Building on the momentum of a good round…

Building on the momentum of a good round…

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     You see it all the time. When a pro gets on a roll, they just keep cranking out the birdies and seem to never look back.

     

    As a 12 handicap, hoping to get into the single digits, I was wondering what us mere mortals can do to build on the momentum of a good round?

     

    All too often, I’ll make a par or roll in a nice birdie putt only to duff the next tee shot. I’ve been getting better at just focusing on the shot ahead of me but still struggle at times to keep in the moment and ultimately post a solid score.  Any tips out there?

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    I try and just play each hole 1 at a time. If I have birdied or bogeyed the holes before, I try not to let them affect what I am doing.  MoOst of the time I have played the course before and know where the ball needs to be hit.

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    MD, a good question.

    What moved me from a 12+ to a 7 handicap was work on the putting green, and not merely putting the ball. My golf professional at the time told me to use the Harvey Penick strategy of learning the consequences of each shot. The drill goes like this;

    Take one ball and chip it to a location on the putting surface. Then take your putter and get the ball into the hole. The key learning is that you want to have no more than 2 shots to get from off the green into the cup. As most pros will tell you, the most shots in a round are squandered on or near the green. So the "consequence" of each shot is really what helps train you to stop the bogeys and get to pars with pitching development.

    And trust me, once you pitch them close and drop a par this way, your confidence will soar. As I said, once I got this drilled into my thinking, I was able to quickly drop scores and my handicap. Good luck! 

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    The only thing you can do is hit one shot at a time.  I think the reason you see pros get on a hot streak is because after a couple good shots you start to feel extremely confident over any club not just the club they have been using to hit those shots (like us favoring a 7 iron since we hit it pure last shot but hit the 8 iron thin, you have to be confident with all the clubs not just the one you had success with most recently).  I know after a couple consecutive good shots my mind says "this is going to be a good round" and I think that's my confidence builder that helps me under par or whatever it may be.

    The only way to continue the momentum is to not let a poor shot or an easy miss get you down.  A lot of us mere mortals hit a poor shot and it ruins the round.  You duff it on a par three, you get upset and you finish the hole with a double bogey when if you kept your composure, you probably could have pared it.

    THE ONE THING I really think about during a good round is tempo.  I don't think about the next hole or the last hole or shot for that matter, it's always about what's currently happening and adapting to what you have to work with so if your tempo is good, trust your swing and fire away.  The killer to any poor round I have ever had was letting the last shot get to me and make me feel uncomfortable, that just builds and builds until you implode.

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    My pro instructor just got thru with me on putting again and his advice is as follows: 1. Chipping onto the green you must concentrate on where you want  the ball to go and how far it is to the hole and that it will go into the hole. 2. Then using whatever club you choose, you have to tell yourself again that the ball is going into the hole. 3.Once the ball is one the green it must be lined up (use a marker to draw the line on the ball for better alignment)  and you must tell yourself that the ball is going into the hole. .4. Practice chipping from varying distances and remember when chipping to keep your hands forward of your stance. 5.  Practice putting from varying distances using increments of  3 feet  apart and when you are able to putt 4 balls in the cup from 3 ft. out, go to 6 feet out and repeat the exercise.One of the biggest things he stressed is that on every shot you must establish a routine and stick to it. Consistency always brings better results.

    It has cut down on the number of strokes for me and I hope to soon be in the single digits for my handicap.

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    The biggest thing that I focus on is not getting too 'up' OR too 'down' during a round.  There will always be ups and downs in a round of golf, but you can't let the few bad ones get to you, and just because you've hit a few good ones in a row doesn't mean you get to be lazy and not focus.  Keeping an even keel will steady out rounds and scoring and that way, you won't be too worried about hot or cold runs in the middle of a round. 

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    Thanks guys...some great tips here. Time to put them into action this weekend on the course.

    Hopefully we don't have a washout. Looking forward to my inner club's version of the Ryder Cup. Some serious bragging rights on the line...

