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An interesting change in perspective.....

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm hesitant to even post this, because I'm a firm believer in karma.  I have no doubt that if the golf gods suspect in ANY way that I'm suggesting that I've made any kind of breakthrough, or worse yet, have "figured it out", that they will respond with a beatdown of epic proportions......so please accept this disclaimer:


I have NOT figured it out.  I have NOT made any kind of breakthrough.  I remain convinced that I will NEVER play this game at anything more than a level of modest mediocrity.   z7_no.gif




Now, having said that, 3 weeks ago I made a conscious decision to change my outlook and expectations.  As a general rule, I've always looked at individual holes with an expectation and goal of achieving par.  3 weeks ago I changed that.  For the last 8 rounds, I've walked up to every tee and said out loud "There are a lot of birdies out on this course, and I'm going to get one right now"......  Instead of expecting and being happy with pars, I've set my goal at birdie for virtually every hole.  To be clear, this has been a change in mental perspective ONLY.  I haven't changed anything in my swing.  I'm playing the same mix of courses.  I haven't gotten more aggressive in my shot selection, aimed at more pins, or taken more risks in an attempt to birdie more holes.  I've just told myself that I can do it, and that I expect to do it.


Now, in looking at my last 20 rounds, and comparing the first 12 to the last 8, here's what I find.  In the first 12 rounds, my scoring average was 81.1 and I only broke 80 in 5 of the 12 rounds with a low of 78.  In the past 8 rounds, my scoring average has been 78.2 and I've broken 80 in 7 of those rounds.  Boys and girls, a 3 stroke improvement in scoring average over 8 rounds is a HUGE move for me.  Shooting in the 70's in 7 of 8 rounds is HUGE for me.   I've never made a lot of birdies, and I'm still not making a ton of them, but I've only had one round in the last 8 when I didn't have any and I've had 2 three times and 3 once.  I still make doubles, but twice in the last 8 rounds, I've followed a double up with a birdie, and the real bottom line is that I'm hitting more greens and making more pars as I strive for birdies.


I'm not really sure what I'm looking for out of this post......it's NOT congratulations or expressions of amazement or any such nonsense.  I guess I'm a little shocked at what I'm seeing and am wondering whether something as simple as a change in mental approach can have this kind of impact long-term.  Not 3 strokes permanently obviously, and I'm sure there are plenty of cruddy rounds waiting just around the corner for me, but has anyone else found a simple thought or perspective change that made a dramatic impact in your overall scoring?


Someone throw me a bone.  Convince me that it's real.....!  



post #2 of 9

I'm reading the book Golf Flow, your experience with a positive approach seems to mirror much of what I've read thus far. 

post #3 of 9

You are going out on a limb so to speak when you open up about mental self talk.  That being said I think that you may be on to something, if it is what works for you.  I am going through similar experiences right now.  For example audibly telling myself what type shot I am going to hit and that the positive result will be.  It is working for me in the sense that I just do not let my mind wander to the negative if nothing else.  Letting my mind wander to negative or worrisome thoughts is something I have a tendency to do.  Like I mentioned already I think that there is something to it.  I am just not sure what all that something is yet.      

post #4 of 9

Great idea, I will have to try that myself.

I have to stop being satisfied with pars, there are lots of birdies out there.


Looking forward to an update after 10 more rounds & good karma to you!

post #5 of 9

Mental approach is huge.  The change I made recently is a slightly different focus but has been working out well for me.


For me, I tend to get overly wrapped up in my current +/-, and tend to get tight and push harder and make things worse instead of better when I feel I'm getting further into + territory than I want given how many holes I've played so far.  So my current mental approach has been to play the round in sets of three holes, trying to score +1 or better over those three holes.


It helps by breaking the round into six mini-rounds.  This gives me a scheduled way to mentally reset.  If I play crappy on holes 4-6, instead of worrying about the effect that will have on my score that day and tightening up and pressing, on hole seven I can think of it as a new mini-round, visualize some good shots, and play like I'm even (which I am for my new three hole set), instead of like I just gave up a few shots and need to press to make them back.


I'm interested in your more active confidence/positive-thinking approach.  An example of why this might be good.  My last round I was playing okay but not great, over-fading the ball and a little frustrated I wasn't able to fix the rightward leak.  Though not terrible, shot 42 on the front.  On 13 I hit driver-2h to 18 feet on a par 5, both great shots, then sunk the long downhill right to lefter for eagle.  Totally changed my mental state, and though I did bogey 15 and 17, on both approaches I was in between clubs.  I've been trying to take the approach to choose the shot where the average hit will be pin high, and felt I had a little space to overshoot on both shots, so I took the long club and choked up a bit.  But by that point I was feeling super confident and hitting the ball great and I flushed both shots and cleared the green flying directly over the flag but didn't manage to get up and down on either (a bit frustrating, both doable).  But because I'd missed with "too good" a shot I didn't lose my mental edge, even lipping out on a full 180 a birdie putt on 18.  And finished with a 79.

post #6 of 9

If it works, it is real.

post #7 of 9

One of the best tips I have seen for breaking 100/90 etc. is to believe you ARE a shooter in the next lower bracket. When I work to on this, it seems to help my game.

post #8 of 9

It is real.


I knew it was real when I stopped writing the score and date on the ball whenever I broke 80. It is real because I decided that breaking 80 was great, but not that unexpected.


To keep it up, play the one shot in front of you. You know can can hit one good shot. You have done it many times. So do it again.


You can not make birdie from the tee. You can guarantee a big number from the tee by trying too hard to make birdie while standing on the tee. One shot. The shot you are playing right now.


That was my mental change. No score. Just the shot I plan to make right now.



"There are a lot of birdies out on this course, and I'm going to get one right now"... "And it all starts with a great shot right here and right now."

post #9 of 9

Thanks for posting David.  Mental attitude is key.  I know if I have a bad day at work, my golf league round will be lousy.  I start focusing on not making mistakes instead of playing free.  I will try this.

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