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I sense frustration. Maybe you are trying too hard? Maybe nerves get in the way? Try not to think too much about your total score and just think par on tough holes and birdies on easier holes and of course 1 shot at a time.
Are you a guy that makes a lot of birdies? Are you a great putter?
Is your course rating greater than your par for your course?
I don't want you to take this the wrong way but maybe you are not yet at the point ability wise to put 18 strong holes together. I play a par 70 (course rating 72) course and I rarely break par for 18 holes. But I will also have a good 9 where I am 1 under (I don't make many birdies as I am not a great putter but I don't make many mistakes and I don't make many doubles). and then shoot 2 over + on the other. I am just not good enough to consistently shoot under par. But I am also not a very good putter.
What is your handicap?
Sometimes it is just tough to play 18 holes well together even for a great player.
Do you make a lot of birdies and also bigger numbers or are you a "GIR and 2 putt" kind of player?
If you are around par nearly every time you play you WILL break par. Just keep plugging away and you will break it. Then after you break it it will get easier.
Think about the course you play and think of holes that are birdie holes. How many are "birdie" holes? Then hopefully you will birdie some of them. Then be smart on all the others. And avoid any big numbers.
For me I will need 2 - 4 birdies typically to shoot under par as I will make 1 - 3 bogies.
Just an FYI, I am a 2 and shoot under par maybe 1-2% of the time so it is rare for me. But I am a 2 and the way I play (not making many birdies typically) makes it tougher for me. Hopefully you are better than I am.
Best of luck. I hope this helps and stay confident, if you can do it for 9 you will do it for 18 at some point.
As long as your result oriented you will never be the best player you can be. Stop focusing on outcome and just focus on the shot at hand. Your muscles know what to do .... the mental game is where you need work. A friend of mine asked me one day if I had to think about driving my car. I said no. He said why not? I said because it natural. So should you game be a natural flow of one shot after another. The results will always be the results you can't change that but you can however change you approach..
I would suggest talking with someone who has been a highly competitive player (PGA, Mini-Tour, etc.). They should be help you with the mental focus needed to perform in and out of pressure situations.
I'm sure you've heard it a million times, but it's all about patience and playing your round 1 shot at a time. Play smart golf, and don't think about what could be and before you know it, you'll have shot an 18 hole score that is under par. Don't let your head get in the way.
Also, make sure that you keep yourself fueled up throughout the round. The summer months especially require you to plan ahead more than you would in the fall. It's no fun to play hungry or dehydrated. Do everything you can to take these controllable elements out of the equation so that you can focus on the golf at hand.
First off, congrats on playing well. I was where you are at years ago. Then it occurred to me that I was playing the golf course hole by hole. What I scored on each 9 or even all 18 was completely arbitrary. All it was doing was becoming a mental barrier to playing even better. Also, if you've never been there or find it difficult to get under par, you could be suffering from comfort zone syndrome. That's where you are used to shooting 72-75 and when you suddenly see yourself 2 or 3 under, your mind secretly panics and sabotages you from continuing the momentum. It wants the assured outcome rather than the unknown of a career low round. Once I got score and 9's out of my head, the low scores came in bunches. I've actually had several rounds where I made so many birdies i didn't know where I stood until I counted them up at the end. Good luck!
Great stuff guys! I love hearing this type of stuff from great players! Trust in your abilities. Trust in your Titleist. Trust you will break through! For me, I am average off the tee and approach shots are good but my short game is what saves me. I love every Titleist club in my bag but I love my Vokeys and my Cameron as I feel I can get up and down from just about anywhere. Just to reiterate from the other great comments...it is mental. If you believe you can or believe you can't...well then your right! I believe that I can pull off just about any shot. Cheers to career low rounds gentlemen!
success is building a house one brick at a time.
ultimately, it's not about completing the house.
it's about the joy in the building of it.
enjoy the game.
enjoy the journey...
Just like tommy said, the most important thing is eating and drinking properly on the course. Sure you need to play smart and know when and when not to fire at certain pins but keeping you mind and body the same through the round by eating and drinking properly is just as important. Take some trail mix or something and eat some every few holes even if you aren't hungry, because once you are it's too late.
Everyone has given you good advice. Here's something else to try.
Collect your stats: Fairways Hit, Greens In Regulation, Putts Per Round, for the course and tee's you're currently using.
Experiment for a couple rounds, play from shorter tee's or find an easier course. If your score stays about the same then maybe it is just a mental block. If your score does go down, it might suggest that the course and the tee's you're currently playing might be at your games current limit. Compare the stats, if it's not a mental block those stats should indicate where you need to make some improvements.
Recently I switched to the senior tees. When I compared the stats, the Greens In Regulation shot up, Putts Per Round dropped, and the scores naturally came down. Playing shorter approach shots made all the difference. Now I'm working with my pro to get more distance off the tee and, I'm hoping to get a re-fit at a Regional Fitter when the 915's come out.
Might be worth a try???
lots of good info here for sure. I also have problems shooting under par on 18 holes. had a couple times i have been under par on 9 holes at some very difficult courses but cant hold it together for 18 holes. Lots of good points here. Thinks i have noticed is with these 90 degree plus days drink water every single hole! Dont get a candy bar at the turn either LOL.
I also found that focusing more on every shot helps a lot. think about where you normally mishit (left, right, short, long etc). Dont take dead aim at every pin play to places you wont get hurt if you dont hit your shot perfectly. Example pin is front right, bunkers short right and short left and water all the way down the left. Hit a club that if you dont hit perfect you will be a little long or right just dont short side yourself. rarely any golf course will have trouble all the way around every green. I learned the hard way if you pin seek every hole you end up in trouble a lot unless you are a pro and hit a ton of greens. short game and putting are what i need to work on. driver is consistently 275ish and irons are pretty good. my woods are so so need to get fitted for them so i try to avoid them just laying up on par 5 and have a nice easy approach in. Just try to think more and take the less risky option and eat and drink good the entire round and you will hopefully be there! I sure hope i get to where im flirty with par and under every 18 holes!