Stay in the moment, not in the scorecard
It’s a classic schoolboy error on the golf course, but we all do it. The question is why? When you are on the course, you know whether you are playing well or not. So do you really need to work out how many over par, or under par you are after every hole? How many stableford points you have scored each time you come off the green? Too much awareness of what is required can cause disaster. I remember a friend of mine standing on the last tee of a course abroad. He commented that all he needed was a 9 on this shortish par 4 last hole to break 100 for the first time. 10 shots later and he was still not on the green. Reflecting on what had gone wrong over a drink in the clubhouse, he realised that maybe he had put undue pressure on himself by being so aware of what he needed/wanted to do on that last hole.
We are all guilty of putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves. I’m reminded of a medal I played in when I was somewhat younger. Desperate to do well in the competition, I took a 9 on the first hole. With any chance of winning the competition now gone, I then relaxed and played the best 17 holes of golf I had ever played. Not good enough to win from that far back, but it taught me a valuable lesson. When you relax and don’t worry about the score, you tend to play better. The shots you want to make, you do make.
So to all of you that avidly tot your score and points up after each hole and then start thinking “all I need to do now is……” my advice is stop. Put the card away and concentrate on each shot as if it was the only one of the day. Wait until you are back in the clubhouse before you total up. You may well surprise yourself with the result.
Jon Woodroffe – Master Professional, World of Golf London
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