About 2 weeks ago, I posted that I had broken par for the first time in 10 years …10 long years. This article got me thinking about that journey. A few things about that round. I made 4 Birdies and 1 Eagle. It did help the order they came in and what my mental approach was The front I made 2 Birdies, but I doubled 9. To shoot 36, obviously I was disappointed, but I did rush my second and third shots. I hit my second to the right of the green pin high, but I did not go through my routine, dumped my little pitch in a bunker, hit a decent bunker shot, missed the 7 footer and made 6 for 36 (+1 for the 9) Very disappointed, so just play on. I was actually playing very well and I was putting extremely well, but we’ll get to that later. Made par on 10, rimmed the hole for birdie. Bogeyed 11, toughest hole on the course because I dumped my 2nd in the creek playing a hero shot but made a really sweet bogey hitting a 9iron from a drop to 3ft. Parred 12, Birdied 13, Hit a great tee shot on 14 but spun the ball off the green, chipped up and made a nice par 3 on the 135 yarder. On 15, a short Par 5, I really smoked the drive, hit a 7w on the green and nailed the putt for Eagle, whatta ya know I’m back to red figures for the day! Smoked another drive on the 420 yd 16th, put a 7 iron to 18 ft and made birdie. 17th Par 3, made a great pass at the ball with a 6iron from 170,and just missed the putt for a deuce. Woulda liked the cushion, I was trying not to think, but hit my best drive of the day on the 370 yd on the uphill 18th. Left me with a 9 iron, I made sure of my alignment and made certain no worse than bogey, I was NOT going to leave that pitch over a bunker, so I actually aimed for the bunker where I know I can execute, the ball ballooned a bit, missed the green, but landed pin high in the sand, (into the the other bunker…25yds right of the trap I was aiming for) I got up and it was a great lie, hit a decent bunker shot to about 7 ft.2 putted and voila …69! This round, I changed my putting routine, drastically, what was interesting my partner said he didn’t notice, I was so into my routine I wasn’t THINKING about anything but that until the last hole, I also think having that late run from 14-17 helped me not to overthink and panic. It was interesting that I really wasn’t nervous because it wasn’t the first time I had broken par. It had just been a long time. Knowing I could do it made a difference. My point, in general, is to really embrace your pre-shot routine, don’t play the round from a standpoint as a series of holes, but play each individual shot on its own and play to your comfort area especially around the green. On 18, I 100% did not want to leave myself in a position to get twitchy and have to think about dumping a pitch into the bunker, So at worst put that 2nd in in the bunker. I know I can get up and down out of a greenside bunker very consistently with 3 shots in hand. I reckon back to listening to a young Tiger saying once, I play to win, not to set scoring records in a tournament. Bogey wins, I didn’t need par. So long winded what’s your mental approach going to be as the 2022 season begins creep on us, as we sit inside looking at snow and we start to mentally daydream about a nice round? I guess focus on embracing your routine this year and I think you shave strokes…
Totally agree. I have taken lessons the past few off-seasons, and while it definitely helped my mechanics, I got too focused on that while playing and was constantly trying to fix or adjust something in my swing. Late in this season, I took the approach of just visualizing my shot and playing naturally. Its been a lot more fun and I’ve been playing well.
I think the lessons were definitely beneficial, but now that I’m to the point where my mechanics are decent and I have an understanding of what makes the ball fly the way it does, I’m going to try to stick with my new approach of not thinking, just playing.
Yes!! As a higher handicapper hacker this is what I’ve been working on focusing on while out on the course
Yep. At some point, you just need to swing the damn club.
Breaking the par is breaking the par. Congratulation !
I believe Ben Hogan said, after a golfer learned to propel the golf ball, all there left is to manage the golf course between the ears.
This is great! I think this can be important not only in the game, but in life too. Really appreciate the post. Siesta Key Cart Rentals