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What do you guys do when your having a bad round? Had a bad shot? What do you do to keep your brain engaged and play well when the chips are down. Does keeping score make you play worse?

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Driver: :callaway-small: Rogue Sub Zero 9* stiff

Wood: :adams-small: Tight Lies TI 3 wood stiff

Hybrid: :callaway-small: XR 3 19 deg stiff

Irons: :mizuno-small:  JPX 900 Tour std loft/lie

Wedges: :cleveland-small: 52,56,60

Putter: :odyssey-small: #7 Red

Ball: :srixon-small: Q-Star

12.9 Handicap

Comox Valley, B.C. 🇨🇦


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2 hours ago, StrawberryShortCake said:

What do you guys do when your having a bad round? Had a bad shot? What do you do to keep your brain engaged and play well when the chips are down. Does keeping score make you play worse?

I find keeping score makes me play better, but I’m hyper competitive with myself so I focus a lot more when the chips are down. If there was no score I’m not sure how I’d approach playing. I love the pressure.

Personally, I don’t think too much about the score but putting a great swing on the ball. I try and focus on the positives of a round until it is over. At that point, if it was a bad round or there was something particularly bad about my game, I practice it like a madman until it doesn’t suck so much. Basically...I chip a lot after every round...

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P790s/M5 Driver/F9 3wood/F9 hybrid/MG2 wedges/Ardmore putter

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6 hours ago, StrawberryShortCake said:

What do you guys do when your having a bad round? Had a bad shot? What do you do to keep your brain engaged and play well when the chips are down. Does keeping score make you play worse?

I find vodka helps! Never underestimate the value of "swing lube"!

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Driver:callaway-small: Rouge Sub-Zero
3 Wood:cobra-small: F6
Hybrid:cobra-small: F6
Irons:taylormade-small: RSi1 5-AW
Wedges:callaway-small: MD3 54 & 58
Putter:taylormade-small: TP Red Collection Ardmore 2
Ball:srixon-small: Z-Star 

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short term memory .. I played last weekend .. I chunk my second shot .. I walked to the ball was like okay time to hit a good shot took some practice swings and put it 2 feet from the pin .. I just watched tiger 3 put on a par 5 that he was putting for eagle... golf is hard ..really hard and I just try to remember that 

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:ping-small: G400 SFT 10. KBS TD 50 Category 3 shaft 

:cobra-small: F9 SpeedBack Black Grey Fairway Wood 5  :Fuji: ATMOS Tour Spec Blue 7 shaft

:taylormade-small: 3 Rescue Hybrid

:ping-small:  4 G Crossover

:cobra-small: F8 Single Length Irons 5-GW OBAN CT-100 shafts 

:ping-small:   Glide 2.0 SS Wedges 54 & 58 

:taylormade-small: TP Red White Ardmore Putter

:Arccos: All clubs use Arccos 

:918457628_PrecisionPro:Precision Pro NX7 range finder 


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For me it depends.  I don't keep score if I am trying to work on something, such as better iron play or a new takeaway etc.  I tend to tinker a lot with my swing.  A year ago I read a fantastic book called:  The Unstoppable Golfer by Dr. Bob Rotella.  It helped me a lot with my mindset.  It was a pretty quick read and a lot of what he said in the book I used to do.  That has helped my mental game a lot as well.  We are not supposed to hit every shot perfectly, yet a lot of us try to and then get upset when we don't.  I am pretty hard on myself as well and used to think...after all these years I should be able to hit every shot straight and in the location that I want, and when that didn't happen I would let one bad shot turn into two or three or ten.  I had a hard time accepting the shot and trying to recover.  I just simply would compound them until my round was ruined.  We don't play for a living, we don't hit thousands of balls a week.  We all do this for fun and work real jobs.  We just need to be realistic with our games.  Try the book, you will like it!

