or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › How do you stay focused while playing?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How do you stay focused while playing?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I consider myself to be a pretty good golfer but I find that in some point at almost every round I just do something stupid that can cost me a couple strokes, rather it be me trying to get too fancy with a shot and messing it up, chunking a basic pitch, or not fully concentrating on a 3 footer and i end up missing it,  This usually ends up into me hitting more bad shots cause I get pissed at myself for messing up.  For instance today I was 2 under through six holes and playing well and then I ended up chunking a basic chip.  This led to me bogeying 7,8,9, and 10.  Finally I pared 11 and played well the rest of the round but that 4 hole stretch just made the difference between a good and great round.  I seem to have stretches like this way too often.  What do you do to stay focused during a round, and not let one bad shot lead to a string of bad shots?

post #2 of 18

I'd suggest reading "Zen Golf" for a good, cheap primer on the mental side of the game. I'm usually pretty good at putting a bad shot or decision behind me, but it's awfully hard to let go of a missed short putt early in the round. I just try to put myself back home putting on my little 8-foot fake green where I make everything, look up at the sky and realize I'm just a small part of a great big universe, and miss or make it -- it's not going to matter in the end. 

 

This gets really hard when I'm playing a skins game or something and I know the putt could be worth a fair amount of money. I just try to stick to my preshot routine, and think about nothing but the ball going into the cup.

 

I've also been hearing about how scents can affect focus -- a guy put rosemary extract on White Sox players' gloves and noticed their performance improved ever so slightly. I read also that Louis Oosthuizen won the British with a small red dot on his glove that he looked at before every shot to center himself and get in the right mindset to hit his shot.

 

The biggest thing to do is pay attention only to the shot you're hitting right now. The shot that got you there and the next one don't matter at all -- the only thing you can control is what you do Right Now.

post #3 of 18

I know personally I put too much pressure on the first few holes. If I don't do as well as I'd like on those, my round is toast. One of the biggest things I need to work on this year is just confidence and to trust my swing. At a 0.8 hc, I'm sure you know the ins and outs of your swing better than I do mine, so just learn to take it one shot at a time and visualize a shot instead of over analyzing it. I know it has helped me. I'm sure you have heard similar stuff before but hopefully something I said will be able to translate to your game.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slagbot View Post

I'd suggest reading "Zen Golf" for a good, cheap primer on the mental side of the game. I'm usually pretty good at putting a bad shot or decision behind me, but it's awfully hard to let go of a missed short putt early in the round. I just try to put myself back home putting on my little 8-foot fake green where I make everything, look up at the sky and realize I'm just a small part of a great big universe, and miss or make it -- it's not going to matter in the end. 

 

This gets really hard when I'm playing a skins game or something and I know the putt could be worth a fair amount of money. I just try to stick to my preshot routine, and think about nothing but the ball going into the cup.

 

I've also been hearing about how scents can affect focus -- a guy put rosemary extract on White Sox players' gloves and noticed their performance improved ever so slightly. I read also that Louis Oosthuizen won the British with a small red dot on his glove that he looked at before every shot to center himself and get in the right mindset to hit his shot.

 

The biggest thing to do is pay attention only to the shot you're hitting right now. The shot that got you there and the next one don't matter at all -- the only thing you can control is what you do Right Now.

I try to do things like this but it is definitely easier said than done.  Im supper competitive by nature.  If I do something I want to be considered by others very good at it.  My competitive nature simply won't allow me to think that that 3 footer I missed, or that pitch shot I just butchered has no significance in life lol.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MambaGolfer View Post

I know personally I put too much pressure on the first few holes. If I don't do as well as I'd like on those, my round is toast. One of the biggest things I need to work on this year is just confidence and to trust my swing. At a 0.8 hc, I'm sure you know the ins and outs of your swing better than I do mine, so just learn to take it one shot at a time and visualize a shot instead of over analyzing it. I know it has helped me. I'm sure you have heard similar stuff before but hopefully something I said will be able to translate to your game.

I really do need to work on visualizing the shot.  A lot of times my mind just wonders off, I won't think about the shot, I just make some half-assed swing and I end up hitting some god awful shot that you wonder how a low handicapper could ever hit.  

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmf9 View Post

I try to do things like this but it is definitely easier said than done.  Im supper competitive by nature.  If I do something I want to be considered by others very good at it.  My competitive nature simply won't allow me to think that that 3 footer I missed, or that pitch shot I just butchered has no significance in life lol.


The thing is though, it really doesnt have any signifigance in life.  Its golf.  Its a stupid game that we all love and enjoy but its not life and you shouldnt tie your happiness to how well you play on a given day.  I used to be just like you, in that I expected myself to play great every time out but I reached the point where I decided to just try my best, accept the results, analyze them for a second or 2 and just move on.  You cant dwell on a bad shot because it will just destroy the rest of your round.

I agree that Zen Golf is great for the mental side of the game.  Its one of my favorite golf books.  Infact, Zen Golf inspired me to begin studying Buddhism, which has greatly changed my perception of so many things in life, how I think and how I interact with others.

post #7 of 18

I try not to be "score aware" during my rounds.....I tend to shoot lower scores when I don't keep my eye on the score card and just play each shot and think (talk) about something else between shots.

 

I also try to never get ahead of myself....I have blown some really good rounds by thinking I only need to par my way in to shoot 70.

post #8 of 18

Isn't that what a good preshot routine is about.  I always liked Anika Sorenstans analogy. There is the three foot box about three paces behind he ball, this is the office, you look at the hole and size up the hole and the shot you want to hit, then you do a practice swing or two for rehearsal. Then you step up to the ball and do your preswing routine, which is exactly the same everytime.

