The time has come for the new season of competitions and your chance to get your handicap down, finally. As you begin thinking of the new season you are sure that this year will be the year that you drop your handicap, just as you have been trying for the last few years, but for one reason or another you never seem to perform in competitions.
Well at least not the same way that you perform playing your Sunday four ball at your local municipal.
For a few years now you have been wondering why you choke under the pressure, why is it that when you put a scorecard in your hand you become a nervous wreck, at the first hint of a poor hole. Why can I not put in the performance that I know I am capable of?
Well I have an idea for you. The idea stemmed from the first few weeks of my first season in golf. I began playing in the December, and achieved a handicap of 17. Practicing daily, my game was improving and the friendly four ball matches played twice weekly became a nice little earner for a teenager who was dedicated to golf.
As soon as the season began I was determined, obsessed and desperate for my handicap to drop, to see results for the hours and hours I had put in on the chipping green and practice ground. I put my name down for the first competition and I choked…..shooting 7 over my handicap. The day after I played a friendly four ball and walked away with the money. I scored 82 (+10), with a handicap of 17. It didn’t make sense, what did I do differently? Why could I perform without the pressure?
This pattern continued for about two weeks, 4 competitions, but it seemed like forever.
Finally I thought; let’s do something different. Then it dawned on me, when I was playing in the friendly matches, I was playing with my handicap, not trying to beat my handicap. I was an idiot; I mean could it really have been that simple? Well the answer was yes, and what I changed was simple, quick and something you can do every time you arrive at the course.
What I did was “create” my own score card, with my own pars. I took a black marker pen and scrub out the par for each hole and replaced it with “my par”. So for each hole I received a shot for my handicap I added 1 to the par, so a par 5 became a par 6, a par 4 a par 5 and a par 3 a par 4.
As simple as this sounds, it worked, I was back in a comfort zone, I wasn’t trying to beat my handicap, myself. I was trying to beat the course, I was now playing my par, my handicap and it felt so good.
The first competition I did this in, I went and scored a 82 and reduced my handicap from 17 to 14 in one foul swoop. I played with freedom and confidence, and the way that I had written the card out, I was gaining in confidence every time I made par for the course, or in my case a birdie. Imagine how I felt when I could stand on the next tee feeling that I was level instead of 1 over.
I have advised many clients of this “technique” and all have had the same success. All have reported back saying how much more relaxed they felt.
They were surprised, just as I was at how such a simple use of common sense could make such a difference to their approach.
I continue to recommend this and recommend that if you are struggling to perform in competitions to try it as well. It does really work.
Until next time,
The Golf Swing Doctor