The Tricky Part

The Tricky Part

As in the previous articles about reducing your handicap from 28 to 20 and then 20 handicap down to 14, well the next stage is the tricky part because it’s not just about your overall game that you need to hone and improve on, it’s also your course management and your mindset that both need to become second nature and very much a habit every time you play a round of golf.

It’s a proven fact that the lower handicap you reach the more pressure you put on yourself because now all of a sudden the expectations are higher, for example, if you are an 8 handicap and you rack up a double bogey in your first couple of holes then all of a sudden you are under pressure, your mind is thinking I need birdies, your mind is also saying no more double bogeys, maybe you just think well if I shoot par golf and only have a few more errors then it might not turn out to be too bad! The Tricky Part - golfer on the tee

Straight away all the wrong thought patterns, you have to realise that you will have good days and bad days playing golf so take any bad holes or bad rounds on the chin, one thought you should always have in your mind with every round is never give up, it might be a lousy round at the time but as we all know golf is a fantastic game and can turn into a magical round at any given time, you might have an Ace, you might get on a great par run or even rack up a few birdies and then all of a sudden those bad thoughts are behind you.

Course management is critical when you are now playing around the single figure handicap mark, you have to be observant at all times, look at where the flags are on all of the greens, you can do this if your course is designed that way but you will be able to see certain holes prior to playing them so take note of where the pins or flags are positioned in advance if you can. By doing this you can then position your drive or tee shot accordingly to get the most out of the hole instead of being on the wrong side of the fairway and all of a sudden you have hazards to contend with, a bit of forward planning will always help your round of golf.

The Tricky Part - Used Golf BallsWhen you do get down to or near the single figure handicap range you will also need to start looking at golf balls that suits your long game and also suits your short game, most golf tournaments are won or lost around the 50 to 100-yard mark away from the green. So you will need to consider a softer golf ball for a better putting feel, better for playing out of greenside bunkers so they land softer and also those delicate little chip shots around the green – a softer more durable golf ball with compression that suits your golf swing will serve you well when you need to shoot good scores.

My advice at this stage is at least once a year just have one golf lesson, this lesson is not to teach you how to play golf all over again but more to go over the basics, your grip, your set up, your stance, your routines and your overall game, it’s a bit like an annual car check-up so you know everything is sound for the approaching golf season, even the best players in the world need regular check-ups to make sure everything is still sound and only need to tweak minor things in their golf game.

As always if you have any comments or feedback on this article the tricky part please do not hesitate to drop me a message or email me, I will be glad to respond to all of your questions.

Here are the links to the previous article about reducing your handicap in stages – CLICK HERE to read the article.

Happy Golfing as Always.


Michael Baker
Bogeys to Birdies

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