That's how you go from BS'ing with your pals to the shot.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chunky View Post

Isn't that what a good preshot routine is about.  I always liked Anika Sorenstans analogy. There is the three foot box about three paces behind he ball, this is the office, you look at the hole and size up the hole and the shot you want to hit, then you do a practice swing or two for rehearsal. Then you step up to the ball and do your preswing routine, which is exactly the same everytime.

That's how you go from BS'ing with your pals to the shot.

This.

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmf9 View Post

I try to do things like this but it is definitely easier said than done.  Im supper competitive by nature.  If I do something I want to be considered by others very good at it.  My competitive nature simply won't allow me to think that that 3 footer I missed, or that pitch shot I just butchered has no significance in life lol.

 

Since bad shots will happen sometimes, perhaps you can add the competition to recover nicely from bad shots into your thoughts rather than fretting about the 'spilt milk' so to speak?  After all, that too is part of being good!  (Yeah, that rolls off the tongue of a 20 handicapper pretty easy, but look at it this way, I get a lot more opportunity to try to deal with bad shots!)

post #11 of 18

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Your 19 for cryin out loud. as long as your having fun. If you really want to play better though, find people to play with that are better than you and make it your goal to beat the hell out of them on the course. You gotta have something to prove man. And you'll be surprised how playing for money will make you focus and play better.

 

If that's not your cup of tea, then just have fun and enjoy the ability to be under par at any point.

post #12 of 18

I just wish I could keep the same focus level all (or at least most) of the time that I have when I'm in trouble.

 

I'm more likely to hit a good shot from the woods when I have to hook or slice the ball around the trees, and hit it at just the right trajectory to go over or under limbs, than I am to hit a good shot from the middle of the fairway with nothing in the way.

 

One of my friends always jokes that he is going to plant trees in the fairways so I will hit better shots.

 

A statement I hear a lot after getting out of trouble is "are you the same guy that hit that first shot?"

 

Those almost impossible shots just force me to visualize what I need to do and totally commit to the shot like I have nothing to lose.

(And at that point I really don't have anything to lose).

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post

I just wish I could keep the same focus level all (or at least most) of the time that I have when I'm in trouble.

 

I'm more likely to hit a good shot from the woods when I have to hook or slice the ball around the trees, and hit it at just the right trajectory to go over or under limbs, than I am to hit a good shot from the middle of the fairway with nothing in the way.

 

One of my friends always jokes that he is going to plant trees in the fairways so I will hit better shots.

 

A statement I hear a lot after getting out of trouble is "are you the same guy that hit that first shot?"

 

Those almost impossible shots just force me to visualize what I need to do and totally commit to the shot like I have nothing to lose.

(And at that point I really don't have anything to lose).

Im the same way, I can make some terrible tee shots that go way offline, and then make a recovery shot most people wouldn't even think of trying.  It's just hard for me to keep that concentration through a whole round

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chop View Post

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Your 19 for cryin out loud. as long as your having fun. If you really want to play better though, find people to play with that are better than you and make it your goal to beat the hell out of them on the course. You gotta have something to prove man. And you'll be surprised how playing for money will make you focus and play better.

 

If that's not your cup of tea, then just have fun and enjoy the ability to be under par at any point.

I wish I could play for money more often.  The problem is I don't get to play many full rounds with a college schedule, and the only real chances I get are on weekends, and not many of my college friends play golf, just a money issue for most college kids (40 bucks a round is pretty steep for must of us) so the only time I even play is with my uncle on the weekends, who was a good golfer in his day but is now a high handicapper and im not going to play him for money anyway since he's my uncle and he's the one that taught me basically everything I know.  I'd love to play for money (especially against some of the golfers at my uncles club that think their Tiger woods and spend 5 minutes on every putt they have and let nobody play through) but I never get the chance to 

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJim View Post

 

Since bad shots will happen sometimes, perhaps you can add the competition to recover nicely from bad shots into your thoughts rather than fretting about the 'spilt milk' so to speak?  After all, that too is part of being good!  (Yeah, that rolls off the tongue of a 20 handicapper pretty easy, but look at it this way, I get a lot more opportunity to try to deal with bad shots!)

I can usually recover from bad drives, its just short game that pisses me off so bad sometimes.  If I chunk a chip for whatever reason it just effects me for the next couple holes almost every time.    


Edited by tmf9 - 3/18/13 at 9:36pm
post #16 of 18

Try playing 3 holes at a time. Set your target score (+/-) for each 3 and play. After each 3, start over. If the last 3 sucked, then let it go and make the next 3 good. Not "make up for the bad 3" good but just back to business.

 

I'm around a 10 right now so for me I am thinking about +1 per 3 holes. If I pull that off I am +6 and feeling great. A little over and I'm still in good shape. Even if I have a nasty 3 hole stretch of say +4 or +5 even, I just let it go and make sure the next is back to +1ish. At the end of the day I may not have made up those strokes but I will be happy that I let it go and got back to business.

 

At not even 1 your score for each 3 is a little tougher. Basically EVEN. But that should work too. If you go +3 on a stretch just let it go and have confidence that you will get those shots back but ONLY if you let it go.

post #17 of 18

I screwed up a bunch of shots around the green last time out.  After the round, I realized that I was focusing too much on making a perfect shot (and tapping in), rather than focusing on execution.  I would be much better served focusing on the feel of the shot and keeping my weight forward than trying to land it perfectly and have it roll perfectly toward the hole.

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help guys! shot an even par 70 today on aerated greens, had 3 birds and 3 bogeys.  Getting behind each shot and studying it really helped my game, probably one of the most consistent rounds i've had.  I feel like I would have done really well today if I would have had been putting on smooth greens, and If i would have had time to go to the range first (bogeyed one of the easiest holes because i chunked my first iron shot of the day)

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › How do you stay focused while playing?