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Bad start!.. How do you play it?

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So your playing a casual round with friends, and you have a bad start, or particularly, a bad front 9 and it's unlikely you can salvage a win/respectable score! how do you carry on? Keep trying your best and hope to grind as many points as possible? Or just relax, and use the rest of the round to practise or try out shots you may not usually play? I think the answer to this question could tell you things about a person, but not in a bad way!

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I usually don't look at the round as whole on the tenth tee. If I had a bad front, I try and hit a good drive on 10. If I fail, I try to hit a good recovery shot. I am good at forgetting the last stroke, either good or bad, before taking the next.

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If I have a poor front 9, I just spend a little extra time at the 19th, and regroup. Sometimes that "regrouping" might include calling it a day. Most of the time however, I go back out to finish my round. Most times I  play the second nine better than the front side. Other times, I just spent a good day out doing something I like to do. Poor rounds happen. No big deal.

I can usually fix my game during the round. Poor shots for me, for the most part, are pushing, slicing, or hooking. Topping the ball is another poor shot I have every so often. I just go through my check list, and find what I am doing wrong. Slices, and hooks are the easiest for me to cure, but are not that common in my game.  90% of my topped shots are with my 5 metal wood. Pushing shots right is by far my biggest poor shot issue when I do have a poor round.

My putting is what causes me the most grief, and is the toughest to find the lines, and speeds I need to use. I play at quite a few different courses, and the green conditions are not usually the same from one to the other. Any round where I have more than 33 putts is not a number I like.

Yesterday I started out hitting pushes to the right. I tried a few things that did not help . So I just kept using that day's swing, and aimed farther left of my intended targets, which made my pushed shots more on target. I played 16 holes like this for an 80. I suspect my push problem was most likely a swaying issue. That, or too much food and drink the night before. Hopefully it will be gone tomorrow. :beer:

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For me a bad start is either the 1st or the 10th hole. I will continue to try and grind it out because, my main goal is to always try and break 80. The frequency of that has not been working out like I'm use to so far for me this year. If I feel like I'm going to end up over 85. Then I'm just going to try all kinds of crazy stupid shots.

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I never stop trying to play the best shot I'm capable of.  No matter that my score is approaching 100 through 17, I'll still try to make my best possible score on 18.  Otherwise I don't see any point to the game.  If you just decide to blow off the round because of a few bad holes or a bad front side, then you really shouldn't be returning that score for handicap.  That is the equivalent of sandbagging.  If you honestly try your best and still end up bad, then it's an honest score.  I've had terrible starts that I still managed to turn around and finish within my "normal" range.

I've been 6 over through 3, and still finished at just 8 over through 18.  Like Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over til it's over." :smartass:

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Just keep playing.  But adjust your misses so that the ball stays in play and try to keep better course management, ie if a club isn't working whatsoever, just keep it in the bag and play other clubs.  I don't really think let's start all over after 10, it's more of an "ok let's get my head back in it and buckle down."  If none of the above works, start drinking... :beer:

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So your playing a casual round with friends, and you have a bad start, or particularly, a bad front 9 and it's unlikely you can salvage a win/respectable score! how do you carry on?

Keep trying your best and hope to grind as many points as possible? Or just relax, and use the rest of the round to practise or try out shots you may not usually play?

I think the answer to this question could tell you things about a person, but not in a bad way!

In the words of Jim Valvano, "Don't give up, don't ever give up."

My philosophy has always been, "It's about the journey, not the destination." So if I have a bad 9 holes, I will go back to the basics that have been successful to get back on track.

I'm generally a pretty consistent player, but my wife, not so much. So when things start going badly for her, I tell her one thing... "Hit your 7 iron." This is one club that she can hit consistently, and to be truthful, it doesn't go much less distance than her other longer clubs. She can always get the 7 iron up in the air, and it usually goes pretty straight. Eventually she get her act together, begins hitting other clubs, and usually within a hole or two or three can start enjoying the game again.

