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dagolfer18

My Worst Choke Ever?

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We’ve all had em. We’ve all had that moment where we have a chance to go low or win a tournament/match, and we completely fall apart on the last few holes. Here’s mine. The real choke wasn’t until the last hole, but I just made small mistakes on holes 14-17 that cost me.

On Monday, I was playing really well. I had just shot 42 on the front nine and started par-bogey-birdie-par on the back. Still +6 through 13, and I was sitting just outside the 150 marker on the 14th, in perfect position to attack the vulnerable pin. But one thought couldn’t help but slip into my head: I could shoot low 80s. I could play bogey golf in, which would give me 83. 

Then I hit my approach slightly fat, and my bump-and run chip from 40 yards ran out of gas. Down in three from there gave me a double, +8. Here were my next three holes:

No. 15: Right into trees, punch, 7I to right of green, down in three. Double bogey, +10.

No. 16: Two great shots, 50 yards out. Wedge short of green, chip on, two putt. Bogey, +11.

No. 17: Great drive, PW into bunker, two to get out of bunker, two putt. Double, +13. 

The 18th at my home club is a 157-yard par-3 over water, meaning all I needed was a seven to break 90. I told my brother that I was conquering what I called the ‘choke jinx’, which meant me shooting 42 or 43 on the front and high 40s/low 50s on the back, and that’s what did me in. The club slipped in my hand a bit on the downswing, and as a result, I caught it on the heel, and it shot dead right into the water. I went up to the red tees to drop due to no specified drop zone, thinking I could knock it on the green, three-putt if I had to, and walk off with 88.

My wedge shot hit the front of the green, but it spun off the front, down to the bank, and back into the water. Again. Which meant to shoot 89 or better, I could take no more than three more shots. I hit my fifth onto the fringe. It stayed dry, but it was about 50 feet out. A challenging two-putt. I hit a terrible first putt and was left with an eight-footer to shoot 89. It slid just to the right, so I had to tap in for a quintuple-bogey 8, a back-nine 48, and a total score of 90. My brother, who had come to watch me play the last hole, could see the disappointment, hurt and frustration on my face. I had just spoiled the best chance I’ve had in a long time to go low, and he knew it. Although 90 is a respectable performance for me, it felt more like a 94 or 95 after those first thirteen holes.

I was in a sour mood the rest of the day, mainly because of what I said to my brother before I teed off on 18. It was a very stupid thing to say at a time like that, especially when water is very much in play. That is probably the most disappointing finish of my high school golf career so far. I also made a ten on the last hole of regionals last year, but the best I could’ve shot was probably 96 or 97, and I ended up with 104. Both were disappointing, but the one I just explained in detail was much more disappointing.

Edited by dagolfer18

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23 minutes ago, dagolfer18 said:

But one thought couldn’t help but slip into my head: I could shoot low 80s. I could play bogey golf in, which would give me 83. 

And there it is. The Golf Gods take particular offense from such thoughts.

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I had a two shot cushion heading into the par four 18th hole at the University of Alabama's now defunct Harry Pritchett Golf Course to beat my friend for the first time.  Of course, he mentions it to me on the tee, and I proceed to pop my drive straight up into the air, and into the center of the lake. 

Dropped at the forward tees and managed to get my third shot over the lake with my four wood, leaving myself with a nine-iron... which I proceeded to chunk to about 40 yards short of the green, so my friend is already ribbing me, since he's on in two, with about a fifteen foot birdie putt.  I proceed to blade my next shot across the green, and nearly into the parking lot.  I finally chip on and two putt for an eight, while my friend three putts for a five, and beats me by a stroke.

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29 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

And there it is. The Golf Gods take particular offense from such thoughts.

Yep. One must squash such thoughts before they are allowed to finish in the mind. 

Edited by CarlSpackler

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Not a particular moment in a round, but a couple weeks ago I shot a personal best 80, with five double-bogey sixes. I’m not sure when the chance to break 80 will come around again, but those five holes will haunt me for awhile. 

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First club championship for me, I qualified for the Championship level with a 75. First round I had a 76 and was one shot out of the lead. Sunday I start out par birdie, but still one shot out of the lead. Hit mydriver on the par 5 3rd hole right down the middle. My second shot was a little over 200 yards and I hit my 4 wood down the right side of the hole. I usually have a slight draw so it would have been perfect except it did not draw and landed right in the middle of the OB stakes. There was a debate whether or not it was OB. Finally I called it OB and played my provisional ball. Ended up making 7 and from that point on I was a wreck.

