Target, Commitment, Acceptance

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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I remember playing in a Gateway Tour event about 15 years ago at Talking Stick North course, being in the second to last group, and coming down the last hole. I had just hit two of the best shots of my life and made eagle on 17, but the last time I’d looked at the leader board on 16, I was four back with two to play, I needed eagle birdie to have a chance. 

I got over my second shot on 18 and my mind was racing, I don’t even remember what I was thinking. I just remember I was nervous, and couldn’t get focused on what I wanted to do, so instead of just pulling the trigger and hoping for the best, I thought, ‘back away and restart”. So, I walked over to my bag, threw my 8 iron back in, and started over. I had written these three words on the front of my yardage book and as soon as I saw them, felt my mind shifting to what I needed to accomplish.

The pin was on the left edge of the green, and knowing I needed to make birdie to have a chance, I thought of nothing else, just my stock two or three yard draw right at the pin. A lot of times I’ll walk into a shot with clear intention, only to bail on that intention at the last minute. Which leads to...

With adrenaline and the situation, committing to the target was a little easier than normal. Commitment takes practice and discipline. Start with one or two committed shots in a round and build from there, takes time to build this focus.

Once you’ve dialed in a target and are fully committed to executing, have the freedom to let it rip and accept the outcome. Learn from the process and use it to get better. In my situation, I hit another really great shot about 10 feet behind the hole, only to just miss my birdie attempt. We all hit good and bad shots, accepting allows us to learn from the shot. What did I do well? What would I do different? Give yourself a little time to anchor the great shot, knowing it was exactly what you intended or rehearse what you should have done, both are equally important in developing as a player.

I was putting my clubs in the trunk of my car, and one of the Gateway officials drove out in a golf cart and said, “Congrats! Nice Win.” The leader finished double bogey, bogey and handed me the tournament, what a game. 

Target, Commitment, Acceptance. Maybe it will help you play just a little bit better, good luck! 

Rob Rashell is now the Director of Instruction at Desert Forrest located in Scottsdale, Arizona. You can reach Rob at