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   Driver:  :callaway-small: Epic Flash Sub Zero Hzdrs Smoke x flex 70g

3 Wood:  :titelist-small: 917 w/ Diamana Whiteboard stiff

5 Wood : :callaway-small: Epic Flash 18* Hzdrs Smoke stiff

4 Hybrid: :callaway-small:  Apex w/Kuro Kage stiff

     Irons:  :callaway-small: 5-7  Apex forged 19 w/ Modus 120 X

                         9-A Apex Pro 19 w/ Modus 120 X

Wedges:  :callaway-small: MD5 52&56 Jaws Dynamic Gold wedge flex

    Putter: :titelist-small: Scotty Cameron Del Mar 34"

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I personally think it's different for every golfer - because we're all different. I played a couple of competitive team sports at a decent level when I was younger. I coached baseball at an even higher level. If I learned anything coaching baseball (starting with 5-6 year olds all the way up to 17+) it was simply that kids and people are wired differently.  Some just have a competitive drive. It doesn't matter if it's a team sport, an individual sport, academics, etc etc.  It's there and these people are normally driven by the competition - to constantly improve and get better.  Inevitably, as these type of people get older and get more life experiences under their belt, they realize in reality the true competition, the true drive is within themselves. They are almost always their own worst critic and they are rarely satisfied with their performance regardless of the outcome.  They constantly think they can do better.

Some people are also goal driven.  They need / want to focus on a particular goal, whether it's golf or something else.  Just saying "I want be a better golfer" doesn't cut it.  They want a precise GOAL to work towards.  The problem can be sometimes setting unrealistic goals in unrealistic time frames.  That applies to much more than golf.

Me personally?

I try to keep playing golf a bit separate from practicing. If I'm playing a round as practice - and I'm approaching it that way from the beginning, then I consider it practice - period.

Playing is trying to consistently perform the things I've been practicing on.  It's just my opinion, but it can make a hard game even harder by trying to incorporate new things while playing. You usually have the pressure of your playing partners, the pace of play and other golfers in front of behind you on the course etc - which just compounds that.

When I hit a bad shot I do my best to forget it - for the moment - and focus on executing the next shot, because on the course what matters is scoring.  Worrying about the messed up shot I already hit doesn't help my score.  Sure, I may go through a mental checklist of sorts to see if I'm doing some particular thing wrong, or maybe I reverted back to something I recently changed - but I make it a "mechanical" exercise in criticism. I try to detach from it.

As a former pitcher - I can tell you that sometimes you throw a good, if not GREAT pitch, and it gets hit hard regardless, or maybe you don't get the call from the plate Umpire. Your defense will make mistakes etc. I did my best to teach my players that as a pitcher you CAN'T CONTROL ANY OF THAT. The only thing you can control is executing the next pitch and focusing on that.

Same in golf.  You can't change the bad shot that already happened. You can only control how you approach and TRY to execute the next shot. And the shot after that.

I will say that when I struggle - my main focus becomes on making SOLID contact with the next shot. So even if I mess up my aim etc - if I hit the shot SOLID - I focus on the fact I did what I was trying to do.  Trying to correct multiple things at the same time is almost always an exercise in futility.


Just my 2 cents.



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Driver: :callaway-small: XR Speed 9º Project X HZRDUS T800 Stiff

3W : :ping-small: G 14.5º - Tour 80 stiff

Hybrid: :ping-small: G25 20º - TFC-189H stiff

Irons: :ping-small: 4-UW G30 Green Dot

Wedges: :ping-small: LW G30 Black Dot

Putter: :odyssey-small: Dual Force Rossie II

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I only worry about the shot I have in front of me. Past scores or bad shots are just that in the past. I don’t try to make up for a double by taking risks to get a birdie or going for a par 5 that the risk outweighs the reward.

The next thing I did for my mental game was read Dr. Bob Rotella’s books. I wish I would have read them a lot earlier in my golfing journey 

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Driver: Titleist 917D3 9.5 with Graphite Design MAD Pro 65g S

Wood: Titleist 917F2 with UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 21 with Atmos Blue 85 S

Irons: Titleist 718 AP3 4i, 718 CB 5-6, MB 7-9 with KBS $ Taper 125

Wedges: Vokey SM7 46/50/54/60 with DG s200

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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8 hours ago, StrawberryShortCake said:

What do you guys do when your having a bad round? Had a bad shot? What do you do to keep your brain engaged and play well when the chips are down. Does keeping score make you play worse?

