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my handicap is down to 14.3, i’m now breaking 90 pretty much every time out, and i’m super stoked about all that. 

however, the last few rounds i’ve started out really hot and then had the wheels come off. 

last round, i was +1 through 6, then went triple, double, bogey to finish the front 9 with a 43. the round before, i was even through 5 and finished the front in 44. 

i guess i can’t be too upset because i end up shooting my handicap when all is said and done, but how do you stop the wheels coming off and keep a good round going? 

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17 minutes ago, Chip Strokes said:

my handicap is down to 14.3, i’m now breaking 90 pretty much every time out, and i’m super stoked about all that. 

however, the last few rounds i’ve started out really hot and then had the wheels come off. 

last round, i was +1 through 6, then went triple, double, bogey to finish the front 9 with a 43. the round before, i was even through 5 and finished the front in 44. 

i guess i can’t be too upset because i end up shooting my handicap when all is said and done, but how do you stop the wheels coming off and keep a good round going? 

If I knew that, I would be a much better golfer.  Read the how'd you play thread and you will seem lots of us have doubles or bogeys that seem to come in bunches.  Why do the wheels come off?  trouble off the tee, approach shots,  short game, putting?   Could lack of mental focus or swing flaws.    

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Don’t look at/calculate your score

Dont think about what you potentially score on a 9 or for 18 based on how you are currently playing 

minimize the damage from a mistake

read Dr Bob Rotella’s books

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Working with the HS team we would try yo get them to set scoring targets for 3 holes at a time and forget about the total score.  That helps keep a short term focus and seemed to help avoid big numbers on teh card.

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This happened to me yesterday… Par, Par, Par, Bogey, Double, Par, Bogey, Par, Bogey.

Normally, the double would have sent me into a very downward spiral as my temper got the best of me.  Instead, the next hole I have myself and easy look at par.  
 

After a bad hole, I make sure that I hit the fairway on the next one.  Whether that is using an iron or 3 wood, but something that gives me a look at the green.

Compounding mistakes is what causes me the biggest problems.  Like hitting it under a tree, giving myself a good look after a chop out… then chunking the heck out of the next one… 

moral of the story… Find a calming shot for the next tee.  Might be hammering the H out of the ball like Rahmbo.

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30 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Why do the wheels come off?  trouble off the tee, approach shots,  short game, putting?   Could lack of mental focus or swing flaws. 

if i’m being honest, it can be any of these.

i think the big problem is compounding mistakes once the bad shots show up. 

bad drive on 6 and then trying to hit a hero shot on to or close to the green instead of punching out to a clean lie and accepting that getting out of there with bogey is a good outcome. 

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3 minutes ago, Chip Strokes said:

if i’m being honest, it can be any of these.

i think the big problem is compounding mistakes once the bad shots show up. 

bad drive on 6 and then trying to hit a hero shot on to or close to the green instead of punching out to a clean lie and accepting that getting out of there with bogey is a good outcome. 

Learn course management and also your game management. They go hand in hand with what I mentioned earlier.

The 6” between the ears is everyone’s worst enemy. Learn to control it

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1) Let someone else keep score. For certain, don't use the electronic scoring apps that constantly give you your score in relation to par ...
2) Repeat, over and over and over: "The only shot that matters is the one I'm hitting right now".

Great rounds happen one shot at a time.

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Just now, goaliedad30 said:

1) Let someone else keep score. For certain, don't use the electronic scoring apps that constantly give you your score in relation to par ...
2) Repeat, over and over and over: "The only shot that matters is the one I'm hitting right now".

Great rounds happen one shot at a time.

i like number 2 a lot. 

number 1 is tough. tracking stats is an easy way to learn more about where we’re messing up, but it’s something you can definitely get lost in. 

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15 minutes ago, Chip Strokes said:

if i’m being honest, it can be any of these.

i think the big problem is compounding mistakes once the bad shots show up. 

bad drive on 6 and then trying to hit a hero shot on to or close to the green instead of punching out to a clean lie and accepting that getting out of there with bogey is a good outcome. 

Mental.    Have to try and lean to try and focus only on the shot at hand and not dwell on the prior shot.   Yep,  bogey is a good outcome....if you hit a bad shot,  get the ball back in play so you can minimize the damage. Don't take doubles or worse. 

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Let's look at the reverse.  It's very rare for me to have a good round going after 5 holes; a typical score is 44 on par 37 front nine.  But many times on the back nine, I will score near par or a few over on the par 35 back nine.  So what happened?  I should be more tired on the back nine, and remember... lately it's nearly 100º most of the time when we finish.

I can tell you that when my score on the front nine approaches near bogey golf, I pretty much "space out" by #10.  "Well, it's not going to be a very good round, so... {insert a few choice words}.  From that point on, I'm just out there playing without thinking or caring about my game.  I guess that I was only playing the shot at hand, as we should do.  Of course, near the end of the back nine, I notice that I have a lot pars on my scorecard, which is why #18 is my nemesis hole!!

I just wish I could start the round that way.  I've done it, but it's rare because I think I am too focused on try to get past those holes where I typically have trouble.

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1 hour ago, Chip Strokes said:

 

i guess i can’t be too upset because i end up shooting my handicap when all is said and done, but how do you stop the wheels coming off and keep a good round going? 

