Getting Worse Before You Get Better…(Opinions please)


Tour Rookie
May 3, 2011
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So using my shot tracker + scorecard I’m not playing horrifically throughoutbut right now but I can’t seem to shake making 3-4 triples per round which are absolutely soul destroying.

Where I make a triple I tend to make two mistakes (e.g. bad tee shot + poor chip) and where I make double it’s one mistake (e.g. 3 putt).

The triple bogey mistakes on those holes are variable but predominantly seem to involve getting in trouble off the tee (75%) followed by duffed shots into penalty areas/hazards (25%).

There’s only one hole where I seem to struggle consistently and everything else is variable.

During the summer I had whittled down the doubles and triples so my scores were 5-10 strokes lower than they are right now.
It's good that you're meeting a track of these things. I'm sure it will help in your progress.
There's a descending list of course management decisions which make scores better. In sure if you do a search you can find a properly. researched one.
But roughly it's:
Avoid penalty shots.
Avoid bunkers.
Avoid having to come out sideways.
It's surprising how simple things like aim and clubbing will make a difference. Maybe keep a track of how you're doing on these 3 over a stretch.


Sep 25, 2022
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This is because a lot of people put an unnecessary amount of importance/significance on playing in a comp, and more so if they see it a a major (board comp). But the way they play in practice/casual rounds isn’t preparing them for having to count every shot. In fact it’s probably training their brain in the opposite way.

There is no difference in playing a casual round to a comp round. There is no difference other than in a players head and the pressure they put themselves under. So we need to either treat every shot like it doesn’t matter, or every shot like it does. But not mix them.
Yes, for me it’s not the comp per se but every time I have a card in my hand I put myself on a quest to break 90 (my summer goal tbh). A bad score on a hole immediately makes me spiral for a few holes and I start questioning why I’m even playing (ridiculous I know) and struggling to make 100.

What’s wild to me is that I play with quite a few single digit handicap golfers and their ability to make the odd similar mistake as me but not be too phased and simply make a recovery feels like a superhuman ability!

Doon frae Troon

Ryder Cup Winner
Mar 5, 2012
S W Scotland
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One of the golden rules of scoring is to not hit two consecutive bad shots.
Once you have hit a shot just forget about it. Let it go.
That includes good shots as well as bad.
Birdie putts become just another put, nothing to get excited about.

Miracle recovery shots are seldom successful.
Take your medicine and accept a dropped shot


Occasional Tour Caddy
Nov 20, 2011
Port Louis
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If your target is to break 90 how do you think you’re gonna give yourself a chance to do that

On a par72 course it’s one shot less than averaging bogey golf… but ask yourself is that doable for your game, on your course and from the tees you’ve chosen? If its not then where has this break 90 target come from or is it just a wish/hope target

If its not working now doing what you’re doing then change it. Decide what would need to change in order to give yourself a chance to play bogey golf, then make the change/s, i.e

If the course is too long change it and go forward a set of tees
If your tee shot isn’t in play enough then use a club that will change that on the holes its needed
If your chipping is poor in the wet/wind then practice it in the wet/wind (same for putting etc)
If chasing GIR gets you in trouble on some holes then change it & find the safe layup target and aim for that with a shorter club
Etc etc

If you change nothing chances are nothing will change


Hall of Famer
Aug 6, 2007
Bracknell - Berkshire
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I went through something similar where I'd play 16 good holes and chuck two car crashes in. Card destroying in medals and enough to take me out of contention in stablefords. It was never the same two holes and never the same mistake (bad tee shot, poor second OOB/into penalty area etc, duffed chips). It was like playing Russian roulette waiting for it to happen. In the end I changed my mind set after a pod cast about starting every shot from point A -

No matter where the ball ends up we're starting at the beginning so plan your next shot based solely on that and what you want to achieve, not what has just happened or what you need to do to save par, score a point etc


May 10, 2017
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Get a pre shot routine and do it before every shot, if you feel uncomfortable walk away and do your pre shot again. Stop setting scoring targets before you go out, its a hobby which we are supposed to enjoy, we are not playing for our livelihood. Have a read of a couple of Bob Rotella books, its all common sense really but has helped me loads. Also have a look at some of Lou Stagner's stats regarding proximity of shots for different handicaps and you'll see you're expectations are too high. Just keep going but above all go out and enjoy it even though there will be times you just want to throw all your clubs in the nearest pond