Kevin Sutherland stood on the 18th tee with a 1-shot lead in the final round of the Schwab Cup Championship – one of the biggest tournaments of the year on the Senior Tour. He had to hit a perfect drive to stay in position to secure a win. In his Clutch Golfer Interview Kevin has some great advice about what to do when it feels like there’s a million bucks on the line (which is exactly how much was on the line for Kevin).
How To Hit A Million-Dollar Clutch Drive
What you’ll learn from Kevin’s interview is how to develop your own rock-solid pre-shot routine and how to best spend your time on the range to prepare for clutch shots.
Kevin’s advice is simple “I always tell people ‘Prepare like you play.’ I take what I do on the practice tee and in practice rounds and apply that to tournament golf.”
What Kevin means is that if you are not including some pressure situations in your range time you are not going to be prepared to hit that clutch shot when you need to.
How does practicing under pressure help?
When you practice for clutch situations you develop the ability to normalize the situation. To make it seem like it is just another drive, pitch, or putt. As Kevin says “I don’t make that moment any different than any other moment. I just do what I always do.”
You also learn how to depend on your pre-shot routine. Kevin has had the same pre-shot routine for almost 35 years. “It’s the same thing I did on the first hole of the first day of the first of the year. It’s to the point now where it’s automatic. I don’t even think about it. It just happens. ”
Plus you learn how to narrow your focus to just that moment, that shot, and that target. “My only thought is to take this ball and put it ‘there.’ I see where I want the ball to go, then I let my ability put the ball there.”
What is the one thing Kevin doesn’t have?
Here’s what he doesn’t have: mechanical or technique swing thoughts.
“I turn off my brain when I’m over the ball. I do that all the time in practice so it just becomes a habit.” That way he can swing “with no conscious swing thought at all – like a driving range swing.”
When Kevin’s moment came, he was ready: he striped his drive down the middle and won the Schwab Cup – and the $1,000,000 million-dollar check.
“It was what I was expecting to happen, and that’s what happened.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have that much confidence under pressure and just hit the shot we expected?
Sounds easy in principle. But it is very difficult to do in the heat of the moment.
Unless you practice clutch shots in advance.
Listen to the Kevin Sutherland Clutch Interview by enrolling in the Clutch Golfer Interviews course at www.igolfu.com. Work some games and challenges and pressure situations into your regular range sessions.
That’s how you learn to hit million-dollar drives.