You just like to make it harder on yourself

Played with a new buddy at the course again… it’s our second round together… he said that after I left yet another putt 6 feet from the hole (my putting imploded, it’s fine, I’m on it)…

But man, that sentence resonated… 100% I make it harder on myself… I’m grinding right now, I can’t feel my swing, am not confident in my ball flight and I’m 10 rounds into the season after coming back from a back injury… I’m still adjusting to a new putter, putting stroke and grip… and I look at all that and say man, I’m really making it harder on myself!

I know what I need to focus on (putting still, but need to get my swing back) and I know what I can do on the course right now… so my focus is going to be on making things easier on myself. Taking the easy shots, and trying to not grind where I can… so I have the energy to grind when I need to.


go read art of scoring by ray floyd


Man that comment really hits home. We do tend to make it harder on ourselves than we need too. I tend to do more around the green, should hit the “easier” shot rather than trying to hit the “perfect” shot

I’m taking this to heart for my round tomorrow and thinking “what’s going to be the easiest way for me to get the ball in the hole”


Good luck! I’m definitely working on this concept… I’m hoping decade helps.

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Ohhhh boy oh boy do I EVER make golf waaaay too hard on myself…

@jon recent article totally apropos!!!

This … of course … is something that I really need to internalize and work on.

Played a round this past week that started off GREAT and then slowly declined, albeit with some bright spots along the way, but – the sad part that I’m most embarrassed about and admitting “out loud” here to hold myself accountable to do better … much better … was my attitude went way downhill…

Big part of this comes back to Expectations Management … knowing my capabilities and definitely not “expecting” to hit every shot solidly and on-target. Not gonna happen. But I can, and should, control my attitude and outlook as the game is going on.

Focus on what I’m doing and tune out distractions. Stick to my pre-shot routine.


That’s a really good article, probably my favorite one @jon has written so far. Way too often I let my emotions get the best of me and most of the time, with the way I’ve been playing, it’s negative. I’m working hard on developing a better pre shot routine, way too often I stand over the ball a lot longer than I should letting the negativity sink in.

Yesterday at the range it was all about alignment, taking a couple of waggles, and hitting the shot. It was really uncomfortable, but the results were some of the best shots I’ve hit in a while.

I wish you nothing but the best of luck with this going forward.


Played 9 yesterday and did a little bit better. Still lots (and lots and… :wink:) of room for improvement…

Funny thing is… I’d attended a mental game clinic about 2 years ago, and they encourage you to use a mental game scorecard - where you mark, not your stroke score, but if you did / did not follow your “process” (effectively pre-shot routine) on each and every shot and putt.

Don’t know why I haven’t done this to date but now I’m starting to understand a bit better just how useful and helpful a tool like that can be!!


@Craigers - making progress??

I played 9 each day of the weekend and basically just keeping myself in check and playing it one shot at a time were the real goals … did ok.


DO IT! It is eye opening. I have been tracking my mental scored card for almost 2 years. If it does nothing more than get you to focus and commit 1 or 2 more times a round it is worth it.


Ha maybe that’s the part I’m worried about :crazy_face:

But you’re right, of course - having a few key prompts / “gentle reminders” right in front of me is very helpful!


I haven’t played since… I will play tomorrow and see how I do!

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I continue to make it harder on myself… My coach just yelled at me for taking aggressive lines with no real upside, and I can’t say that he’s wrong. I’ve been hitting driver 10+ times a round, and I think it’s making it harder on me… especially considering how poorly I’m hitting driver right now!

I’m not sure I can sneak in another round before Friday, but I should be able to get some practice in… my putting has definitely improved (and the quiet eye stuff and focusing on the back edge of the ball has been super helpful). I do feel like I’m closer to better golf now than I was, and I think a solid mental shift and more thinking on the course will help me get my mojo back.

I’m definitely more comfortable with my swing, even if I had some big misses today.


One thing I was taught is…
“Confident swing on a Conservative line.”

Keep working, keep moving forward. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself to perform! One shot, one swing at a time…


Absolutely… I also love to play aggressive but my course doesn’t really warrant it… if I eliminate big mistakes and find fairways, I can put up a decent number.


Hardest thing about this game is improvement is super small in an overall sense. A bunch of little things add up to big things in the end. Keep grinding!


I can relate to this. My game is completely in shambles right now and I need to right this ship. Best of luck to us both as we try to turn things around.


So I’m completely re-evaluating my strategy… my play has been less than stellar and my scores have been worse than my play… there are some dumb mistakes, but I think my overall strategy got overly aggressive and I need to back off driver and play more conservatively off the tee box… I could also move back a tee box and play driver all day, as it make the course longer… Just for fun, and my own edification, let’s do a quick rundown.

Hunting Creek CC in Propsect, KY… I’d do the google maps stuff, but my chromebook can’t handle it. Maybe I’ll steal my wife’s laptop and start mapping it out better.

  1. Par 4 359. This is a short par 4. Current StrategyI’ve been bombing it over the bunker. A good drive puts me with 50 or less in, a mediocre drive puts me at 100 yards. If I’m right, I’m fine, if I’m left, I have a tree in my way… I haven’t scored well on this hole. “New” Strategy Hybrid off the tee towards the 150 marker… Plenty of room for error on either side, bunker isn’t in play unless I really miss it, and the tree won’t affect my second shot. I’ll have a full 9 iron or PW in.