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    md,

    By far the most common mistake that is made by an amatuer during the round......not playing within thier abilities. It is very common for a player to get on a bit of a roll. They will then start to swing a bit harder, shoot for the tight pins and try shots that they just don't have. They are playing well and are becoming confident that they can hit anything.

    My advise....go with what got you on the roll. Don't try to hit it further, play away from tough pins and when you get into trouble play the safe shot. You will end up scoring so much better in the long run.

    Good Luck

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    19hole

    md,

    By far the most common mistake that is made by an amatuer during the round......not playing within thier abilities. It is very common for a player to get on a bit of a roll. They will then start to swing a bit harder, shoot for the tight pins and try shots that they just don't have. They are playing well and are becoming confident that they can hit anything.

    My advise....go with what got you on the roll. Don't try to hit it further, play away from tough pins and when you get into trouble play the safe shot. You will end up scoring so much better in the long run.

    Good Luck

    Great advice. That is probably the main reason many of us do not score better is that we try harder. Keeping within ourselves is sometimes hard to do, but should be done to relax and enjoy the game

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    To me getting a round going just comes from confidence.  If I get on a run I start thinking that every putt i hit is going in, or that every wedge I hit is going to be tight.  The other thing to get something started is just staying within fundamentals of my swing and course management.

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    19hole

    md,

    By far the most common mistake that is made by an amatuer during the round......not playing within thier abilities. It is very common for a player to get on a bit of a roll. They will then start to swing a bit harder, shoot for the tight pins and try shots that they just don't have. They are playing well and are becoming confident that they can hit anything.

    My advise....go with what got you on the roll. Don't try to hit it further, play away from tough pins and when you get into trouble play the safe shot. You will end up scoring so much better in the long run.

    Good Luck

    I agree with this. I know I am not going to get on a par 5 in two, so on my second shot instead of hitting my longest club, I hit a club that will give me the yardage to hit my best club onto the green, in regulation. 

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    Tar Heel

    MD, a good question.

    What moved me from a 12+ to a 7 handicap was work on the putting green, and not merely putting the ball. My golf professional at the time told me to use the Harvey Penick strategy of learning the consequences of each shot. The drill goes like this;

    Take one ball and chip it to a location on the putting surface. Then take your putter and get the ball into the hole. The key learning is that you want to have no more than 2 shots to get from off the green into the cup. As most pros will tell you, the most shots in a round are squandered on or near the green. So the "consequence" of each shot is really what helps train you to stop the bogeys and get to pars with pitching development.

    And trust me, once you pitch them close and drop a par this way, your confidence will soar. As I said, once I got this drilled into my thinking, I was able to quickly drop scores and my handicap. Good luck! 

    good tip, that is exactly how I have my son practice his short game. Every shot is linked to the next, good or bad. Penick's "The Little Red Book "has some excellent tips and thought processes to use.

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    19hole

    md,

    By far the most common mistake that is made by an amateur during the round......not playing within their abilities. It is very common for a player to get on a bit of a roll. They will then start to swing a bit harder, shoot for the tight pins and try shots that they just don't have. They are playing well and are becoming confident that they can hit anything.

    My advise....go with what got you on the roll. Don't try to hit it further, play away from tough pins and when you get into trouble play the safe shot. You will end up scoring so much better in the long run.

    Good Luck

    Again, great advice from 19. Start the day with an idea on how to get around the course and stick to it. I like to play the hole through in my head on the tee and think of what I want to do and where I want the ball to go. If I miss, then stick to the plan and don't turn a 5 into a 7 by being a hero.

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    As this nice weekend winds down with a quiet evening, I stumbled onto a question the Ambassador started on this thread.  I know this was started way a while ago, but felt that the answers were all very valuable.

    Particularly, "go with what got you on the roll."

    It's a motto I would like keep.  

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    Focus on the shot at hand - know where you want it to go and where you can make a mistake and get away with it. Then, make a confident shot. Often, when we get "on a roll", we attempt "risky" shots instead of making solid shots. As with most things, you have to take advantage of situations where you can go "flag hunting" with low risk and be aware of when you should use caution. You'll find the key to lower scores is in eliminating disasters (double bogeys).