Golf Score-Don't think about it

Is it possible to not think of score?

By Mark Fairbank, BSI Mental Coach and Head of Golf Performance

One of the many tips you will hear in the clubhouse about golf, is that you must not think about your score. This is common advice and comes across as sound and logical advice. However, how is it possible to not think of score? If a player is playing a par 5, and has taken 4 shots to get in the hole, how is it possible to not know that they took 4 shots, or that they’ve just made birdie, or that they are now 1 under par?

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 The concept of not thinking about your score becomes even more bizarre as you play competitive golf, you will fill out your scorecard after each hole, your playing partner will confirm your score as you walk off the green, there could be live scoring taking place, in which case you input your scores into a device or call them out to an official every few holes. If you are playing professional golf, there will be someone walking behind you with a big board showing your score, beside every tee box and behind every green will be a leader board, yet players are advised to not think about score.

So what is the solution? Instead of wasting mental energy trying to hide from what is in front of you, be more conscious of the fact that you cannot control or determine what your end score will be until you have sunk the last putt. You cannot control your score for a particular round, nor for each hole. Golf is a game filled with a number of uncontrollable factors that influence the outcome of a shot and ultimately our end score. To perform well, we must accept this and build a relationship with score where we let go of controlling it and embrace that anything can happen at any time. It is a powerful position to be in mentally to stand on the first tee and embrace that you don’t know what your score is going to be, instead, focusing on your own processes, decision making, routines and emotional control throughout the day which all assist in getting you closer to the end score you want. The course doesn’t care how badly you want a certain score, you can only manage yourself and each decision to give the best possible chance of having the desired outcome.

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