Learning A Golf Lesson From A Poor Round

One of my many experiences during my 37+ years in the Canadian Military was that no opportunity should be wasted to learn a lesson. Especially during an exercise when multiple things go wrong. One boss used to say that mistakes during an exercise are the perfect opportunity to improve. I carry this mindset into my daily life and definitely use it today whenever I hit the links.

For example, the score from my last round was the worst in about 15 years. I shot a unimaginable 91. Remember all scores are relative and as a three handicap, 20 over par is not acceptable to me on any level. The crazy thing about this round is that I never shot over a double bogey. I just played poorly from 30 yards and closer.

My first major error occurred on the first hole. I was over the back in three on the par 5. This is okay because I hit a great shot from 89 yards and the wind just carried my ball a bit father than I expected. My ball was sitting on top of the rough and it seemed like a routine up and down. I was a bit short sided so I decided to hit my 60° wedge. I opened the face a bit and made a firm swing that would send my ball about 10 yards in the air with a little release. After my swing, my ball was in the same relative spot because my club went completely under the ball. I cannot remember ever missing the ball by sliding under ball!

My next four chips on the next two holes were chunks. I was so concerned about making contact, I was hitting the ground a few inches before the ball. I hacked my way around to open with three doubles in a row. Not a stellar start. I did regroup and shot a par on the 5th hole; this was my only par on the front nine.

The back nine was better, but still not to my standards. I hit the ball well off the tee, but my approach shots forced me to rely on my short game. My short game left on the first hole and I had not found it yet. I only chipped within 8 feet once all day and it was to one foot. I could not have hit the broad side of the barn from 10 yards away. It was a struggle!

Lastly, I hit the ball very well off the tee. I hit 10 of 13 fairways (we have 5 par 3s on the course). I mostly hit my driver, but 3 wood and 3 hybrid were working as well. I felt comfortable on all holes except the par 3s. But that is a story for another day.

Now that you read my woes from my last round, I bet you are wondering what golf lesson I learned. Well, this lesson had nothing to do with my swing. It was all mental and specifically my expectations. I was so confident that I would shot in the 70s, I lost focus on playing golf. I mentally fell apart after my first miss hit. Watching my 60° wedge slide under my ball caught me off guard and I never recovered. That is my lesson from the last round; I have to let things to when they do not go well. Mostly, I need to check my ego and stay focused on fundamental golf. But more of that on another day.

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

6 thoughts on “Learning A Golf Lesson From A Poor Round

  1. Jim, I can sympathize. My friends and I have a little competition each year that we call the psycho award. You take your high score for the year and subtract the low score for the year. The “winner” usually is at 20 or more. It helps to have a sense of humour. I had a weekend a few years back when I played Glencairn and had my worst score of the year with a 93. I came back the next day and shot 75 at my home course. The lesson I learned was that it pays to have a short memory and that there is a reason why I have to pay to play golf😀😀😀. Shake it off, the score resets to 0 tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, tough day at the office. Meh, it happens to everyone. You think your preoccupation with score cost you that much? I ask, because you usually expect to break 80. Should be an afterthought.

    Get right back up on the horse. You playing today?


    Liked by 1 person

  3. The PGA Tour high score is 123. I tend not to remember that the guy played with torn rib cartilage, damaged knee ligaments and a separated left shoulder and just tell myself my score wasn’t all THAT bad.

    Liked by 1 person

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