After a truly awful front nine score of 44 characterized by an inability to hit any kind of shot, I announced to my playing partners that I was going to shoot 38 (two over) on the back. If your regular group is anything like mine, you know the reaction that got.
I promptly hit my drive on #10 out of bounds, leading to a double bogey and more
insulting helpful suggestions from my group.
From there I shot one under to finish with a 37 on the back. So what happened?
I didn’t consciously do anything about my swing, like reminding myself about tempo or a flying elbow. I changed what I was thinking.
For the first ten holes I was berating myself about how poorly I was playing. The G-rated version of my thoughts goes something like “you doofus, what’s wrong with you, that was a really awful shot.” For the final eight holes my thoughts were “I need to hit my drive down the right side,” or “just get this shot near the green from under this tree and I’ll have a par putt after a chip or pitch.” I was concentrating on what to do next, not what I had done.
Maybe someday I’ll remember to look ahead rather than back. The hole is in front of me, not back on the tee.