Everyone hits bad shots, and has bad rounds, and a player has to accept those results and move on.  I do my best to think about the shot in front of me, not the ones behind me.  I try not to think of mechanics specifically, but I like to have a single swing thought or feel, one that's not going to change as my round goes on.  I specifically try NOT to correct whatever I think I may have done wrong on my last shot, I try to hit each new shot the way I know how.  And when I fail, when the results aren't what I want, I remind myself that I could be at work.  Bad golf seems so much better when compared to work.

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:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

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1.  Be grateful.  I feel privileged to be playing golf, good or bad.  If the shots aren't working out, well, I'm still out with my friends, the sun is shining, there's a nice breeze, etc.  I take a few deep breaths and really look around, notice the sun on the grass, on the way the leaves are moving in the trees, how the sun feels on my skin, etc.  


2.  I keep score, but I do two things that help me not focus on it.  First, I mentally divide the round into six sections of three holes each.  When I get to the fourth tee, it's the  start of the next section.  It's sort of like making the turn every three holes.  Second, I try not to put too much mental energy into my overall score.  What I've done so far is in the past.  My potential score is just that, potential--it's in the future.  What matters is the shot I'm making.  When I write down my score on a hole, I put my scorecard face down on the holder.  That act is a gentle reminder to stay present.  


3.  I try to stay focused on process, particularly my set up and target focus.  If I'm off, it's usually in my set up.  I take a little extra care to make sure I'm balanced, my ball position is good  and my alignment is good.  Then it's back to focusing on the target.  



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  • 2 weeks later...

I appreciate the good shots and try to move on from the others - after thinking a moment about what I could do next time to make it better. I’ve read/use Rotella, VISION54 thoughts/practices, which help. Otherwise, I try NOT to “think” after I address the ball.

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Chasing my ball around the cow field, trying to avoid the “ruff.”


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The bad rounds never happen and the bad shots you need to let go. I stopped writing my score down, only at the end of the 9s, otherwise I become too fixated on par.

Take Dead Aim

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I try not to be results-oriented: especially when putting. Mental errors, as opposed to physical ones, usually frustrate me the most. I get pissed when I didn’t take enough club, or read the break on a putt correctly more than if I chunk one or pull one OB. Mental errors are 100% avoidable, whereas physical mistakes can and will happen at random. I keep score, but avoid adding up stokes or thinking, “ I need this to make/save birdie/par/bogey. The only shot that matters is your next shot. Lately, I’ve been asking myself, “am I comfortable?” Before I swing and if the answer is no I back off and re-address. Analyzing my round is something I do a lot of, but only after I’m off the course. Using a strokes gained app helps me focus my practice better.



Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy




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I review a round after, not during. I get annoyed when I play a bad shot of hole at the time but never dwell on something in the past. My biggest issue is that I usually loose concentration when play in really slow and I am waiting on almost every shot or generally somewhere around 12-13.

Callaway Epic Flash 9 Degree

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion 3 wood 15 Degree

Callaway Epic Hybrid 18 Degree

Callaway Steelhead Pro 4-AW Irons

Cleveland 54 Degree Wedge Steel Shaft

Recoil Graphite Shafts in all Callaway Clubs

Callaway Big Bertha Putter - for when it is wet

La Jolla Putter with Flat Car Grip.

Preferred ball - Currently Costco Kirkland Performance 3 Piece but Seed 001 is preferred.

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Im a Buddhist, so my mental game as the result of my zen practice is probably better than most but what I do is let the previous shot go and similar focus on the next shot.  You cant go back and change the past, so even if you hit a bad shot, all that matters is the next shot because that's all you can really control.

Beyond that, Im also honest with myself in that I play golf for fun, not to make a living, so even if I hit a bunch of bad shots or have a bad round, so what?  My wife and my dog are still going to love me, the sun is still going to rise tomorrow and the next time I tee it up, I'll have the chance to play the best round of my life.

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Whats in my Top-Flite Gamer 2019 cart bag?:

Woods: Tommy Armour Atomic 10.5* and Top-Flite Gamer 2020 18*

Hybrid: Top-Flite Gamer 2020 22*

Irons: Pinemeadow ZR 3.0 5-PW

Wedges: Wilson Harmonized Black Chrome 52*, Tommy Armour VCG 56*, Wilson Harmonized 60* and Wilson Harmonized chipper

Putter: Pinemeadow PGX SL

Ball: Maxfli Tour X

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