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A 2nd plea for mental game help

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Saturday, July 23rd, 2005
Categories: Hackers

In this post I talk about needing some help with the mental game. I still do.

I’ve been shooting some low scores, for 14 or 15 holes. Like last Sunday in a tournament I was -4 after 14. I blew a gasket and leaked oil the rest of the round. Went from 1st to a gimpy 75 and not in the money.

I’ve had probably 15-20 rounds this year where I’m any were from even par to -5 on the back 9, only to give it back by the time the round is over. I had a 31/41 round of 72 the other day. If there is such a thing as a disappointing even par round, that was it.

I chatted with a couple of the pros at my club about this. They say the key is to not go conservative. Don’t try to protect that -4 round, try to increase it to -5, -6. I see their point. But it’s not like I’m playing conservative all the sudden. I start to literally get butterflies in my stomach and have breathing problems. I’ll then have some kind of brain dead moment where I make a stupid course management choice or flub a very easy shot.

For instance: I’m in a tourney last week. I’m grinding big time. I started out with 9 pars in a row and then birdie #10. On #16, a 200 yard par 3, I decide a 5 iron is the right club. I then grab my 6 iron, clean it and knock it 15 yards short. So disappointed with that bogey, I sky my drive and bogey 17. Bogey 18. Domino effect.

I’m going to try the aggressive idea and see if I can build on that good round. Sounds like a good thing to try.

But what calms those butterflies of excitement when you’re playing great and you’re thinking “this could be the best round I’ve ever shot.” The second you say that you’re dead.

I’m thinking perhaps all the experience of getting that close will eventually pay off and I’ll break through with a personal world record low round. Maybe the floodgates would be open then.

Any ideas, thoughts or input on improving or strengthening the mental side?

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