We have all had that day or played with that other golfer having that monumental bad round of golf. Nothing goes right and in fact everything has gone wrong. The golf gods have spited you and are making you pay for past golfing sins. Trees seem to reach out to grab your ball. Squirrels dispatch to bury your ball deep in any rough you wander into. Frustration flows out of every pore and other players can even taste it in the air like a coming rain storm. This bitterness starts to ruin the day for everyone.
Ways to Turn a Bad Round of Golf
Step 1: Shut Up
Everyone knows you are playing like crap. No one wants to hear your negative play by play appraisal of each shot that did not go exactly where you wanted it to. Keep it to yourself. Talking about it just keeps your focus on the bad play. Instead start thinking about your next shot in the isolation of itself. The past shot does not matter. Each new shot represents a clean slate so approach it with a clear mind. Only the now.
Step 2: Stop Scoring
Your play on this day will not result in a club record so just stop putting stress on the scorecard. Start concentrating on your swing one at a time and not trying to get a birdie on the next 12 holes to make up for three double bogeys you scored on the first three holes.
Step 3: Bury it, Bury it Deep, and Bury the Shovel
This is my family’s unofficial motto according to my brother and I (to our wive’s dismay). We credit this phrase from the great Craig T. Nelson in the sitcom Coach. Hide your dissatisfaction from the others in your foursome. Smile big and mutter cliche phrases like “At least, we have a beautiful day.” or “The course is in great shape.” Speaking these hollow positive phrases might even change your mood and in turn your game.
Step 4: Start Drinking
Find the drink cart and consult your liquid swing coach. You are grumpy and why not add alcohol to the mix. Because this is a terrible idea, you idiot! This was a test. I can’t think of a worse day than being stuck in a golf cart with a sloppy drunk have a bad day and telling me all about it with a mouthful of marbles.
Have a cold Coke and get some caffeine instead. Maybe you need a boost your blood sugar with a frozen Snickers bar (my favorite at the turn) to get your heart back in the game.
Step 5: Go Home
At the 9th hole, pull the ejection cord and go home. Excuse yourself from the foursome and tell them your heart is not in it today. If you are not having fun, why are you playing today? Go home or go to the range or call your pro for a lesson ASAP.
The key to turning around a bad day is you. Change your mental focus and find some joy in your game. What you are doing is wrong so do something different. Anything. Anger never leads to a good round so just let it go.