Big Picture.

Admit it, you walked right by it, didn’t you?

Have you ever stood over a putt and watched it break in the exact opposite direction of what you were expecting?

I’m sure you have. You play a ton of golf. (Hey, me too! Did we just become best friends?)

Anyways, it really does happened quite often. To me, at least. Maybe my eyes are crooked.

Green reading though, is a challenge. Golf architects use visual deception and hidden sorcery to make your ball do the complete opposite of what you think it should. It’s a carefully manicured test designed to test even the best.

By building a green that’s higher on the left than the right should, theoretically, cause a ball to move from left to right. Isaac Newton called it gravity or something like that.

However, by building a green that, to the human eye, seems to tilt from left to right, but is actually built on a much greater slope that slants more towards the left overall, will ultimately cause your ball to roll to the left, even though your eyes say it goes right.

Phew. That was a lot of words. Hopefully, you can make sense of that alphabet jambalaya.

Essentially, the designer of the course has drawn your attention into a smaller focus where they can control what you see. By controlling your focus, they’ve hidden the true nature of the putting surface in plain sight, right there in front of you.

Admit it, you walked right by it, didn’t you?

It’s okay, you’re not alone. I definitely am not immune to this wizardry. That’s how a Home Depot steals away an entire Saturday and weeks worth of pay from “ya boy.” It’s science.

In more general and less self-incriminating terms, it happens all the time. Our brains are designed to dissect a thought down to its smallest parts. We’re often told to become more and more specialized, “niche down,” and focus on one thing at a time. Narrow your focus until all you can see is the path in front of you. That way you know what to expect.

Unfortunately, things rarely turn out the way we expect. Whether by design or simply out of misperception, things just don’t often work out the way we envision they will. There are far, far too many variables.

By zooming in so intently, we flatten the image in front of us, enhancing and enlarging even the most minimal flaws. The big picture becomes imperceptible and we latch onto a very specific idea of success that doesn’t allow for any unknown opportunities to present themselves.

Yes, going narrow can have its benefits, but it can also make you miss something that might be even more favorable.

I mean, have you ever stood over a putt that you thought was gonna break right but actually broke left and somehow still went into the hole?

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