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Mental game flaw, No scoring

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I need some advice! I cannot for the life of me "score" in tournaments. I just graduated high school and I am going to college to play golf. In my casual rounds I score really well. I average 3 birdies a round and get up and down right at 83%. I hit 10-11 fairways and in the range of 10-13 greens. But in tournaments I feel like the hole is super small and I only hit about 5 fairways and 7-9 greens and my ud% goes way down. My putts are about the same in each. I just need some advice on what you guys do to keep focused and what tricks you use to play tournaments like you do on a Sunday morning. My last three tournament rounds have been 74,75,78 but my last casual have been 71,74,68.  Thanks a lot!

post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonAsher2014 View Post
 

I need some advice! I cannot for the life of me "score" in tournaments. I just graduated high school and I am going to college to play golf. In my casual rounds I score really well. I average 3 birdies a round and get up and down right at 83%. I hit 10-11 fairways and in the range of 10-13 greens. But in tournaments I feel like the hole is super small and I only hit about 5 fairways and 7-9 greens and my ud% goes way down. My putts are about the same in each. I just need some advice on what you guys do to keep focused and what tricks you use to play tournaments like you do on a Sunday morning. My last three tournament rounds have been 74,75,78 but my last casual have been 71,74,68.  Thanks a lot!

It's probably just going to be something that comes with time. You are putting more stress on yourself while playing tournaments, which is normal. Once you become more comfortable these things will lessen. I don't think there is any advice that can be given to instantly help you get over the anxiety. The only thing you can do for now is just focus on each shot and worry less about the score.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

Yes I agree. It just sometimes is very frustrating but that's golf I guess. I just seem to get more down on myself than casual rounds.

post #4 of 21

I'm no 5 hcp, but understand how you feel.  Nerves get the better of me way too often.  You need to take mental note of how you feel on those "casual" rounds when you shoot 68 vs the tournament round when you shoot 78.  It's all in your head.  There is no trick or gimmick.  It's your personal routine that is somehow changing.  You are doing something different or thinking something different before the putts and don't realize it.  Maybe you realize the importance of each putt in tournament situations.  Perhaps your birdie putts are more tentative strokes for fear of blowing it past and missing the comeback.  Could be a number of things that you are thinking that's interfering with your natural stroke.

 

How to get over it?  That's a tough question to answer.  Sports psychologist is one answer.  Or, there are tons of books on the market that talk about the mental side of golf.  I just finished Zen Golf.  It's an easy read that focuses on mental relaxation while playing.  I'm trying to implement the techniques now and have found them helpful.  Plenty of others out there.  Good luck and let us know how you progress.

post #5 of 21

Ahhh, the proverbial tensing up situation.

You are probably not swing as freely during tournaments as you are in casual rounds do to the pressure--most likely even without you knowing it.

 

You have to learn to enjoy to pressure of competition.  The more you play in tournaments, better you will get.

 

Also, during casual rounds, make a bet with your playing partner(s).  Always have something on the line even in casual rounds. That will get you used to having to perform under pressure.  Or see a shrink as @amac says.

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonAsher2014 View Post
 

I just seem to get more down on myself than casual rounds.

This is a major problem all golfers have.  The book I mentioned has several chapter dedicated to negative self talk and the impact that has on our game.  How often to you cheer for yourself when you hit a good shot?  Probably never.  But you find it okay to openly criticize yourself when you miss a 5 footer.  The mind is a powerful tool.  I believe if you don't dedicate some time to the mental game, you will find it difficult to advance to the next level.  That's not just for you, but anyone that wants to improve their game will run into the mental road block at some point.

post #7 of 21

As posted above, tension in the golf swing is a score killer. In time you will learn to relax in a tournament's competitive setting. 

post #8 of 21
We have similar handicaps but I never go real low. I have never broken 70 on a championship course. Several 70's. My birdies are offset by bogeys. I play my best when my tempo is under control and I would think during a tournament you've got a little adrenaline flowing. I would look at that.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'll look into the books. I do feel like there just a road block like I have to play good in every tournament and I have to get over it.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes, I do feel like there's more tension and I know that because I pull really short shots and whenever I'm tense I do that.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
I think it is a little adrenaline too. My handicap would actually be a little better if I took out tournament rounds haha. But wouldn't all of ours.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonAsher2014 View Post
 

I need some advice! I cannot for the life of me "score" in tournaments. I just graduated high school and I am going to college to play golf. In my casual rounds I score really well. I average 3 birdies a round and get up and down right at 83%. I hit 10-11 fairways and in the range of 10-13 greens. But in tournaments I feel like the hole is super small and I only hit about 5 fairways and 7-9 greens and my ud% goes way down. My putts are about the same in each. I just need some advice on what you guys do to keep focused and what tricks you use to play tournaments like you do on a Sunday morning. My last three tournament rounds have been 74,75,78 but my last casual have been 71,74,68.  Thanks a lot!

 

Check this out

 

 Lowest Score Wins - a first-of-its kind golf book for anyone who wants to lower their score 

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonAsher2014 View Post

I think it is a little adrenaline too. My handicap would actually be a little better if I took out tournament rounds haha. But wouldn't all of ours.

Mine would be the same. I've never had a problem with tournaments.

Check out the book.
post #14 of 21

Another vote for the book here.  I think it will help, and (depending on your game now) could help immensely.

post #15 of 21

I've read "Golf Flow by Gio Valiente (SP?).

 

It hasn't lowered my scores a bunch, but it helps mo not to meltdown on the course.

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonAsher2014 View Post

I think it is a little adrenaline too. My handicap would actually be a little better if I took out tournament rounds haha. But wouldn't all of ours.

I think mine would actually be higher if I took out my Men's League scores.  While I do feel some pressure, I think my overall concentration and decision making is better in competition.

 

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to hit every shot perfectly.  What impresses me most about the pros is the way they shrug off bad shots/holes and move onto the next.  Let's say you would be happy averaging 73 in tournament rounds.  Chances are, your average 73 would have at least 2 or 3 over par holes and a couple of more holes where you hit a less than perfect shots but still make par.  Don't let a few bad shots or bad holes add additional pressure or make you feel that you are blowing it- just move onto the next shot/hole like the pros do and play your normal casual round game.

 

A good suggestion about having a bet during at least some of your casual rounds.  Also, approach a good portion of your casual rounds as you would a tournament round- hole all putts, play by the rules, etc.

 

Visualize yourself hitting good shots in a tournament and recovering from bad shots.  

 

Remember the good tournament shots you have hit and focus on those.  After shooting 74 today, Phil said it was the best he had hit the ball in well over a year and recalled another Open where he backed up an opening 74 with a 66 to get right back into contention, missing a playoff by 1 shot.  He felt the way he hit the ball today put him in good position to do the same tomorrow (and also said his putting has been good lately).  I didn't see every shot of his round today, but it is hard for me to believe that he hit the ball as well as hit did the final round of last year's Open, but that is what he is telling himself.

 

If you didn't hit any good shots during your tournament rounds, you wouldn't have broken 80- focus on the good tournament shots you have hit in the past, not the disappointing overall scores.

post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
That's a good point there. I usually do make bets in casual rounds I just dont really get antsy about it.
post #18 of 21

If people are interested I am a sports hypnotist & have helped a lot of golfers.

 

In fact that is what made me take up golf.

 

Some of the top golfers use hypnosis to help their game like:

Tiger Woods

Phil Mickelson

Jack Niklaus

 

Am happy to help & do sessions over skype.

 

My thought is (even though they are biased)  you can read books etc but trying to get more focus & stay calm under pressure etc is a hard task to master.

 

Hypnosis has instant results.

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