Mental strategy

Does anyone have some sort of mental strategy when playing. Someone told me that I should take the course three holes at a time, but I find when I have a bad hole especially when is the first hole, I can't come back from it and my round is ruined. What type of strategies do you guys have?

People say to just forget about that hole. However, this is not as easy as it seems. What I do she I have a bad hole is take the round 1 shot at a time. Always think about your swing thought and remember what you feel like when you're making great swings. Just keep it simple and take the round 1 well thought out shot at a time. Good luck and hope this helped!

Justin, 
I have heard that same technique.  I am a 14 handicap.  I usually have one blow up a round.  I have started doing two things to help me recover from a bad hole.  First, after a bad hole I go over all the good shots that I had.  For instance, I had a 10 on a par five the other day.  Instead of ranting about the OB ball and the Skulled sand shot, I thought about the good 2nd drive, and the good chip recovery.  Sometimes bad holes are a matter of a bad kick, not judging the greens correctly, not a bad hit.  Finally, when I get on the next tee, I think to myself.... at least I am not at work, I take a deep breath and I hit the next tee shot.  I have become very good at following a double or worse with a par/birdie.  If I don't, then I keep taking each hole by itself until I do.  Since I have started this technique, I have started finishing very well, even to 1 over on the last 5 holes, that is good for me.

Simply put...  Bad hole, go over the good shots that you had, then flush it before the next tee.   
Good Luck,
Dave 

I find that when I slow the game down and try to focus and execute each shot I score well. Even if I hit a bad shot I try to refocus, take my medicine, and make a par or bogey. You will most likely be able to make up one or two bogies, but one or two doubles and your round isn't looking so hot.

The mental aspect of golf is a difficult dragon to slay especially when you let the first hole

determine your entire round. My advice is to attempt to have the same mindset you do after you

make three birdies in a row, or something comparable. Your positive, confident, and feeling

like your going to drain another one if you make it on in GIR. One hole really isn't going to break

or make your round unless the number is something ridiculous. However, one strategy isn't going

to work for everyone. You can stay with the 3 hole approach, or go to a one hole at a time method

or even play the hole backwards in your mind in order to mentally set up each shot beforehand.

My first instructor left me with some advice I still maintain as an assistant pro at my country club.

Think bad, play bad. Don't forget, golf is a game, have fun.

my mental strategy is think more positively. Say you hit a well struck shot but it ended up bad you shouldnt get angry about it. Another thing is play every hole 1 par higher. 3s as 4s 4s as 5s and so on makes it easier

All I can kind of say is cetain approaches don't work for everybody. Kind of like fad diets, Nutrisystem might work for some but not all. Maybe go back or try to remember what made you successful at certain areas of your golf game. Anything positive can be a building block whether it's a solid iron shot or putt made is a start. I'm no sports psychologist but visualizing shots or where you want to be might help. If not, there's always that mental game material on Golf Channel.

I use Dr. Morris Pickens strategy, he is a sports psychologist and has three major championships under his belt. It's pretty complex and I'm still working on it. He has written two books on it. But basically it consists of the 4rs. When you are thinking your best, you focus on one shot at a time. Your best chance of focusing on one shot at a time is to have a thinking process which occupies your mind. The thinking process which has helped produce over 200 victories including 10 PGA tour victories and 3 major championships is called "The 4r's of golf". In order for this process to improve your game, it must become a consistent part of your game, not an "add-on" when you feel it's needed. It's always needed. 

1st R: Refocusing

Refocusing refers to how you process all the relevant information before playing the upcoming shot. It occurs about 5-10 steps before you get to your ball, and you want to think of refocusing as the time you "tune back in" to golf. Refocusing must occur on every shot because without it, it is impossible to athletically "look and react" and hit great shots or putts.

