Turn Three Shots Into Two

Use these simple chips to become a scoring machine

PGA teaching professional and Senior Instruction Editor Chuck Winstead is the director of instruction at The University Club in Baton Rouge, La.

The Mental Art Of Scoring: Forget The Score
By David F. Wright, Ph.D., PGA

Golf truly is a unique game. There are no plays to run. No offense or defense. No time-outs. Worse yet, there’s no real recovery from a bad play. You have to live with your mistakes, which makes how well you deal with them the key to playing well.

An important lesson from which every golfer can benefit is to always play in the present and avoid the tendency to get too far ahead of oneself. Most golfers tend to make these mistakes when it comes to keeping score. How many times have you set a target score to shoot, only to find that as you got closer to that number, the round became increasingly difficult? Truth is, monitoring your score and calculating what score you’re on track to shoot is a recipe for disaster. It takes you out of the present and into the future which, in golf, is a difficult means to playing well. Golf requires complete concentration on the shot at hand. Any future thinking will limit your ability to fully perform in the present.

Try something new the next time you play a round. Before you tee off, inform your playing partners that you don’t want to know where you stand during the day’s round (forget their comments—your goal is to improve, not to please your buddies). Announce your hole totals, but do your best from tabulating a running score. If you’re tempted to look at your scorecard, take a deep breath, slow down your movements and shift your thoughts to the conditions of the shot before you. By not focusing so much on score, you’ll find it a lot easier to take your mind off future thoughts and redirect them to the present. After the round, don’t be surprised to learn that your total is lower than you may have thought!

PGA professional Dr. David F. Wright operates the Wright Balance Golf School (www.wrightbalance.com). He’s recognized as one of the top 100 instructors in America and is an assistant coach for the University of Southern California men’s and women’s golf teams.



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