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Close Enough Counts
I would like to wish you all a safe and prosperous new year. I also would like to thank those people that have written to me or spoken to me at the course about this article. It brings me great joy to find out what a difference some of my suggestions are making in your games.

So, to bring in the new year with a bang, here is the secret to 20 more yards, pin point accuracy, and some handy hints about how to get your tour card (Jan 1st -- Apr 1st) close enough.

I understand that when "secret" and "close enough" are mentioned in the same sentence, it may be a little hard to swallow. However, I believe that the concept of close enough in this game isn't that bad. In some respects, golf is more like horse shoes than we give it credit. We try to hit a pole with projectiles in both. So for half of our round, from tee to green, close enough may be just fine.

Attitude, therefore, becomes the determining factor for the end result, which will be critiqued by the player alone and no other. Remember the best round you ever had? Remember when your friends or family found out and told you how great it was, and you believed them until you thought of all those putts you should have made? This is your internal critic, and above all, he's craving to be satisfied with how you played just once. This attitude is apparent in all of us, and more often than not the critic is obnoxiously present the instant we make a mistake, crowding our minds with "could-have," "should-have," and "might-have" worries.

I suggest to you the secret of "close enough." Tame your internal critic until after the round and think of only the task at hand, not the outcome. This enhanced attitude will leave your mind free to think of the present shot, thus reducing frustration and improving your scores.

RULE OF THE WEEK: Touching a Hazard.

Before you play a stroke in a hazard, the ground (or, in a water hazard, the water) may not be touched. When a ball lies in a hazard, it is addressed as soon as the player takes a stance. Violation of rule 13-4 will result in a two-stroke penalty.

 ©1999 Craig Hocknull
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