I said yesterday I would take a crazy chance to unnerve an opponent. Here is the best example. One of the first times I had played golf with my departed friend Jack, I hit a flop shot that floored him.
In my better golfing days I would setup matches with friends that were unfair for me, in order to motivate me to play better. Jack was a +1 and I played the best ball of him, a 3 and an 8. They played the blues and I played the black tees (6700 vs.7000 yard tees).
We came to 18 all even. 18 on the Palmer course at PGA West can be described as a shorter, easier version of 18 at Pebble. Dog leg left par 5 with water all down the left and on this hole, water also short. The water is less in play off the tee, but more in play going for the green than at Pebble.
The other two players were making par or worse, so it was between Jack and I. He layed up and after bombing a drive down the middle, I fanned my second shot right of the green to a front right pin.
Jack wedged it to about 3 or 4 feet. I get up there to find my ball on a thin lie, on a down slope, with no green to work with and water 30 or so feet past the hole.
I took out my LW and took Phil Mickelsonesque swing at it, hit a high spinning monster to about 18″. Jack was so flustered, he missed his putt and I won.
“That was the biggest, luckiest bunch of bullshit I have ever seen.”
“Luck?” I responded. I walked over, dropped a ball down, hit another and lipped this one out to about 3″.
Jack shook his head and said it was great I had the skill to do that, but why would I want to. I told him my intent was to fluster him into missing his putt…and it did.
It’s the same affect Tiger Woods had in so many events with his fantastic recoveries and bombs dropped in the hole from across the greens.
It happens in matches at every course in the world every day. Sometimes taking a stupid chance and pulling it off, can turn a match around.
If you are smart, you can use this concept to your advantage at the right time.