I realize I have said this a thousand times at The Grateful Golfer; but something happened the other day that I just had to share. It reinforced my view that attitude is key to shooting low golf scores. If you read my previous posts, I broke par for the first time this year. It was a marvelous game and something that was noteworthy for my 2020 golf season.
What I did not say is that the next round I shot a terrible 82. It seemed that I could not do anything right! I had high expectations about playing my best round of the year (actually in years), but alas it was not to happen. I can tell you that my mental state after the third hole was terrible and I faithfully carried it for the next 15 holes. My negative attitude only added fuel to the fire and I could not build on anything positive (if when there were many opportunities to do so).
Fast forward to the next round and a smooth 75 was in my future. Right from the first tee, I was in the mental zone to shoot well. Low and behold it happened. I have often wondered what the difference in the three rounds was and I realized itt all came down to one thing. My first shot off the tee.
During the two low rounds, I hit a straight drive in play off the first tee. The moment I was in play, my mental focus was keen and positive. With no warm up area, this first shot is key to stepping off the round with the right mindset. This might seem like a little thing, but it really made a big difference. Starting off strong seems to put everything in my perfect playing balance.
In contrast to that successful start, my 82 was nothing but a grind from my first shot that went into a hazard and cost me an extra stroke. Surprisingly, I pulled my shot after great expectations. The disappointment of watching my ball sail casually into the woods caused an instant change in my attitude. One in which I never recovered!
I am not suggesting that the first shot of the day has that much of an impact on my mental state, but it is definitely attributes to the next few shots. I realize it looks like my grip on my game is tenuous at best, but that is not true. There are other times when I have a poor start, but rebound on the next hole and other times not so much. In the case above, I had very high expectations because of my previous round…..alas that was part of my downfall.
As I move forward, I have hit the reset button. I am mentally strong and although yesterdays round was called because of rain, I am hoping that today’s round will be full of great shots and low scores. Regardless, I am starting with a positive attitude and anticipation of my first shot off the tee!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!