Finishing good rounds!

tomahawk18

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Last month I was playing Ka'anapali on Maui from the Blue tees a few days after the Senior Skins Game was there. I started with a double on one, bogey on two, but then birdied 3 of the next 6 holes. Made the turn at 1 over and was 2 over through 14. I started thinking, "I am on pace for a career round on a Championship course". I really felt tried not to think about it too much, but doubled 15, par on 16. Bombed a drive on 17 and had 110 over water. Hit a 50 degree wedge fat into the water, (rarely hit it fat like that), and ended 17 with double. Ended the round shooting an dissapointing 80. In the clubhouse, I couldn't help but think the reason I finished like that was the pressure I put on myself to "finish strong". This isn't the first time this has happened to me. I guess I am wondering a few of things:

1. How do I avoid doing this?
2. Do others have problems like this?
3. Is it all mental? HAHA
 

lcsmrtn

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1. Practice, practice ( so those shots become automatic)
2. Absolutely
3. Absolutely, although fatigue could be an issue as well
 

thepete

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Last month I was playing Ka'anapali on Maui from the Blue tees a few days after the Senior Skins Game was there. I started with a double on one, bogey on two, but then birdied 3 of the next 6 holes. Made the turn at 1 over and was 2 over through 14. I started thinking, "I am on pace for a career round on a Championship course". I really felt tried not to think about it too much, but doubled 15, par on 16. Bombed a drive on 17 and had 110 over water. Hit a 50 degree wedge fat into the water, (rarely hit it fat like that), and ended 17 with double. Ended the round shooting an dissapointing 80. In the clubhouse, I couldn't help but think the reason I finished like that was the pressure I put on myself to "finish strong". This isn't the first time this has happened to me. I guess I am wondering a few of things:

1. How do I avoid doing this?
2. Do others have problems like this?
3. Is it all mental? HAHA
1. Don't think about golf between shots.
2. Yes! :D
3. Mostly, if not even completely.

Check the tournament pressure thread - probs some good advice there. In the end it's about pressure and the mental game.
 

tomahawk18

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1. Don't think about golf between shots.
2. Yes! :D
3. Mostly, if not even completely.

Check the tournament pressure thread - probs some good advice there. In the end it's about pressure and the mental game.
It's funny, I play well under pressure in tourneys, (for the most part). HAHA. But my biggest goal is to shoot under par and I have been very close 5 or 6 times in the past year and haven't finished a single one strong. Yet I finish strong quite often to make a average round better. I have won tourneys before, but have never shot under par, so I am openly wondering if I put too much pressure on myself to finally do it after 20 years of golf. My low round last year was 76, and I should have finished that round better too. Fatigue is and interesting thought. I am a big dude.
 

Golf 'N Gator

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Its all mental. I just refuse to allow any thoughts about what I could shoot or anything negative to come into my mind while playing. I keep all thoughts 100% positive all the time. Brush off bad shots. You know they will come so when they do, I just move on quickly. You can do nothing about the shot you just hit. Think only about the great shot you are about to hit.
 

tomahawk18

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Its all mental. I just refuse to allow any thoughts about what I could shoot or anything negative to come into my mind while playing. I keep all thoughts 100% positive all the time. Brush off bad shots. You know they will come so when they do, I just move on quickly. You can do nothing about the shot you just hit. Think only about the great shot you are about to hit.
Great points.
 

thepete

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It's funny, I play well under pressure in tourneys, (for the most part). HAHA. But my biggest goal is to shoot under par and I have been very close 5 or 6 times in the past year and haven't finished a single one strong. Yet I finish strong quite often to make a average round better. I have won tourneys before, but have never shot under par, so I am openly wondering if I put too much pressure on myself to finally do it after 20 years of golf. My low round last year was 76, and I should have finished that round better too. Fatigue is and interesting thought. I am a big dude.

You are probably too 'aware' of your goal and the end result, rather than focusing on the next part in the process. That might be why you finish so-so rounds strong as well - your "ultimate" goal is out of reach so you relax and try to make the best of the day, not thinking about what you "have to do". You're focusing on what you can do.
 

Golf 'N Gator

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I know it is easier said than done, but I work on the mental part as much as I do hitting balls on the range. Have to keep it all positive.
 

JNRadio

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How's the old saying go... "The last three holes of a round always adjust your score to what it really should be..." or something to that affect... (effect?)
 

