You are not a tour player (although I can think of a couple of Tour players who would do well to read these tips) and thus need to reign in your expectations. You are not going to make par or birdie on every hole (or perhaps even most), and are going to hit more than your share of bad shots.
So get over it.
Having realistic expectations can help you score better. In the aftermath of a poor play, make note of what went wrong, and then concentrate on the next shot. There’s no need to beat yourself up and get down. You’ve made bad shots in the past—and you’re going to make more in the future. Getting angry about the inevitable increase tension and makes poor play more likely as the round goes on.
Set a realistic goal for yourself before setting out. If you consistently shoot over 100, set for yourself the goal of breaking the century mark. If you consistently shoot in the low 90s, use 89 as your mark. Be sure, however, to adjust your goal for the course. If your goal is to break 90 for the first time, and you’re trying it on a new course that has a 135 slope, you’re in for a day of unrealized expectations.
One of the funniest (and saddest) things I know is the weekender who works himself into a raging fury after a poor shot. “I can’t believe I hit that shot,” he rages—and I think: “Why not? You’ve been hitting them like that all day long.”
Tommy Armour said: Every golfer scores better when he learns his capabilities.
This mental golf tip is an excerpt from The Five Inch Course: Thinking Your Way To Better Golf.