 

Hit the green on the next hole and proceeded to four putt. I had other holes with three putts and when I got to the ninth a drivable par 4 I tried do just that to hopefully make eagle or birdie and proceeded to hit out of bounds three times and ended up with a big fat 10. Shot 51 on the front nine and blew myself right out of the tournament. That one shot on the third hole just caused me to blow up. It was like being in a bad dream and I could not wait for it to end. 

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9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

And there it is. The Golf Gods take particular offense from such thoughts.

It’s weird with me. It seems as though when I just think those things, I’m fine. But when it gets to the point where I actually say them out loud (which I did after hitting my tee shot on 14), it’s over.

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We were doing a Ryder Cup style event and I had a chance to ice it with a three-foot par putt on No. 18. In fairness to me, the ball was above the hole and broke significantly left-to-right. I didn't hit it firm enough and my partner and I got halved.

My side won anyway, but i was pretty gutted.

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So many to choose from, but the two that stuck / stick with me:

  • Early in my golf career I shot 90 on the nose seven times before I broke it.  On the fifth of these rounds, I was +12 after 14 holes so I had seven shots over par on the last four holes to shoot 89. Two good shots on the par 5 #15, feeling great, fubarred the approach into a triple, then went double, double, bogey to shoot 90 again.  The most painful part was this was the last round of the season so I had to think about it in agony for six months before playing again.
  • I have twice birdied the 17th hole to go -1 under par.  The first time the 18th hole was the hardest on the course (and it had my number), so I was happy to make bogey and shoot par for the first time.  The second time the 18th was the easiest hole on the course and I totally messed it up to shoot even par again.  Obviously I have yet to break par.

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That's why it is dangerous to think about anything else but the shot at hand. 

When my thought is not 100% into the shot at hand, it inevitably messes with my swing.

For example, if I have work, personal life or whatever on back of my mind (even though I think it's not there, it is), my entire round is shot.  No matter how hard I try to forget it.  That is why you have to be at peace with work and personal life to play well.  At least for me...

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34 minutes ago, Yukari said:

That's why it is dangerous to think about anything else but the shot at hand. 

I don't even add up my score until I finish the round. If I start thinking about what score I might post before the round is over, I'm dead.

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@dagolfer18, don’t take this the wrong way, but do you post this kind of stuff with the intention to talk about your game or for others to express similar situations they’ve faced?

Because if it’s the former, you can post a blog entry about it and people will generally respond more directly in that respect.

If it’s the latter... honestly your OP doesn’t strike me as the latter, so thus why I’m asking.

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8 hours ago, billchao said:

@dagolfer18, don’t take this the wrong way, but do you post this kind of stuff with the intention to talk about your game or for others to express similar situations they’ve faced?

Because if it’s the former, you can post a blog entry about it and people will generally respond more directly in that respect.

If it’s the latter... honestly your OP doesn’t strike me as the latter, so thus why I’m asking.

It’s the former. I’d never post with the intention of the latter, and I’ll be posting in my blog after my round later today. I haven’t been posting in my blog mainly because the weather for the last two weeks has been rotten. This week has been the first really good week in a while.

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2 hours ago, dagolfer18 said:

It’s the former. I’d never post with the intention of the latter, and I’ll be posting in my blog after my round later today. I haven’t been posting in my blog mainly because the weather for the last two weeks has been rotten. This week has been the first really good week in a while.

Ok, if you just want to talk about your game then a blog post is the way to go.

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I Agree with keeping the score out of your head and talking up how you can get a new low score if you only just............

 ... my current two bogey holes are the last two at my course so I never want to add anymore pressure during the round ..and esp. on the last couple if I know I'm scoring well

 what I have been doing PSR is just trying to relax and feel like I have zero pressures on my shot + swing

I think thats why I have some ripping great recovery shots Vs a set of bad shots I use too awhile ago when I use to build pressure after bad shot and rush and try harder to hit the perfect swing>>

I recommend trying to swing with less effort more of the time esp. when it comes to short game

 

Edited by NZ Golfer

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On 6/5/2020 at 4:11 PM, Darkfrog said:

I don't even add up my score until I finish the round. If I start thinking about what score I might post before the round is over, I'm dead.

I do the same. My friend who I play with on a regular basis obsesses over his score on each hole, but it doesn't seem to affect his game. 

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I know I missed my fair share of short, makeable putts, that would have given me a milestone achievement. Mainly breaking par.

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