Finishing Strong On the Back Nine

My Strategy to Finish a Strong Round

You can easily become distracted in golf–if you allow yourself to. One of the biggest distractions is thinking about your score while playing.

Focusing on your score can cause problems for you especially towards the end of a rounds:

  • You are playing your best round then you bogey two consecutive holes. You start to think, “I ruined my round now.”
  • You are leading in a tournament and the golfers start narrowing the gap on the remaining few holes. Your mind drifts as you start worrying, “What if I let this slip away? What if I choke and lose the tournament?”
  • You are not fully on top of your game and you start doing the math in your head wondering about your final score, “I need to birdie the next two holes to even have a chance of a respectable score.”

In our Golf Mental Game Survey, one golfer requested some insight on improving focus while playing a round of golf:

“How can I finish off the round when playing well and not focus on my score?”

You are not alone. Many golfers request assistance with focusing and finishing strong to close out a round.

It may sound strange because the purpose of playing golf is to score the lowest score possible but this can cause tension for some golfers when playing well at the end of the round

How can you shoot a low score without focusing on your score?

You see, focusing on your score is counterproductive. Focusing on your score creates mental and physical tension that interfere with your swing. Golf requires 100 percent of your focus on every shot.

The score is just a product of each shot and each hole. To play your best, you need to learn how to immerse yourself in the moment.

For example, one of the most difficult tasks in the PGA is heading into the final round atop the leaderboard and winning a tournament. While the other golfers in the tournament are trying to chip away at the lead, the leader needs to be focused on playing each shot individually rather than computing scores in your head.

At the 2020 Memorial Tournament, Jon Rahm needed to be focused and finish strong to take home the tournament title. To add to the potential distraction, the victory would give Rahm the number one spot in the rankings.

Rahm had a four-stroke lead heading into the final round and was able to hold off the pack, despite a 3-over par on the last day, to win the tournament.

After winning the tournament Rahm commented on his approach on
the last four holes during the final round.

RAHM: “Just to try finishing making pars. It’s no easy feat to just make pars out here today [due to challenging course conditions]. So that was my ultimate mentality. Forget what happened before and just focus on what I had to do at the moment. At the moment, I had to hit the fairways, hit the greens, and keep going.”

Rahm’s strategy of “hit the fairways, hit the greens, and keep going” helped him stay focused in the moment and give each shot his full attention.

When playing well, you have to keep your foot on the gas and not protect the lead to finish out a round strong.

Mindset to Finish Strong in Golf

Challenge yourself to keep going for birdies or solid pars. Don’t try to avoid making mistakes or bogeys as you will play it too safe during the round.

Think about having a birdie chance on two of the remaining three holes to help you go for it and not protect your score.

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know you are frustrated with your putting, chipping, or pitching and have considered giving up the game you once loved to play. But before you make that decision, read what I have to say about how I help golfers overcome the yips….

The first place to begin to break the Yips Cycle is to admit that the yips are a mental issue. Stabbing or flinching at impact are symptoms of bigger issues: fear and over control. Changing your grip, putter, swing, club, or routine are only temporary Band-Aids to a mental game issue.

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