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The adage 'when you're in a deep hole, stop digging' applies to golf as well as life
One of the problems with regularly watching Tour pros - who are the best 0.1% in the world at what they do - is that we copy them. So if they plumb-bob putts, then so do we (even if we have no idea why), and we think we cannot commit to a shot unless we have an exact yardage.

In short, we think we can do what they do and more often than not we're wrong - and nowhere can this be seen more clearly than when we're in trouble. Because they can hit a 6-iron through a narrow gap in the trees, or play a 3-wood from a fairway bunker, or any one of a number of outrageous recoveries, we try and do the same. And usually it ends in tears.

So to avoid compounding an error, always make an honest assessment of your chances of pulling off a tricky shot. If it's 50-50, don't attempt it unless you're down in matchplay and running out of holes. In strokeplay, if your chances are less than 7 out of 10, take your medicine, and a penalty drop, and reduce the damage to a minimum.

©    5 - JANUARY 2005

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