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  1. Are you a mid- to high-handicapper? If you are, do you have those rounds where you can’t get a decent score even on one hole? Yeah, I know… low handicappers have days like that too, but low handicappers need not continue reading. This is not for you. Now, have you gone to the course to play a casual round, maybe with some friends, and didn’t think about the score? Did you play better than usual? What were you doing differently? I bet you were more relaxed; tension in your grip and swing is probably less, and you were considering each shot opportunity relative to a target; the fairway… the green… the hole, and NOT what par is for the hole. However, we all want to get better at this game and keeping score is a measure of how well we are doing to reach whatever goal we have; breaking 100, 90, or 80. Golfers have varying degrees of skill level and for many, making a par on a hole is a significant but maybe infrequent achievement. For others, pars are a little easier, but then there are those dreaded blowup holes! So, how can we achieve that relaxed feeling while keeping score? The Challenge Disclaimer: I have absolutely no idea if this will improve your game. There is no guarantee. I am proposing a challenge to mid- to high-handicappers to change your mindset so that you play holes with an entirely different perspective. Change what PAR is for each hole. Get a scorecard from a golf course you play all the time. On one of the spaces where you would put your name, write “New Par” Change the par for each hole to a Triple Bogey; i.e., a Par 3 is now a Par 6, a Par 4 is now a Par 7, and a Par 5 is now a Par 8 Go play On the first hole the real Par is 4, but the New Par is 7. If you score a 6, you are now 1 under par. Play at least 3 rounds this way. Now, change the “New Par” for each hole to Double Bogey (mid-handicap players may want to start here) Play at least 3 rounds this way. Now, change the “New Par” for each hole to Bogey. Play at least 3 rounds this way Compare all of your New Par scorecards. How did you do?? Playing to a different Par gives your mind a different perspective on how a hole can be played. Finally, go play using the real Par for each hole. Does that round feel different than previous rounds before this exercise? What are the results? If anyone takes up this challenge, I would be curious to hear what your thoughts are about how your mind worked during the rounds and if your play was significantly altered.
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