Throughout my golfing career, whether while playing on the mini-tour or teaching amateur golfers of all skill levels, I have found that the SCORECARD seems to loom over golfers everywhere. I think if we change how we view this seemingly innocuous piece of heavy stock, sometimes vertical sometimes horizontal road map to the course, we would feel better about our round and our score. So this will be the first of a series of articles about your score, the scorecard and how to get better without even trying! Here we go!
I hope you’re ready to hear this….It is great news…..are you ready….wait for it……
You are not your score! You are a fantastic human being who has much to offer the world! You are not your score. Ahhhh…..just that alone feels better, doesn’t it?
OK, that being said, we sometimes feel like we are “our score.” When one asks, “so what did you shoot today?” You may ponder for a minute and respond with…”It was a beautiful day out there and sure beats going to work!” Translation? Get out your abacus, calculator or other adding device that can work with large numbers! So how can we move to better scoring in general? Here are a couple of ideas.
The first idea is to re-frame your scorecard. What I see more often than not is that golfers let the whole scorecard overwhelm them. During my Futures Tour days, I worked with Annette Thompson, coach/sports psychologist. She shared this fantastic piece of scoring strategy with me and I’ve spread the word ever since. It’s a great way to keep things balanced. Break up your one round of 18 holes into 6 rounds consisting of 3 holes each. Draw heavy lines to mark where each round ends and the new one begins. After your first round (holes 1-3) you’re on to the next round. You are either going to build on a good round and continue the momentum or if your first round wasn’t the best, you get to start fresh on round number two! I would do this and report back in. We would talk about the event, weather conditions, course layout, pre-round warm up and practice time. Then we’d talk about how I played and what I scored. “Well,” I would say, “I had four great rounds, one not so great and one round that was about average.” We would go over where I performed well and where things were less than desirable. After reviewing the round, I might discover that I ended up in several green side bunkers and that happened to be the weakest part of my game. In the end, by turning one round of eighteen holes into six rounds of three holes each, the pressure to perform took on an entirely different feel.
Now for the second idea. Take a page out of the tour player’s book. When playing competitive golf, scoring is everything. Tour players don’t care how it gets in the hole, they just care that it gets there in the fewest strokes possible. They don’t try to fix their swing during the round, they just play the best they can play. And they never complain if a ball hits a tree and bounces to the middle of the fairway, or if they hit a 400 yard drive because it cruised down the cart path! Remember, there’s no description area on the scorecard…just a box for a number. Tour pros realize this better than most. Just ask the guy on the Nationwide Tour who got into a playoff via a wayward shot and ultimately won the event! Scenario: He has to par the last hole to get into a playoff. The wayward shot: He swings, the ball screams wildly left, hits the roof of a hospitality tent, bounces high up in the air, comes down on the fringe of the green and rolls to within ten feet of the hole! The Result: He makes the putt, goes into the playoff and wins the event! So, next time your shot hits the tree and bounces into the fairway, say hurray, head on over to it and hit your next shot! Just remember to give it a good wipe before you putt….there might be just a tiny bit of tree sap on the cover!