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Any advice for recovering from a bad break?

I recently blew up on the 8th hole and just couldn't shake it.

I relized what was happening but the next 3 holes I did everything wronge.

Went from pars and bogies to shooting a 10,9,10

When I finially relized the score for that round was ruined I went back to par/bogies and even pared the hardest hole on the course.

So any mental tricks or distractions you guys use to get out of the funk?

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Couldn't shake it angry or just thinking about it? Bad break as in unlucky bounce or bad swing?

I don't get angry when I get a bad bounce. I remember that sometimes I get a good bounce. That's golf. I DO get angry and think about my bad swings longer than is helpful. I TRY to think about the next shot. Not so easy. Very hard when one bad swing results in a bad lie on the next shot, and the next shot, and then a putt from the wrong side of the hole... When I get to the next tee, I need to tell myself not to try and make it all up on the next tee shot. Play the next hole like you would if you pared the last hole. Easier said than done.

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Can only offer the standard advice.  Have to forget the last shot, awesome or terrible.  Every single shot.  Only think of the current shot.

Easier said than done, I know.  But you can get better at it.  I have almost a little mantra I try to use to enforce this, since I struggle with overreacting to a few bad shots and letting it ruin the next couple holes.  While taking my warm up swings/waggles and trying to envision my shot, I remind myself, sometimes mentally, sometimes actually saying it, things along the lines of, "smooth tempo, one shot", over and over.

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if you make a mistake...play to a 'safe' place...instance: you hit your ball into the tree line..you have a straight open shot 50 feet away to the fairway, or try to hit a needle hole shot through the trees towards the hole...which is the smarter way to play?...

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OK so maybe come up with a mantra, start drinking heavly and toss stuff... I can do that!

The bad break was my ball went just off the fairway into the first cut (or so it looked)

Guy I was playing with was walking ahead of me a little deeper in the tree line and saw a ball wedge agenst a tree.

Bridgestone RX, I had to waste a swing just getting the ball back towards the fairway. Than hit it about 165 just shy and right of the green.

All in all not a bad save considering the ball was in a real bad spot.

Figured I can still get up and down for a 5 on a par 4.

Grab my putter and wedge and as i'm standing over the ball I see a little blue mark. Pick it up, not my ball...

Kept looking back down the fairway thinking nuts I bet mine is sitting up in the light ruff and I could have kept the good mojo going...

Just couldn't shake the negitivity of "what might have been"

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What I have started doing this year and I work on teaching when I'm working with kids is that you have to have a short term memory and have a good sense of humour. Figure out what went wrong so you know what happened but you need to start thinking about your next shot, one shot at a time. If you hit a bad shot the club pro has worked with our golf team and taught them ote, an opportunity to excel. Hit a bad shot and know you have a chance to really show your stuff and save par for example.

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Its because your trying to hard to recover, so your forcing shots again.

Yesterday i put a 7 up on the first hole. I got up and down for bogey on the 2nd hole, but what helped my confidence was draining a 15 footer for bogey. I then birdie the next hole. But i catch a bad break on the 4th hole. I hit a good drive, it hits a tree so solid that my ball goes 40 yards directly right, i am in jail. I then hit the tree limb in front of me, and i end up 30 yards behind me and to the right, completely on the other side of another fairway. I end up double bogeying the hole. But i end up going 1 over for the next 5 holes. The reason is i trust my swing and i hit a good shot into the par 3. I knew i caught a few bad brakes. That tree limb hit was my fault, i had a gut feeling i couldn't get the ball under and over the trees, i should have just punched out.

So really after a bad shot, just don't think about it. I tend to just forget it. When you play, just relax after a bad shot, take a few deep breaths, get your mind off it. Train your self to forget it. This is something you can learn, it took me 10 out of my 15 years playing golf to get over bad shots, most of it was getting through my teenage years. But more so today, i know i can make up shots later, or sink a putt when i need to. So its confidence in my game elsewere. Even if you don't have such faith in the golf game. Just say, "Thats ok, i'm going to hit a great shot next" Thats how i go about it. Its not, i might hit a good shot next, its i will hit a good shot, or i will make this putt.

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When you have a real bad hole it is time to pull in your horns, e.g. play conservative, for a few holes. For a couple of holes don't try to recover by becoming more aggressive but rather by making shot selections you "know" you can do 99% of the time.

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Originally Posted by Stonecold

OK so maybe come up with a mantra, start drinking heavly and toss stuff... I can do that!

The bad break was my ball went just off the fairway into the first cut (or so it looked)

Guy I was playing with was walking ahead of me a little deeper in the tree line and saw a ball wedge agenst a tree.

Bridgestone RX, I had to waste a swing just getting the ball back towards the fairway. Than hit it about 165 just shy and right of the green.

All in all not a bad save considering the ball was in a real bad spot.

Figured I can still get up and down for a 5 on a par 4.

Grab my putter and wedge and as i'm standing over the ball I see a little blue mark. Pick it up, not my ball...

Kept looking back down the fairway thinking nuts I bet mine is sitting up in the light ruff and I could have kept the good mojo going...

Just couldn't shake the negitivity of "what might have been"


We've all done things like hit the wrong ball. I'm very hard on myself when I screw up because of a mental error. Hitting the wrong ball is not a bad break. Frustrating? You bet. Bad break?

You want a bad break? I'll give you a bad break. Hit 3-wood on a 375 yard hole and killed it down the middle -- dead straight. I am an 18 handicap at the time and this was one of the best tee shots that year. It short hops into the 150 yard stake in the middle of the fairway and bounces hard off the poll, high and straight left, over a fence and out of bounds. I guess bad Karma waas catching up for all those impure thoughts as a teenager. Took me a few holes to forget that one. Takes me longer when it is my own fault. I feel your pain.

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It is one of the tricks to the game, shaking off a bad hole.  It is a mental problem and everybody deals with it their own way.  There is no secret to it, you have to figure it out for yourself.  The way I do it is to set a goal for every hole rather than an entire round.  I want to birdie every hole, that way it doesn't matter if I tripled the last hole, my goal is to birdie the current one.

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