Out of the Bunker: Creating eighteen new opportunities when you play


I’ve been working quite a bit on course strategy with my college team recently. While reviewing their scorecards at the conclusion of tournament rounds, it is evident that we need to do a better job of focusing on one hole at a time. But why is that so important?

As golfers, it is very easy to get caught up in the rhythm and feel of the round we are playing. This can be both good, and bad. When things are going well, we feel like we can do no wrong. However, when things are going south, we feel like we can’t get anything right. Sound familiar?

I have challenged my team to approach every round we play as eighteen new opportunities. The idea is to “reboot” yourself the moment you step onto the next tee box. By getting into this habit, you are more likely to avoid consecutive bad holes which can, ultimately, lead to a poor round of golf.

When I was regularly competing in tournament, my mindset was to never follow up a poor hole with another one.

If I made a bogey, or higher, I knew I needed to make par or better on the next hole. This mindset served me well because it immediately got me focused on what was ahead, rather than focusing on what had just happened.

Your level of play will determine the goals you set for yourself on the course. Whatever your level is, you should definitely focus on not following up one bad hole with another. By doing this, you will find yourself much more focused on playing one hole at a time.

We often think of a round of golf as one event. I would like to challenge each of you to think of a round of golf as eighteen separate events. Each time you step onto a tee box, set a goal for that particular hole. Repeat this eighteen times and you will become a better golfer.

My team is improving from this practice, and I know you will too.
Enjoy the challenge.

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