Worrying To Much About The Score

Almost all golfers use their score as a benchmark to how they played on any given round. I am no different and sometimes I get so wrapped up in shooting a low score, this goal gets in the way of playing well. This might sound foolish to some, yet focusing on my score has led me down the wrong path for proper swing thoughts. It is as if I was so concerned about shooting a low score, I neglected to use the processes that lead a great round.

This is a good definition as any when relating to our golf score: “your golf score is the number of strokes that you take to complete the hole. Your final golf score for your round of golf is the sum of the strokes for all holes on the course, plus any penalties (See penalty strokes) you may have incurred.”

Each golf score in relation to par is defined in the table below:

 Strokes Golfing Term Description
– 4 Condor or Triple-Eagle Four strokes under par
– 3 Albatross or Double-Eagle Three strokes under par
– 2 Eagle Two strokes under par
– 1 Birdie One stroke under par
0 Par Strokes equal to par
+ 1 Bogey One stroke over par
+ 2 Double-Bogey Two strokes over par
+ 3 Triple-Bogey Three strokes over par
Source: https://www.myonlinegolfclub.com/Information/GolfScore#:~:text=Your%20golf%20score%20is%20the,Strokes

Before you start questioning my sanity because I am laying out the basic knowledge of golf; there is a point to my diatribe.

Focusing on whether I break par on a round before I even swing the club is usually the first step towards mentally collapsing. Or thinking I need to regain strokes lost on the last hole with one swing of my club. Or thinking I have a great birdie opportunity without following my proven swing processes. Counting my score before putting out. I could go on for quite a bit of time with many examples, but I think you get the point.

Staying mindful is critical to my game. It empowers my physical play because my mental game is sharp. Understanding this, I make the effort to keep my mind on the shot at hand and use my mental powers to gain a playing advantage here and there. If I am not focusing my awareness on the present moment then why am I on the golf course? Therefore, the moment I start focusing on my score, I loose my mindfulness, which leads to playing poorly.

It is interesting how everything is connected. The slightest mistake in any area can lead to disastrous scores. Therefore, I think you can see how focusing on any thing, especially my score, other than the shot processes at hand could cause me to play poorly. Has this scenario every happen to you when you focus on your score?

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


8 thoughts on “Worrying To Much About The Score

  1. I play a lot of golf with a lot of different people. So many of them are so worried about their score that it derails them as soon as they have a bad hole. What’s more is that it happens to players of all skill levels and more often than not causes them to go sideways for the rest of the round.

    Before I get too self righteous, I confess that I have fallen into that trap on occasion. Golf is a lot like life, it frequently has challenges and good and bad bounces. Focusing on the end score is going to be counterproductive. Statistically, you will shoot to your handicap or lower roughly 20-25% of the time, so focusing on always shooting a certain number is futile roughly 75% of the time. Personally, I find focusing on one shot at a time, forgiving myself for my less than stellar shots results in greater enjoyment and better scores. I have always considered myself a grinder and it has served me well, not just in golf.

    The end score of a round is not always indicative of how well I played. A good example was this past Friday. I played Blue Springs with three of my best friends. It is a very challenging course and is slope rated at 135 at just over 6000 yards. It was windy and cold (High of 6 C) and the course was wet so there was going to be no roll. All of us are senior citizens and wisely chose to play up one tee deck at 5600 yards. The course is very hilly and plays much longer than the yardage on the card even on warm days.

    Focusing on one shot at a time, I played my best golf of the season, the result a 43-39 for an 82. I played better than the three games I shot in the 70’s so far this year. Al four of us played well under the conditions and enjoyed the day immensely which was very satisfying.

    About two hours after we finished, the closure of the golf courses along with other measures to combat the pandemic were announced. It made me appreciate the round I had with three of my best friends even more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lorne,

      Congrats on your last round before the lockdown. I agree that the score is not always an indication of how well we played. I have also shot higher scores than normal but felt I play an awesome game. That is a matter of perspective for sure and the score is does not always show the quality of my game. Stay safe!

      Cheers Jim


  2. Jim, excellent post! It’s hard not to focus on score. I will mark my score on my card but not add it up until I finish. Sometimes a playing companion will ask at the turn, “what did you shoot on the front?” I get some strange looks when I say that i don’t know. 🙂

    Definitely a stroke saver not to worry about score. Thanks!


    Liked by 1 person

      • Jim, if you’re the guy who keeps track of all the bets, you’d better get the score right. 🙂 So do we have a different mindset for stroke vs match play? In match, you clearly focus on score for every shot and every hole. Interesting dichotomy.


        Liked by 1 person

      • Brian,

        That is a great question. I do focus on score more in match play because it is part of my course management approach. Because the score is reset at each hole, I can press or play safe depending on the situation. My opponents shot count needs to be track to ensure I do not overplay a hole for no reason.

        In stroke play, I am not focused on my opponent at all unless it is in the last 4 holes of a tournament and I am going head to head with my opponent because both of us have a chance to win. Otherwise, I ignore what my opponent is doing and play my own game.

        Definitely two different mental approaches. Sound about right to you?

        Cheers Jim

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, I’ve been guilty of that myself. For a long time noticing I’d birdied two holes in a row meant I’d bogie the next. It was pretty much a given. And it also took a long time before I could shoot par on the hole I got my first ace on. I got over that too, but it took what felt like forever.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s