A bad round of golf isn’t the end of the world. Poor play for a round is not indicative of a slump to come. Nor does an “off” day mean your golf skills are in decline.
Golfers get in trouble when they lose perspective after a bad round of golf…
Negative thoughts invade your mind after shooting a bad score and you start to wonder if this is a sign of things to come.
Even though you may have been playing the best golf of your life over several tournaments, a bad round of golf may cause you to think that “your luck has run out.”
Some golfers pack it in mentally after a few bad holes and go through the motions for the rest of the round further contributing to their poor performance.
Perspective, or your interpretation of events, is critical to how you will respond immediately after a bad round.
Perspective allows you to see the whole picture instead of making misguided generalizations about your ability after a bad day on the course.
Jordan Spieth is the No.1 in the world but even he is not immune from a bad round of golf.
At the 2016 Northern Trust Open, Spieth not only did not make the cut, he posted one of his worst PGA Tour rounds shooting 79 (8-over) in the opening round.
Spieth double bogeyed nine times in the opening round and struggled with his putting throughout the day.
Despite his poor performance, Spieth kept the round in perspective instead of exaggerating the impact of one isolated event.
SPIETH: “It’s just a day to forget… In the course of a career, I imagine it’s going to happen. Just unfortunate when it actually does.”
More importantly, Spieth didn’t give up and came back to shoot 68 in the second round. Spieth could have easily just “checked out” for the tournament but he refused to allow one bad day affect his next round.
SPIETH: “I tried to do better today, even when it wasn’t going my way, to just be quiet, stay focused and try and make the next shot. None of them seemed to go in, but at least that’s what I was doing.”
Keeping his golf career in perspective permitted Spieth to keep focusing on the present shot and not suffer a major hit to his confidence.
In fact, even after his poor showing in the open round, Spieth maintained a high degree of belief in his ability to bounce back.
SPIETH: “I’m not throwing this tournament away. I believe that I can shoot 10 under par on this golf course. There’s a 9-under round right now, and I think I can do that. I’m not packing it in by any means.”
By keeping perspective, you keep yourself in the game.
Tips for Keeping Performance in Perspective:
Focus on effort, not outcomes – You can always control the quality and intensity of effort even if you are having a bad round.
Compete at all times – Never concede a round after a few bad holes. Keep moving forward and challenge yourself on every new hole.
Remember your good performances – Some bad days can cause some golfers to discount their good days. Focusing on your talents and successes elevates confidence.
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