Josh’s Tips & Tricks: Stop Scoring

Golf | 17 May, 2023


Hello golfers. Welcome to this weeks tips & tricks. We have had our first good week of steady weather and it’s fair to say the golfing atmosphere is improving! People are getting out on the course and enjoying themselves. This week is something you can practice on the course now ready for the upcoming competitions. It’s all about scoring and how mentally it can distract you from your game. Lets have a look.


On Course Practice

We all like shooting good scores and improving our handicaps. Ultimately that is the aim of the game. However this doesn’t always have to be the case. Sometimes when we go onto the course it’s good to not score at all and practice the things we have worked on in lessons or on the range. We know how difficult it can be to take swing changes onto the course so having rounds when we focus on that can really help. Practicing out of bunkers, practicing long putts, practicing hitting different clubs off the tee are how we should be practicing on the course ready for competitions.

9 Hole Scoring

How many of you keep constant track of your scores or tally them up after 9 holes? I bet almost everyone. This can mentally be destructive in competition. If you have had a good front 9. 21 points (-3) for example. Your brain now knows that you are actually doing better than you should. You can get a bit excited and try to work out how you’re going to do on the back 9. When you stood on the first tee you didn’t know how well you were going to do that day so you didn’t have that thought process. Within the next few holes its then common for some bad shots to creep in and you have “bottled it” or “blown it”. You then feel disappointed because you think you should be doing what you did on the front 9. Correct me if i’m wrong! Opposite to that is shooting a poor 9 hole score. You walk up to the 10th tee feeling disheartened and then you’re trying to chase it or even worse giving up.

Next Shot Only

When I used to do a bit of running I used to tell myself when I was getting tired “just put one foot in front of the other”. Eventually you will get to where you set off for. The same thing can be applied to your golf. You can only focus on the next shot in front of you. You can’t do anything about your previous shots so there’s no point dwelling on them. Try to focus on each shot from the first tee to the last putt and then inbetween play each hole one at a time. If you play holes with a plan and then within that plan focus on each shot you should score better. Then at the end of the round you tally it up and see how you did. Likelihood will be is that you have a steadier score if you play golf this way.


Don’t get distracted by your score. Good or Bad. If you’re playing well, stick to the game plan and just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t change anything! If you don’t feel like you’re playing too well, try to take a deep breath, take in some food and fluids and smile. You should still be enjoying yourself! Golf is meant to be enjoyed whether you play well or not. Good scoring will take care of itself when you strike the ball sensibly and chip and putt well. If you lose balls off the tee or have lots of putts your score will be affected. Practice will help you do these things and with time and patience you understand how to deal with the emotions you experience on a golf course.

If you have any questions about Sport Psychology within golf come and have a chat with me.

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Catch you soon.