Years ago, at the Yellowstone Country Club, the Head Pro's daughter was a player on the LPGA tour, but didn't earn enough each year to make it a sound career decision, so she became an assistant pro at the club.  Anyway, I complained to her that, no matter what I did, I couldn't break 80 on the course.  Her answer was pretty simple.  She asked me what I was thinking about on hole 15.  Of course, my answer was "breaking 80".  She said to stop that!  The next day after that advice (probably just a coincidence, but who knows....), I shot a 78.  Point is, try hard not to focus on the round as a whole and focus on the shot you're getting ready to hit.  I know!  Easier said than done!  

Other thoughts....why do you feel the wheels are coming off?  Are you tired?  Lose focus? Get nervous about shooting lower than normal?  Lots of reasons can be mentally or physically holding you back and that may be worth taking a hard look at yourself. 

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2 minutes ago, CarlH said:

Other thoughts....why do you feel the wheels are coming off?  Are you tired?  Lose focus? Get nervous about shooting lower than normal?  Lots of reasons can be mentally or physically holding you back and that may be worth taking a hard look at yourself. 

definitely not tired. it could be a combination of the rest though. 

a momentary loss of focus leads to a bad shot which leads to me worrying about my score and compounding mistakes. 

taking one shot at a time seems simple and obvious, but i’m gonna try to apply it to my rounds going forward. 

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5 minutes ago, Chip Strokes said:

 

taking one shot at a time seems simple and obvious, but i’m gonna try to apply it to my rounds going forward. 

A good mental exercise to help NOT focus on the entire round is to treat every 3 holes as a game.  Your goal would be to shoot 13 or better on 3 holes.  At the end of the 3 holes, you forget about the last 3, and play the next 3 holes with the same goal.  Repeat for the entire 6 groups of 3 holes.  Again, don't worry if you don't shoot well on 3 holes, move on to the next 3 and only think about those 3 holes.  BTW, the reason that I chose 13 as your target for each group of 3 is that if you achieve an average of 13 strokes for each group of 3 holes (maybe 11 on one group, 15 on another and so on, but it averages out as 13/group), you will shoot 79.  This will help you narrow your focus to a smaller range.  Try it.  The hard part is getting a bad group out of your head, but that's the same as when we take a big number on a hole and can't shake it from our thoughts.

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2 minutes ago, CarlH said:

A good mental exercise to help NOT focus on the entire round is to treat every 3 holes as a game.  Your goal would be to shoot 13 or better on 3 holes.  At the end of the 3 holes, you forget about the last 3, and play the next 3 holes with the same goal.  Repeat for the entire 6 groups of 3 holes.  Again, don't worry if you don't shoot well on 3 holes, move on to the next 3 and only think about those 3 holes.  BTW, the reason that I chose 13 as your target for each group of 3 is that if you achieve an average of 13 strokes for each group of 3 holes (maybe 11 on one group, 15 on another and so on, but it averages out as 13/group), you will shoot 79.  This will help you narrow your focus to a smaller range.  Try it.  The hard part is getting a bad group out of your head, but that's the same as when we take a big number on a hole and can't shake it from our thoughts.

love it! thanks for that. 

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Scoring targets for 3 holes at a time has worked for me a few times to stay under 90. I thought it sounded like BS before I ever tried it. 
 

developing a pre shot routine that shifts your focus off any score thought or anything not related to the current shot, target, or specific swing thought is vital. 
 

During my best round of golf I was so spaced out I didn’t realize my dad hadn’t hit his bunker shot from off to the side of the green. The ball hit me as I was waking up from the front of the green and totally in the zone of looking at green slopes and the lengths of the putt. Obviously this example went a bit too far, but it was a casual round. There was no thoughts of protecting par, avoiding double, or cozying my putt up for a tap in par. It was all about gathering the info for that specific shot and moving into your routine. 

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10 hours ago, Chip Strokes said:

 

taking one shot at a time seems simple and obvious, but i’m gonna try to apply it to my rounds going forward. 

Staying focused and committed to every shot over 18 It is very difficult.  One of the DECADE exercises is evaluating how mentally focused were you during every shot in the round.   Even professionals don’t hit 100%.  

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7 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Staying focused and committed to every shot over 18 It is very difficult.  One of the DECADE exercises is evaluating how mentally focused were you during every shot in the round.   Even professionals don’t hit 100%.  

for sure. that’s why i said simple instead of easy. it’s a really straightforward thing in theory, but it’s incredibly difficult. 

playing baseball, even at the highest level that i did, it was really hard to be 100% on your toes every pitch of every inning. lots of daydreaming gets done in the 8th inning of an 11-2 loss. 

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21 hours ago, Chip Strokes said:

 

i think the big problem is compounding mistakes once the bad shots show up. 

 

It's this. And it can be not compounding mistakes but as simple "trying" to make up for previous shot. Take your medicine and move on. 

20 hours ago, BMart519 said:

Scoring targets for 3 holes at a time has worked for me a few times to stay under 90. I thought it sounded like BS before I ever tried it. 

 

My JUCO coach had us do this but we did it the night before we played. Visualize the hole and how you would play it, once on the course and those 3 holes were done move to the next 3. 

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Hydration and nutrition are underrated on-course during a round. It’s ALWAYS a good idea to consume something during your round to keep the body AND brain going. I always take an Uncrustable, Clif bar, Powerbar, something, for the back nine. Crucial.

Next, I NEVER write down scores. I specifically use the Golfshot app for recording my score because it doesn’t show a running total to par. Beyond that, I got nothing because my brain is my number one enemy. I play “golf shot”, not golf.

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