Leaving Strokes on The Golf Course

A recent comment on yesterdays post from Rob Courtney sparked this post. His comment: “Congratulations on your win. But we golfers do find ways of finding fault even when we are successful! Cheers, Rob.” is so true regarding the nature of golfers, I just had to expand on it. Golfers are never satisfied with their game; when the conversation starts, we usually shift towards the strokes we left on the course and how things should have been better. This might be a universal trait of all golfers, what do you think?

I recently played my way on to the base golf team. With two scores of 76, I was happy with the first day’s score because of the conditions, yet disappointed with the second day’s score because of the double bogey on the last hole. Regardless, discussing my round with other friends, I inadvertently steered the conversation to leaving strokes on the course.

I mentally review every shot after a round and examine those shots that I consider sub-par (excuse the pun). Sometimes I attribute the cause to my club selection or my aim point was poor or my swing was not as expected, and so on. However, I do not think this thought process is self-deprecating, but healthy method of improving my game. It helps me stay focused on areas of swing improvement and course management.

The problem with this process is that it sounds like bragging or an ego build. Talking to most golfers, shooting back to back 76s is a dream come true. They would be excited and not hesitate to take these scores, regardless of how many strokes they left on the course. I completely understand their view, but success is a relative view. I am happy with the scores, yet I always look for ways to improve; thus, I look at the strokes I left on the course after my rounds.

The lower your handicap, the greater the chance that you will reexamine your round. Even my sub-par rounds were looked at to see where I could improve. Generally in those rounds, it was only one or two strokes where I felt I could have done something different. Mostly, I go through this process to stay on track of continually improving. It is something that helps me focus on my goal of being a scratch golfer. My introspection has nothing to do with ego, but learning how to improve my golf game.

Leaving strokes on the golf course is something all golfers discuss. The number of strokes is relative to your handicap, score, and desire to improve. I believe it is a valid process of improvement and suggest that most serious golfers practice it. This learning tool is important to my game and I will continue to use it; maybe I just won’t vocalize it as much.

Thanks Rob for inspiring this post. I am grateful for your comments.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

4 thoughts on “Leaving Strokes on The Golf Course

  1. I can relate. I shot one over on my first nine yesterday while playing with my newest set of irons (Callaway X Black’s). That set has sat in my garage for over 2 years now. I ordered them, and while I was waiting, my draw swing changed to a hook swing overnight. The new set when they got here made it worse because of the smaller heads they have compared with the oversized Cobra’s I usually play with. So I went back to the Cobra’s and shelved the new set.
    But over the past 2 years, I’ve taken a lesson, and grooved the new swing and grip until it feels comfortable. So I decided it was time to give the new set another try thinking that the steel shafts on them would take out a little height from the ball and make playing in our Florida breezes a little easier.
    After yesterdays round, I am convinced they will do the job quite well. I still can get the ball over the trees when needed, but can also flight it down a bit to fight the breeze better. Something I had real trouble managing with the Cobra’s thanks to the shafts on them. I am happy.
    I shot one over on the first nine with the Calloway’s. That’s a personal best on that course. And if not for one wayward bunker shot, I would have at least shot par or maybe even one under. I doubled hole four thanks to not bending my knees enough in the front green side bunker. I got a little too much ball and sent it over the flag and off the back. Had I not pulled the 160 yard approach shot 10 feet, or had I bent my knees just a bit more, I might have shot a par or even one under for the nine.
    But no complaints here. I ended with a 77 and that’s nothing to complain about when using a new set of clubs. For me, it’s nothing to complain about at all. That’s just two off my best round and one off my best round on the course.
    One thing that made me especially proud is I was playing with a longer hitter yet I won the round by quite a bit. He was another guy that could hit his 3 wood longer than I hit my driver. But not once did I try and kill the ball. That’s another first for me. I overcame that demon in my mind for the 1st time through the entire round and stayed in my own game. It was a really good day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While playing match-play with some friends, I accidentally hit the ball sideways while taking a practice swing. I asked my opponent if I could replay the shot and he said no. I complied and counted the stroke. Was I correct? Can anyone site a specific rule that applies here? How would you handle this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ben

      That is the correct ruling. 18-2 states that if the ball is in play, if you, partner or caddie cause it to move you incur 1 penalty stroke. Also, you were suppose to replace the ball in the original location before commencing play. I hope this helps.



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