It’s so easy to lose your focus and PLAN after making a Double or Triple bogey on the golf course. For most Golfers, a Double or Triple is often followed on the next hole with another Double or Triple. And that’s precisely why you constantly hear Golfers saying things like – “Ohh, I could’ve broken 90, but I had a 3 hole stretch where I went Double, Triple, Double. If I could’ve just limited those to Bogey’s, I’d have scored in the 80’s!”
Yet, with the Player – when they experience a Double or Triple – they often follow it up with a Birdie, Par or at worst a Bogey. Why is this?
Well, I believe it’s easier to understand why the Player is successful after an unsuccessful hole – rather than talk about why the frustrated Golfer becomes more frustrated and starts collecting Doubles and Triples like some people collect stamps.
The Player understands that Double and Triple Bogeys are part of the game – they’re going to happen from time to time. The Player doesn’t expect to make these big numbers, but they understand that it’ll happen – nobody’s perfect.
What makes the Player different is that they can refocus after the bad hole. The Player doesn’t feel that they now need to make a Birdie on the next hole or if it’s a Par 5, they don’t feel they have to get there in two shots. The Player makes their PLAN based on their Strengths and Weaknesses.
And just because you might’ve messed up a shot or two on the last hole, doesn’t mean that you should abandon your PLAN. It just means you messed up like every other human does from time to time. At this year’s Masters – Trevor Immelman, made Double Bogey on the 16th hole of the final round. If he did what most Golfers do after they make a Double Bogey – we wouldn’t be calling him a Masters Champion.
But Immelman was able to get back to his PLAN and Par the last two holes to become a Legend.
Every round you play, you’re in the same position as Immelman was going into 17. Maybe you’re not playing for a Green Jacket and immortality – but you’re playing to shoot the best score you could possibly shoot. And although Trevor probably has a better golf swing than we do, you’re most likely not playing many holes as difficult as 17 and 18 at Augusta National – 440 yard and 465 yard Par 4’s with greens that are so difficult that I know some scratch Players that celebrate after 2 putting.
I can’t be 100% positive, but I’m sure enough to wager a good sum of cash that Trevor wasn’t thinking about what score he needs to make before playing 17 and 18. My guess is that he was using the old cliché of ‘Playing one shot at a time’. My guess is that he went back to his PLAN of playing to his Strengths and staying away from his Weaknesses. And we all know that he made the right decision because he made two Pars to secure the Green Jacket.
When’s the last time you made a big number on a hole and stood on the next tee thinking that you needed a Birdie or Par to make-up for the last hole?
No, the Player isn’t trying to make Par the next hole. And no – they’re not trying to make Birdie either. All the Player is trying to do is make a PLAN for the hole and then make a PLAN before each golf shot. If the ball ends up in the hole in 4 strokes on a Par 4 – great! But the goal of the hole shouldn’t be score. The goal of the hole should be to play to your PLAN.
‘Play for your PLAN, don’t plan for your score!’
The Monkey plays for score on every hole and ends up making bad golf swings and big scores
The Player plays for their PLAN on every shot and ends up making good golf swings and low scores
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life