I do have a relevant story that I've told in another thread...

I was playing my normal Monday morning game with my friend Jim, and had just bought some yellow Srixon balls that I decided to use. On this day I started with 4 bogeys and 4 double-bogeys. I can't remember the last time I was 12 over after 8 holes, but there was no way that I was going to quit.  Besides, my friend Jim has only beaten me once straight-up during our 25 year friendship, and that was for nine holes, so I'm sure he felt that this was finally his day.

Anyway, on the ninth hole I changed back to my Pro V1 white ball, and told Jim it was the yellow ball's fault for all of my bogies. AND, IT WAS! The next ten holes I shot even par with an eagle, a birdie, 3 bogies and 5 pars. I ended up shooting 83 and Jim shot 84, a good round for Jim but a better come back for me.

I love this game. :-D

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So your playing a casual round with friends, and you have a bad start, or particularly, a bad front 9 and it's unlikely you can salvage a win/respectable score! how do you carry on?

Keep trying your best and hope to grind as many points as possible? Or just relax, and use the rest of the round to practise or try out shots you may not usually play?

I think the answer to this question could tell you things about a person, but not in a bad way!

Just like any round, you try to take it "one shot at a time". Even if you're having a crappy round, if you manage to hit some solid shots, finish strong, it'll definitely be more enjoyable than going through the motions.

You also have to consider the guys you're playing with. I've played with some golfers that have tantrums on the course and it makes it awkward for the rest of the group. I think it's normal to show some frustration but throwing a hissy fit for a 3-4 hole stretch and changing the mood of the day is just selfish.

I wouldn't use a bad round as a chance to "experiment" but I have made adjustments if I'm not striking it solid in order to salvage a score. Basically instead of making a full swing I'll hit punch shots or go with 3/4 swings with the ball back a little of where I normally play it.

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Since I hardly every play a competitive round, I keep playing and enjoying the company of my playing partners ... I always say, you can't truly measure the value of a round with the finial score on the card. I have had some really bad scoring rounds that were a blast ...

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It sounds cliché but "don't give up".  I played 9 holes on Friday and started horribly.  I put my drive off the first tee into the water and it got worse from there.  The first 4 holes were triple, double, double, bogey and then I finally figured out what I was doing wrong and finished the last five, par, par, birdie, par, bogey.   I'll take a 44 on 9 any day after a start like that.

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Played one of those today myself. 7 out on the first hole, 6 on the second, and out of the tee box on three I put myself behind a bunch of six foot tall reeds. I was lucky to walk away from that one with a 5.

You just keep your head down and keep playing. I have had bad rounds, and I'll have more in the future. There is no need to not take the remaining holes and just catalogue them as practice holes. Need to work on the bump and run from 45 out? Set yourself up to hit that shot... Aim for that stupid greenside bunker just to make sure you get to hit out of the sand. Oddly enough, when you put yourself into the bad situation and manage to save par it really feels great.

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Also for some reason. Some of the best drives, chips and putts I have ever had. Even though the final score did not reflect it. Have came from some pretty crappy rounds.

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My round yesterday was just like that. No warm up. Only a couple of putts. Four bogeys on the first 5 holes with 3 3 putts. Was 1 over the next 13 holes with one 3 putt and one penalty. Hit every fairway except the penalty stroke. 10 of 13 GIR with 2 in the fringe. I think I could have putted better with a rake. I take every shot one at a time. I'm always looking to improve the swing. Make it more automatic.

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I deal with it by playing golf like I did on the front 9. No difference between playing bad at the start and shooting a snowman or worse anywhere else?

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I continue to play.  I've hit some of my best shots after a bad hole or two.

Lately I've been trying to avoid thinking about the round as a whole and focus on each shot individually.

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I can't stop trying to play better, expecting birdies to bail me out... Even after a horrible round I still want to get back out there. Unless it's after 3 bad rounds in a row.

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Note: This thread is 1589 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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