IronForty

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I'd worry about avoiding fatigue (eat and hydrate throughout the round) and lack of concentration over your shots at the end. Stop thinking about the potentially good round and finish each hole as well as possible. It doesn't help to be thinking about a score that isn't real yet, or to think of ways to ruin that potentially good score.
 

tomahawk18

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How's the old saying go... "The last three holes of a round always adjust your score to what it really should be..." or something to that affect... (effect?)
Sounds about right!
 

tomahawk18

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You are probably too 'aware' of your goal and the end result, rather than focusing on the next part in the process. That might be why you finish so-so rounds strong as well - your "ultimate" goal is out of reach so you relax and try to make the best of the day, not thinking about what you "have to do". You're focusing on what you can do.
Very good analysis. I need to employ this. I made some very loose swings at the end of that round that I rarely make. I was thinking too much. I hope that once I get over the hump, it will start coming easier.
 

rrpruett

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How's the old saying go... "The last three holes of a round always adjust your score to what it really should be..." or something to that affect... (effect?)
Wow I had never heard that but its sooo true for me. I can be shooting a great round AND THEN :at-wits-end:
 

#Cookie

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Another thing that may help is to avoid tallying your score if at all possible. If you are a single digit handicapper you probably always know your relation to par but if you are a 22 or something like me and breaking 90 is a goal I would avoid tallying your score after 9. I have started to do this as a way of not putting unnecessary pressure to finish with the needed pars or whatever.
 

Dent

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All great advice above, everyone get's that. DO NOT think of your score. I like pete's advice about not thinking about golf inbetween shots as well.
 

JNRadio

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Another thing that may help is to avoid tallying your score if at all possible. If you are a single digit handicapper you probably always know your relation to par but if you are a 22 or something like me and breaking 90 is a goal I would avoid tallying your score after 9. I have started to do this as a way of not putting unnecessary pressure to finish with the needed pars or whatever.
I never add my score anymore up until I'm done now, you start playing the "if I do this on the back, I'll shoot XX" in you head. Then you get one bogie and you start saying "well now I really have to go for it on these last few holes to shoot XX" etc and so on...
 

Hanks

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I don't even bother adding up my score until the end now. I've been doing this for a while and I think it helps a little bit. You generally know if you're having a good round or not so why jinx yourself?
 

Dent

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I don't even bother adding up my score until the end now. I've been doing this for a while and I think it helps a little bit. You generally know if you're having a good round or not so why jinx yourself?
As hard as I try not to count up my score it always seems to be in my head? You ever get that? Usually I play the first hole and I go, "okay, Par, EVEN" next hole "Bogey, +1" and as much as I try not to count in my head it always keeps coming up with my +1, +2 numbers, so I always know where I am.

Maybe this is an indication im not focused enough.
 

tomahawk18

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As hard as I try not to count up my score it always seems to be in my head? You ever get that? Usually I play the first hole and I go, "okay, Par, EVEN" next hole "Bogey, +1" and as much as I try not to count in my head it always keeps coming up with my +1, +2 numbers, so I always know where I am.

Maybe this is an indication im not focused enough.
I agree, I am rarely over par enough to not know where I am at. And it is really hard if I string together a few pars and maybe a birdie. I think it is harder not to know where you stand. I just don't think I am able to completely disconnect my brain from my score.
 

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you get used to it. you need to develop a go to shot that might not be ideal, but at least you know it only going to miss in one direction. eventually you will come to realize what your common mistakes are under pressure, and once you have that you do everything in your power to do the opposite. that is my method, it may not work for everyone. a lot of people simply focus on breathing.
 

Drumdog

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I use to fall into that trap of (finishing strong").
I would try to finish strong and end up making terrible mistakes after small ones.
I'd hit a not so perfect shot and then try to make a hero shot to make up for the last one.
All that did was compound the problem. Then after a bogey, I would tell myself I had to make birdie to make up the score and that led to more bad choices.
Now, I don't worry too much about the score and try to take it one hole at a time and if possible just one shot at a time.
The old saying ... "the most important shot in golf... is the next one" has a lot of truth to it.
 

Fourputt

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Also, how about making a strong finish after a bad start, thereby managing to salvage a decent round from a potential train wreck? If you can shake off a bad start and play well you should also be able to maintain your focus to finish strong on what is already a good round.

A couple of years ago I had a horrendous start, 6 over through 3 holes, yet I managed to finish 18 just 8 over, 2 over for the last 15 holes. Even though I didn't break 80, I still look at that as one of the best tournament rounds I ever played.
 

Lynchburg14

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Try to keep the same routine would be by best advice. And yes I think it is a mental thing
 

tomahawk18

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Thanks everyone!
 

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