2nd R: Routine

An effective pre-shot routine is really a combination of two distinct routine, one physical and one mental. When meshed together, they provide a relaxed yet consitent focus which will allow you to hit good shots. The three components of an effective mental routine are: 1) a very specific target, 2) one positive swing thought, 3) commitment to the shot. The objective of including a swing though in your mental routine is to occupy your mind so that you can stay calm and focused, free of other distractions. There is no such thing as a partial routine.

3rd R: React

The first meaning of react is letting your eyes come back to the ball and swinging the club. The second meaning of react is how you respond mentally, emotionally, and physically after you hit the shot. How could you go from hitting it so good to so poor so quickly? Easy --- You lost trust in your body's ability to react to the target. Working on your swing while playing is an invitation to worse play. Use an "emotional zone" (ei. tee box for bad drive, bunker for bad bunker shots, green for bad putts) to get out your frustration, accept it as part of the game, and get over it and on to the next shot.

4th R: Relax

Thinking about golf consistently is almost always counterproductive to great golf. Learn to enjoy the journey of the day. Playing relaxed, even under intense competitive situations, is a process that you can learn to control and excel in.

The 4r's is HOW you "play one shot at a time". To get results, you don't focus on the results.

All this above takes time, I have only given you two pages out of a 120+ page book. I suggest you try to find on of them, they are great. But remember golf is a game that loves to beat you down, you must have a positive resilient mindset.

Dr. Mo's two books - Learn to win one shot at a time. & Learn tow win a major.

Always think of the shot that your about to play and never have a negative thought about it. Also, always take it one hole at a time, you can't change what has already happened. Think of it this way, any hot streak you've ever been on while playing is not a fluke but what you're truly capable of doing. Create a pre-shop routine and stick to it for every shot; there will be times for the more difficult shots that a couple extra practice swings will be helpful, but never deter from this routine. The routine will help you set your mind before each shot.

If you want a great book to read, buy "Golf is not a Game of Perfect." Helped me a lot.

I just try to have fun. I am 13 and I hate walking 9 holes alone. I always try to get paired with someone. Then you start talking to them and you don't really care about how you play but you play good. Why? Because your not thinking about it. I play on my inter-club team and last year I won the last even we played at the Peninsula Club. Same with last year, I won this year because I was having fun and just wasn't thinking about it. Try it! Never walk 9 holes alone and always start a conversation.

Thanks everyone for the great advice, I really appreciate it. I am a high school golfer and I posted this because I just came off a round of 77 with a triple on 16. 76 would of put me into CIF individual so I was just getting some ideas on how to handle those types of holes.
Justin R
Thanks everyone for the great advice, I really appreciate it. I am a high school golfer and I posted this because I just came off a round of 77 with a triple on 16. 76 would of put me into CIF individual so I was just getting some ideas on how to handle those types of holes.
The first step in playing better golf is to not take the game seriously. That makes it easier to shake off bad shots. Take your time, check your setup when stepping up to the ball.
Everyone has bad holes even the pros. Take one shot at a time. Don't get angry. The best pros hit bad shots but it's not the bad shot we remember, it's the recovery and resolve they show thereafter. Golf is fun and relaxing unless ur a pro and it's ur job. Remember that. I hit three terrible shots today during my round but I hit three great recovers on my way to a tough 74
3 pars in a row (GIR) yesterday then I lost my swing and had a triple bogey. Able to recover and finish with two bogeys.

Chris G
Everyone has bad holes even the pros. Take one shot at a time. Don't get angry. The best pros hit bad shots but it's not the bad shot we remember, it's the recovery and resolve they show thereafter. Golf is fun and relaxing unless ur a pro and it's ur job. Remember that. I hit three terrible shots today during my round but I hit three great recovers on my way to a tough 74

You hit the nail on the head..... when you look at the pros, it's the amazing attitude and recovery shot we remember, not the fact that they were in the trees (Bubba) or missed the green and in the bunker.  It is easier said than done to keep a positive attitude when you know you should have nailed the shot and it doesn't come off the way you imagined it, but if you can do that, you will have more energy focusing on making a good shot (rather than negative energy dragging you down). That's my two cents :)