My decision to come here and play this week came at the heels of just barely missing out on qualifying for the U.S. Open at my most desired place in the whole world, Pebble Beach.

Like most, my golf game is reliant on confidence and scoring well. The more time I spend playing on the course, the better I tend to fine tune how to score. I have never been one to constantly practice, and pounding balls on the range has never really helped me.

Golf is so much more than just repetitive shot-making. It is about adaptability, imagination and recovery. I could not have picked a better place to practice these components.

Most pro golfers have the ability to hit all types of shots that a particular golf course dictates. We hit them in practice and on the range, so it stands to reason that we can, of course, do it in competition. All these shots are stored in our brain. All we are required to do is access them upon necessity in the heat of battle. It is like saving files on your laptop.

For example, we all know how to pick up a glass without spending time thinking about it – extend the arm, close the fingers around the glass, feel the texture and weight of the glass before lifting, retract the elbow, open mouth and drink. We don’t think of the mechanics every time; we just let it happen. This is exactly what we should do when we hit a golf ball. This is what we mean by getting out of our own way and trusting ourselves.

So my goal at Sebonack was to not think about the mechanics of a shot, but to feel it by re-igniting my trust and enjoyment of the game. This course was the perfect place to practice such essentials. No range time; just 36 holes every day. Also, playing with my cousin Manish Chopra and some great gents was thoroughly enjoyable. And taking some of Manish’s hard-earned Wall Street currency is always inspiring!

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