3 Keys To Taking It Low
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Every golfer has a different definition of what it means to go “low.” For the average golfer, it might suggest breaking 80 for the very first time; or, for a single-digit handicapper, it may mean breaking par (72). The next time you find yourself flirting with a career-low round, or something approaching one, keep the following three keys in mind and they may just help you make some history of your own.
STAY IN THE PRESENT: It may sound cliché, but you really need to forget about your score and focus on one shot at a time, one hole at a time. The minute you start to look ahead and think about the outcome is usually when it all starts to unravel on you. We've all been guilty of it. Learn from your past experiences and the moment you start to feel a little anxiety creeping in, put an immediate stop to it. Put the focus on your pre-shot routine and the process of executing good shots. Ignore the outcome.
LET YOURSELF GO THERE: Hovering around 80 or 72 for the first time can be very uncomfortable if you've never been there before. You might start to protect your score because you don't believe in your ability to take it lower. From my personal experience, I had to tell myself, “Why not me? I'm a good enough player to break 70.” If you're struggling to break a particular scoring barrier, then I suggest playing from the shorter tees from time to time and put yourself in a position to go low more often. This way, when it does happen again while you're playing in your traditional Saturday foursome, you'll be more comfortable with the situation.
KEEP THE PEDAL DOWN: There have been ten 59s shot on the PGA TOUR and one on the LPGA Tour (Annika Sorenstam). One thing they all shared in common was that the hole looked like the size of a bucket to each player. If you had to isolate one part of the game that needs to be on to go real low, it's putting, because whether it's to shoot a 69 or a 79, you have to be giving yourself a lot of good looks at birdie. And you have to make your fair share. You can't be afraid of making a mistake and leaving one 10-feet long. Be aggressive where you can be and think about holing putts versus leaving them close.