Does One Shot Make A Difference In Golf

As I watch the games during ‘March Madness’, I am often struck at how one shot seems to change the momentum of a game. I know from my years of competing in various sports that one shot sometimes makes a tremendous difference in the outcome of a game. And, I bet you are wondering if one shot makes a difference in golf. I would suggest that it does; actually one shot could turn the tide of your entire round.

Interestingly, our momentum can wax and wane from just one shot. If you think back to any game last season, I bet you can pinpoint that one shot which turned your game. Of course, you immediately thought of the worst shot, but what about the shot that improved your fortunes on the links.

For me, I can remember the round where I was 4 over on the front and 4 under on the back at my home course of Osprey Links. During the round, I was struggling with my chipping and putting. It seemed that no matter what I tried, nothing was working as planned. Then suddenly, on the par 5,10th hole, I lipped out my chip for eagle. And walked of the 10th with a tap in birdie. Trying to build on my success, I started to hit the ball with more consistency than on the front nine. I finished the back with 4 birdies and 5 pars with zero chance of making a bogey. My chipping was excellent which resulted in my best nine holes I played in 2020.

Conversely, I played a round last year where I started on fire by shooting 2 under in the first four holes. On the 5th hole, all was going well until my three putt from 12 feet for a bogey. The first two putts were, ah simply put, brutal! The first putt changed the course of my round. I was mental beat from that one shot and could not change my fortunes back. ended up shooting a smooth 79 (that would be 9 over for the past 13 holes) No matter what I tried, I had to grind out a 79 and be happy I was able to do that.

As you can tell, one shot does make a difference in our scores (good or bad). I think that golf is that sport where one moment in time can change the future. To combat the possible roller coaster round, we need to develop some mental toughness, but that is a discussion for another day.

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


4 thoughts on “Does One Shot Make A Difference In Golf

  1. “To combat the possible roller coaster round, we need to develop some mental toughness, but that is a discussion for another day.”

    I would say it’s the whole point. One shot shouldn’t ever be allowed to effect our game more than the stroke (or two) we have to count for it. Good, bad, or indifferent, the next shot is the only one that counts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I agree totally, unfortunately it happens to us all. I consider myself to be pretty even keel when playing, but fall into this trap from time to time. I guess that is why I still work on my game.

      Cheers Jim


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