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How do you keep your head cool during your rounds?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I have just look at my score cards of my last (first) 3 rounds, and it usually look like this 2 3 1 2 6 8 1 2 0 (strokes over par)

 

I'm new to the game, so bogey and double bogey is ok for me, but I tense up after a bad shot, and it results in more bad shots. How do you get over that last bad shot you make?

post #2 of 19

I don't know about others, but for me it was playing a lot more. I've played more in the last year than anytime before and I've noticed that stress and anxiety over shots has dropped. After 35 9-hole rounds and about 12 full rounds plus 100 buckets I can say that a bad shot does not affect my next shot. I just say to myself "well, that wasn't my best swing" and think about what my best approach will be considering where the ball is now.

 

I find it really important not to try to save a hole. If a bad drive has put me into a tough spot I will not make a heroic to get to the green. Those are the kinds of shots that I have a low probability of pulling off. That kind of thinking gets me into blow-up holes. Instead I look at it and plan out 2 shots to get on the green...8i, PW or punch 6i then 8i, or whatever. There are likely two comfortable swings you can make from anywhere that will get you on the green.
 

post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0ldblu3 View Post

I don't know about others, but for me it was playing a lot more. I've played more in the last year than anytime before and I've noticed that stress and anxiety over shots has dropped. After 35 9-hole rounds and about 12 full rounds plus 100 buckets I can say that a bad shot does not affect my next shot. I just say to myself "well, that wasn't my best swing" and think about what my best approach will be considering where the ball is now.

 

I find it really important not to try to save a hole. If a bad drive has put me into a tough spot I will not make a heroic to get to the green. Those are the kinds of shots that I have a low probability of pulling off. That kind of thinking gets me into blow-up holes. Instead I look at it and plan out 2 shots to get on the green...8i, PW or punch 6i then 8i, or whatever. There are likely two comfortable swings you can make from anywhere that will get you on the green.
 


Oh, by the way, I am still trying to break 90 so the relaxed feeling is recent an hopefully the scores will reflect it soon.

post #4 of 19

I used to get really upset over playing bad and all it did for me was make me play worse.  I have been playing a lot as of late and I have been trying a few different strategies that seem to work for me.  The usual culprit for me is anger, which leads to swinging fast and really hard.  First thing I do is take some deep breaths before I hit each shot.  Second when I am taking my practice swings, I make a slower practice swing than my actual swing to calm me down.  Also, right before I swing I tell myself to swing easy, just a cue to not try and beat the crap out of the ball. 

 

If I do hit a bad shot, all I try to think about is how can I hit the best shot from this lie.  I stopped worrying about my score and just making the best shot I could each time.  In the past I would think to myself, "wow, if I don't hit this 4th shot in the trees to within a few feet I am going to bogey this hole."  Then I would think I was Tiger, Bubba or Phil and try and hit a 250 yard Driver out of the fescue in the middle of the forest onto the green. I would hit my shot and watch it hit 2-3 trees and now I am about 240 yards out and now that I am closer the Driver will definitely reach on this shot.  Obviously I am not any of those players, nor even a good golfer, so this madness would continue until i got to 8 or 9 shots and then I would give up. 

 

The new me sees that I am in the trees and knows that it is better to just take a PW and hit the ball back into the fairway.  I realized that a bogey or double bogey is much better than a 8,9 or even 10.  Plus when I am angry I look like an idiot, because it is just a game, and no one gets enjoyment playing with a guy who is mad all the time.

post #5 of 19
"I'm not good enough to get mad"

Everything is relative, but I'd wager to say that anyone on the forums here who does not make thier living from golf would do well to remember this, and believe it. And it helps calm me, which in turn helps me take wise shots, and make better shots.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Actually I don't remember getting mad after a bad shot, I just laughed it off. But I tensed up setting up the next shot, thinking "I have to make this shot", of course that didn't work. Taking deep breaths and make some slow practice swings seem like a very good idea. Not trying to make heroic shots from tough lie is another, I remembered hitting the ball from this side of the fairway to another a lot...

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by fRzzy View Post

But I tensed up setting up the next shot, thinking "I have to make this shot", of course that didn't work. 

