Would you be happy if you shot what might be your best score ever in an important event or tournament, then shot a disappointing score the next round? Would you celebrate or would you lament?
This is the story of a Golfer that I’ll call Jim.
Jim has been playing golf for a number of years and generally has played pretty good, though he always wanted to get better – probably just like you hope to do. Jim enjoyed playing and competing in his county’s Amateur Golf Tournament every year. Yet, there’s been this nagging feeling that he desperately wanted to play in the Championship Flight – which wasn’t a terrible stretch since Jim has competed in the First Flight numerous times.
But, there was a formidable barrier standing in his way. To qualify for the Championship Flight you needed to be a 3.0 handicap or less!
So Jim set a goal after the 2006 County Championship to work on his game so that he would qualify for the Championship Flight in 2007. Now there’s two ways you, as the reader, can go from here: One – you could say – “who’s Jim and why should I care about him. He could be a fictional character for all that I know. Besides, I’m not even close to playing in my Championship Flight (or I don’t even compete in my County Golf Championship), so what does this have to do with me?”
Two – you could say -This could be interesting. Marc might give me some strategies that Jim used to improve his golf game that I could use to improve mine. Trying to make it to the Championship Flight or trying to break 90 or 100 for the first time are relatively the same goals – aren’t they?
Now, fast forward to this past weekend – Jim playing in the Championship Flight played the greatest round of his life. Playing against Golfers that he’s looked up to for years, Jim went out and shot a 2 under par 70! After the round he telephoned the GMS Office and his first words to me where – “I now know that I can play with the best in the county.”
Tell me if you think he was excited?
In the coming weeks, I hope to give you more detail on how Jim made this incredible improvement in such a short period of time. I’ll display the techniques and strategies Jim and I used and I believe that you’ll also improve like he did. Maybe not go from scoring 105 to the Championship Flight in one year (Jim was a pretty good Golfer before we started), but I believe that the 105 Golfer should realistically see an 89 within a year and a 95 Golfer should see the low 80’s.
But at this point, I want to illustrate what Jim did on the golf course this past weekend and see if you could do the same.
He was the leader for much of the first day until one Golfer scored 68 and another 69. But still, 3rd place was pretty dang good!
So knowing that he was in third place starting the second round – Jim scored a 46 on the front nine. Now, a lot of Golfers reading this might be happy with a 46. Though, Jim was coming off the round of his life. And 10 over par for the first nine holes pretty much had to be a major letdown.
Have you ever done the same? Played a great 18 holes – then the next day you come out and it doesn’t feel like you can do anything right – nothing feels good and you struggle. Well, there’s two ways you could go at this point. One – you could start “Fiddling” with your golf swing and your PLAN trying figure to out what’s wrong.
Two – you could do what Jim did and say to yourself “You know, I’ve been playing really good golf in the weeks leading up to this point in addition to playing better than ever yesterday. So, I played a crappy nine holes. I know if I stick with my swing, with my PLAN – I could turn this round around.”
So what do you think happened on the back nine? He played holes 10 through 16 at even Par before three putting holes 17 and 18 to score a 38. An excellent 38 – not that there ever is a 38 that’s not excellent.
What would most Golfers have done? Would they have chosen number One or number Two above? Which would you have chosen? The Golfer that chooses number One and starts “Fiddling” with their golf swing and PLAN might find something to get back on track, but in my experience of watching Golfers – 7 out of 8 will end up getting more confused and start playing even worse.
However, the Golfers that choose number Two experience more positives. One being that at the very worst they wouldn’t start playing worse like the Golfer that chooses to “Fiddle” with their swing and the other is that they most likely would get over the bad nine holes, smooth out their swing and play much better.
Jim obviously made the best decision. And ultimately led Jim into having a positive attitude going into the third and final round where he scored a very respectable 80. As opposed to the Golfer who might have chosen the other path after the first nine holes of the second round (by “Fiddling” with their swing and forgetting about their PLAN) and continued to play poorly or worse on the back nine. What kind of attitude would they have coming into their next round? And because of that attitude, how much fun would they have had and how poorly do you think they would’ve played?
Jim sent me an email after his 3rd round and I want to highlight a couple of things he said:
One – “Sunday I met my second objective of this year (the first of course was qualifying for the Championship Flight), the second was that I teed off with the top 20 golfers on the front side (golfers in 21st to 40th place started their round on #10). I had 4 birdies in the round of 80 and birdied 3 of the 4 par fives. I am totally jacked up.”
Two – “You live by the sword and die by the sword…..the putter. I must become an excellent putter, not just a good putter.”
What are you going to do the next time you play a bad nine holes? Are you going to “Fiddle” with your golf swing or are you going to think of Jim?
The Monkey will panic after a bad 9 holes and then search for anything that’ll work
The Player takes a deep breath, clears their mind and stays with what they know
Go Ahead, Be A Player!