  2. Par 3 172 Old Strategy Head firmly up my… well… New Strategy Clear Eyes, Full swing. On the green. (I’ve made some REALLY bad swings on this hole, and I don’t know why)

  3. Par 5 504. This one I’m still a little mixed on. My coach basically said put it in play, and hit it in 3 shots… I’m going to stick with driver. A big miss left requires a punch that I can get to 150. Slightly left is a 2nd shot to 100, and middle / middle right is all clear at the green… I think driver is a good strategy on this hole. I should have 65 yards to work with, just need to eliminate my double cross.

  4. Par 4 433. Send it. It’s a long hole. It’s always into the wind. I don’t think I’ve had less than 150 in to this green and I’m a decently long player.

  5. Par 4 352 - I’m torn on this one. If I’m hitting the ball well, I can carry a fairway bunker and have PLENTY of room to work, and the left side of the bunker is the better “angle”… I’m not chasing said angle, but a miss left is fine, and wide right is OK. I have 65 yards at 270 carry… I’ve tried the hybrid to 150 strategy and hate the shot I’m left with. I’m still marinating on this one… Might have to hit a couple hybrids and see how the hole feels.

  6. Par 5 534 - I hate this hole. Strategy is a hybrid down the valley, hybrid up the valley, and wedge into the green… Driver leaves you an uphill stance in the rough and 230 home. I’ve pulled it off, but usually don’t… This is the hole I’m trying to get 300+ yards carry for… (Number 1 handicap hole on the course)

  7. Par 3 188 - Middle of the green. 2 putt par. Next.

  8. Par 4 440 yards - Uphill second shot. Tough green. Number 3 handicap… It’s a monster. driver is a must, and the landing area opens up at 260… Need to get driver tamed for this hole. Par is a great score for me.

  9. Par 4 391 yards - This is a weird hole for me… Driver can get through the fairway or leave me with a weird yardage… 3 wood into the center of the fairway and a 8-9 iron should be good to go.

  10. Par 4 386 yards - Easiest hole on the course. It’s straight, hit driver, hit green, make putt.

  11. Par 5 489 yards - This is a tough strategy hole for me… It’s a dogleg left with bunkers short and bunkers long… if I could hit a draw, it would probably make sense to carry the front bunker with a three wood and try to get a look in on my second shot… I’ve played this hole a number of ways, and I’m not sold on any strategy yet… Plenty of room to miss around the green, so a hybrid into it isn’t risky… If I can get my misses back under control, I think a non-aggressive line over the front bunker is the smart play… plenty of room to land and if I miss right, I’m safe and if I miss long left, I’m great… If it ends up short in the bunker, I can pitch out and have 150 yards left.

  12. Par 3 143 - I REALLY need to start making par here.

  13. Par 4 428 - Downhill with bunkers in the fairway. Driver carries them and 3 wood doesn’t. Hybrid doesn’t get me far enough. SEND IT.

  14. Par 4 408 - Creek about a 260 yard carry, fairway has a slight dogleg right, and a big tree right… I’ve blocked it OB and lost it too far right with driver… I’m going to spend a couple rounds playing it safe and having a 7-8 iron in.

  15. Par 5 515 - Big tree came down, and I can aim driver over the bunkers… my coach doesn’t like this play as this green isn’t built to be hit in 2… I don’t like not SENDING IT. Plenty of room for driver, just need to hit better 2nd shots.

  16. Par 4 347 - 250 yards out and then straight up hill… it’s narrow throughout… I’ve been hitting driver with OK results. I think I’m going to put it to 150 and see how it goes… I’m going to have to get used to hitting my hybrid off the tee more often, and this hole doesn’t really have a good answer.

  17. Par 3 155 - More uphill… Just need to aim for the middle or the back and have a putt… Just need to be smarter here.

  18. par 4 436 - SEND IT. No questions here. Plenty of room, just need to eliminate the double cross. Aim down the left and let my FADE FLAG FLY.

That’s going to be my strategy moving forward, I think! 5 and 15 are the two biggest questions… If I can consistently put it to 150 on 5, it MIGHT be worth hitting hybrid, but it’s an uphill shot to an unfriendly green… If I get back to hitting driver as well as I was last season, I think it’s 100% send it. 15 I’m going to send it until it burns me.


If it’s a tricky green, I don’t see the necessity of going for it in two…? I know you don’t wanna hear this, but…

Maybe consider a (egads man!) … Layup… to a comfortable distance where you may have a better chance to pitch it in close…

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I appreciate the feedback and wrote this all down to have a conversation (even if no one responded, I’m always willing to talk to myself).

I think the second shot default should be to lay up to a comfortable distance to have a full shot into the large green… if I catch a drive and have an iron in my hand (I’ve had 7 iron into this green) then I go for it.

It makes sense to me for me to go driver… my 3 wood needs a different shaft and I’m not super confident with it, so my misses aren’t likely to be any better than driver… plus @jon talking about 3 wood dispersion has me convinced driver isn’t much more of a risk, as long is just fine.

It’s the second shot I need to be less aggressive on.


Playing again today… plan is hybrid on 1, 5, 6, 14 and 16. 3 wood on 9 and 11.

Driver elsewhere, but I’m going to be less aggressive on par fives… if I don’t have a good look at the green where my standard misses leave me with a good chance of up and down, I’ll lay back.

Not a seismic shift by any means, but it should be interesting. I’m also swapping back to my old aldila silver shaft and out of my ventus black… this probably won’t change anything either.