 

That's part of it right there, saying you "have to" do something isn't going to help.  Make a few good practice swings and when you get over the ball just try to repeat your practice swing.

post #8 of 19

Yeah, mvmac has it right. Duplicate the good but don't think about it. It's a huge task. 

post #9 of 19

I pretend that I'm playing alternate shot and blame poor shots on the "other guy" so I can forget that bad shot. I write down the bad shot before I let myself forget about it, so I can look for any trends in my swing that I need to work on. 

post #10 of 19
Mesh hat and a wet towel around my neck.... b2_tongue.gif
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

I do have a wet towel around my neck while riding my motorcycle in leather suit :D

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by onephenom View Post

I pretend that I'm playing alternate shot and blame poor shots on the "other guy" so I can forget that bad shot. I write down the bad shot before I let myself forget about it, so I can look for any trends in my swing that I need to work on. 
Lol ... But what if you hit two bad shots in a row? ;)
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Lol ... But what if you hit two bad shots in a row? ;)

That's when its time to learn to forget :)
post #14 of 19

Walter Hagen said he expected to make 3 or 4 bad shots every round. And when he hit a bad shot, it was just one of those.  I adjusted that number up a little and decide to just forget the bad shots.

 

Also I quit trying to make my swing perfect everytime, and just try to "advance the ball" towards the hole. Its a mind game for sure.

post #15 of 19

I just remind myself that Im not a pro and am not good enough at this game to get mad if I hit a bad shot.

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by fRzzy View Post

Hello,

 

I have just look at my score cards of my last (first) 3 rounds, and it usually look like this 2 3 1 2 6 8 1 2 0 (strokes over par)

 

I'm new to the game, so bogey and double bogey is ok for me, but I tense up after a bad shot, and it results in more bad shots. How do you get over that last bad shot you make?

 

Just realize that no matter what you do, you can't take back the previous shot, so why get mad at it. I know you have expectations of your game, but you can't have expectations for each shot. Honestly, asking for perfection is an illusion. When i play, the only shot that matters to me, as a singular event is the final putt. Because there is no more shots after that, its the only shot in golf were its absolute. All other shots, there is a next shot. 

 

So the way i look at it is, i know my game now, i know what i am capable over, REALISTICALLY!!!, i say that loudly, because its something many people can't do. Many people have illusions of there game and what there capable of. Its those people who sit 250 yards in the fairway to hit there 2nd shot into a par 5, when they just hit there longest drive of 240, cause they think they can magically get there 3 wood to go 250, ya NO. Its the same thought in knowing, maybe i should just punch out into the fairway instead of trying to hit this low sweeping hook that i never tried before. So, when i start around of course i have an expectation before the round to play good, but during the round, i hold none. I only step back to analyze my game after that final putt. This way i can be in the moment on the course, instead of trying to analyze my performance as i play. Of course i keep score, and if in a match, know what i might need to make up in the final few holes, but in no way am i laying down judgement on my game, i just adjust my aggressive shot taking, and focus more if i need to. 

 

So for me is like putting up a mental wall saying, hold all judgement till the final statements. During the match, lets say i hit a ball OB, which i have done before. I might get agitated, that's natural, but i know my game, and i know i can save bogey, because i know i have saved par before, and i know i have made birdies before. So basically its saying, ok, i'm starting this hole over, and i will try for par. In the end, i am just stuck with one extra stroke. I know i can make up that shot elsewhere. If my game is totally shit, then i will just start playing for fun, i turn off my anger completely, and just try stupid stuff, like hitting huge cuts on a straight forward shot, just something strange to keep the game interesting. I mean if i am like 18 over par with 4 holes to play, i am pretty much going to concede this is was not my best day, so i'll just dry and have some fun playing the holes in as interesting a way as possible. This way i take the stress off of performing, and put it more in the way of, hey its just for fun, who cares if this shot doesn't work. 

post #17 of 19

I used to have a bit of a temper. And then two things happened. 1. I finally realized that I am not a professional. I can't compare myself and judge my performance against the pros. I'm going to miss greens. I'm going to chunk one every once in a while. 2. This is the most important. I was fortunate to be playing a round in Dublin, Ireland. It was a typical Irish morning, 45 degrees with 30 mph winds. While hitting my approach onto the 2nd green, I realized that there was a rainbow in the distance basically directly over the city of Dublin. I thought to myself "look at where you are and what you're doing. What could you possibly be mad about?" So now I try to think about that every time my blood pressure starts to rise on the course. Look at where you are and what you're doing. It could be a lot worse. 

post #18 of 19

The best thing I ever learned was how to approach my rounds from shot to shot. If I make a mistake or simply hit a bad shot I move on and leave it behind. When I stand over the ball to play the next shot I go through a routine that prepares me for that shot without thinking about how I got there. It's a recent approach for me, been listening to hypnosis cd's. I've been playing better than I have in a very long time as a result.

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