Today I'm watching the final round of the Masters, my favorite day to watch golf all year. Augusta National is the most beautiful, yet unforgiving golf course on the planet. When golfers miss their Lokations during this tournament they are penalized more than on any other. By the same token, pitchers are hit around when they miss Lokations facing great hitters. In this blog entry I want to discus how playing an unforgiving golf course and pitching to a great hitter are similar.
In pitching the opponent is the hitter, while the opponent in golf is the course. When you face tough hitters, just as when you play tough courses, Lokation becomes the most important aspect of success. Good hitters will take advantage of Lokation mistakes and make you pay by driving the ball for extra base hits or taking a walk. Difficult golf courses will make you pay with penalty strokes after missing Lokations in the water, woods, or the short side of the hole.
Damage control is a huge key to scoring well on a hard golf course or getting a good hitter out. You have to miss in the correct Lokations to give yourself a chance at success. For example, hitting an aproach shot into a green with water on the right is comparable to facing a right-handed pull hitter on the mound. You obviously want to hit your Lokation first and foremost in either situation, but if you don't, you want to miss to the left of the green or away from the batter.
It is very important to be aware of the correct miss whenever you are weighing your options on the course or on the mound. The good news is that pitchers should have an easier time than golfers when it comes to damage control because in pitching it is rarely a mistake to miss low, as in the 4 Zone or below. For golfers, missing in the correct Lokation will be more difficult because their damage control miss could be different everytime.
Whether you are a golfer, pitcher, or both, the next time you are on the mound or course, pay special attention to where your misses end up and the result that follows. You'll find out that if you are concious of damage control and make adjustments accordingly, you will have a lower score in golf and give up less runs on the mound.