Mental Toughness


A mental coach would read this post and say you’re just giving yourself permission to give up on your round because of a few bad swings.

I won’t necessarily go that far. :wink:

Look, sometimes we all have days where you just can’t even hit it on the planet. Those are rough. And some of this varies by where you live and what kind of course you play. I’m in Arizona and playing a lot of desert courses is rough because a missed drive is very often a lost ball and a penalty stroke. (It’s a real pleasure to travel and play a course where maybe I’m just in the trees or some high grass.)

But with that said, to me, the best feeling in golf is making a score after a terrible shot. I f-ing love making par after hitting a bad shot and a huge part of that is mentally not giving in after a bad shot–not getting down on yourself, choosing the best way to play your next, and grinding the rest of the hole. That’s where the mental side can benefit your game (and golf can start to be more fun). Hit a bad drive? It’s an opportunity! Is that corny as hell? Sure it is, but golf tends to make the mid sour so getting a little corny as an antidote is really not the worst solution.



Then breaking par just turns into a matter of did you make a couple putts.

This is all very easy to say, but once you reach a certain level of ballstriking, thats kind of what it turns into.

The trouble i have, is that i hit A LOT of greens, and essentially every fairway. Putter has always been dogshit.


100%. My rounds generally go two directions. 1) Hit 14 greens, never take a penalty stroke, but shoot 74 and say there’s no chance in hell I should have been over par today. 2) Hit 12 greens, capitalize on a few birdie chances, get up and down well and shoot 70…feeling like I got pretty much everything I could have expected to out of the round. It all comes together for great rounds about as often as it all goes south for something close to 80, but 90% of the time it’s one of those two scenarios describes. Pretty similar to what you experience it sounds like.


It is so good to hear that is someone else’s reality too! Golf game pretty much lives and dies by how many “makable” putts find the bottom of the hole.


Yep. Lol.

last weekend was member member. On sunday, i hit 15 greens. Had a double, followed by an eagle (group ahead said it lipped out for double eagle, tapped in for 3), airmailed a green from 90 yards, and shot one over. Legitimately should have been -4 on the front alone and shot par.


Haha love this and can relate so badly it makes me cringe. I once had 8 birdies in the first round of our state stroke play tourney, including 5 straight and 7 total on the back side. Shot…EVEN.


Haha! I had 3 birdies in 9 last year and was even par.

I’ve had so many shitty rounds at par its incredible. And i’ve had a lot of good 73s. Golf is wild.


Steer into it. Don’t look at it as an opportunity to fail - look at it is an opportunity to succeed. Be excited that you have a chance to play really well.


1st round of club champs last year, I shake hands with one of my playing partners after he cleans up his 4 footer for 73, turns to me and says “you should have had me by at least 5 today.” He clipped me by five… if I recall (and I desperately try to forget) 40 putts


ohhh, ouch!




I was early 20s and one of my playing partners was one of the best high school players in the state, but we’d never played together before. I had just doubled hole 10, a pretty easy par 5 if you hit reasonable shots, and was now 6 over. Bev cart came around and I looked at him and said “I’m going to drink some beer and make some birdies!”. He gives me this look of “dude, you couldn’t make a birdie right now if you were putting at a swimming pool”. Pounded a silver bullet and birdied 11-15, 17 and 18. Longest birdie putt was a 12-footer on 18 to get back to even, was so fantastic haha.


Incredible. Regularly use the beer method to flip a sloppy round.

Most birdies I have made is 3 in a row and man, didn’t think I could ever miss. Can’t imagine what 5 in a row had you feeling like.


5 remains my most and I’ve only duplicated it once. Anything over 2 gets my juices flowing!


Some serious sticks in this thread.

I made four in a row once, two summers ago. Not sure I had ever made three in a row before, honestly, but after I did I knew I had the easiest hole on the course coming up. Made 6 birdies that day, I think also a record for me.

I used to have the game that many of the above posts describe (make a few putts and shoot 72, miss them and shoot 74) and all I can say is cherish it, because it can go a lot quicker than you think. My game just up and vanished on me earlier this year, to the point where I was struggling to break 80. I still had all the good shots but I was so inconsistent that I couldn’t avoid the big numbers. Shooting 80 with a biride, a bogey, and four doubles is honestly miserable.


No fun I’m sure, but if your handicap reflects it you’d be an absolute destroyer in match play as a 5 or so playing that way!


Man that sounds tough. Do you have any ideas or thoughts of what turned on you?

Seems like a lot of us in here have similar issues. I’d say I do not hit it as well as you guys but putting and short game has always been a tool for me. I’ve been hitting it a lot better this year and had some opportunities to shoot some scores. I cannot seem to get over the hump or “go low” for an 18 hole round.

My last scores have been:
72 - Tournament
74 - Home
74 - Tournament
71 - Home
70 - Tournament

Anyone have any advice to help me turn those 7’s into 6’s?


If you’re like me you can probably look at all those rounds and come up with 2 or 3 instances where you completely threw away a chance. Think missing the green from the fairway from 140 or less, missing a short putt, or botching the up and in on a par 5 for an easy birdie. Generally, my rounds in the 60s have none of those instances (I’m nowhere near good enough to play OK and still shoot 3+ under, so the round has to be essentially free of any of those kinds of mistakes).

Alternatively, maybe you have one glaring weakness - like having terrible proximity to the hole from inside 100, or poor long iron ball striking. If that’s the case, work on correcting it and see what happens.


As i said earlier. Play for par and the birdies will come. Thats as far as i am right now with my game. Irons can get hot and then i’ll push the envelope a bit with targets. But i’ve found you can break par with 18 mediocre iron shots, so long as you have a good idea where your miss is going.


Yeah, it’s very simply. I don’t play very much anymore.

I played reasonably often in my 20s and was pretty good. Then I had a kid at the end of 2010, barely played for a year, and my game fell off the planet, as you’d expect. In time, as I started playing again, it came back.

By 2014-2016, I had gotten quite good again. That was maybe the best I’ve been (the other candidate would be the summer of 2001 when I was actually working at a golf course and playing every day). I was at that point working from home and so I could set my own schedule and play reasonably often. I was, in the summer, probably playing at least once a week, which was often enough that my swing never really got rusty, plus had a few trips scattered in there where I got some tournament reps or weekends with multiple rounds.

But in early 2017 I started back to having an office job and now I just don’t play very much. Even in the summer when golf is cheap in Arizona, I haven’t been playing much. My rounds are clustered into groups–a trip with some friends in February, an upcoming trip in two weeks, but there’s not enough consistent play.

That’s obviously going to lead to inconsistency.

But to some extent it’s also hard to avoid when you have a full time job, a wife, two kids, etc.