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.
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.....!