Trust Your Gut and Take Your Shot

A couple of months ago, I played in my local golf club’s member/guest golf invitational. My partner and I were in a tight match on our last hole, a par five. After a good drive, I had about 225 yards left, but the water guarded the green, and the wind blew strongly in my face. My partner and I discussed the pros and cons of going for the green. His shot had put him in relatively good shape, so we determined it was worth the risk for me to go for it. 

That decided, our discussion turned to which club to hit. Two holes prior, I had hit the purest three-iron I had hit in years, reaching a par five in two strokes. I thought if I hit that same shot on this hole, I would carry the green and get into deep trouble. My gut said to opt for a four-iron, but it would have to be a perfect shot. My partner leaned toward a three-iron but encouraged me to go with my gut. 

I pulled the club, took a deep breath, and looked at the target, and my brain filled with thoughts. The previous day on the same hole, I’d hit the worst shot of the season, sending my ball into the water. And a week prior, under different conditions, I’d hit a six-iron that started left of the green before perfectly fading into the middle of it. 

Which memory was I going to fixate on? 

I took another deep breath and another long look at the target. I took my stance and one last look. 

I then executed my best swing of the day. I caught the ball purely and watched it fly directly towards the pin… 

Take Necessary Risks

Someone reading this post is facing a major decision — and if so, this post is for you. The point I am making above is not to take unnecessary risks. In fact, sometimes, in golf, the best play is to lay up — something I should have done the previous day when I was not fully committed to going for the green, leading to my tentative swing and less-than-stellar outcome. 

Sometimes, however, you have to nudge yourself out of your comfort zone and go for it. Sometimes you have to leave the golf course, race home to get the ring and go to her house because you can’t wait a moment longer to get on one knee and ask her to marry you. Sometimes, you have to drop everything and take your child to the activity that you have not had time for. Sometimes you have to fly to Germany on Father’s Day to meet with a potential customer because it will be worth it ten years later. Sometimes you must drive to Evansville to see your Papa because you know there won’t be another chance. 

Hit Your Shot

While you may not have the same experiences as I have, I suspect you can relate to them; in fact, I’d be willing to bet that someone out there is facing something similar right now. 

And if you are, my advice to you is simple: trust your gut, pull out the “club,” and go for it. 

Hit your shot. 

Even if your perfect shot still somehow finds the water like mine did, you will go home realizing you took your shot. 

And there’s no denying that there is something magical, even life-giving, about taking your shot. 

Next Monday, I will share a brief special post on another shot I am taking. 

Until then, take yours.