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The better I get the harder it is to enjoy it


68 replies to this topic

#31 aiyyer

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 08:04 PM

I used to be a pretty good tennis player and stopped completely because of expectations and when I could not play to my previous level. Family, life, injuries etc...
Picked up golf late and got to a 10 handicap pretty fast and started having expectations of scratch golf playing once a week!!!
Recognition of my demons now allows me to play without really keeping exact score and not caring about my handicap. I Usually shoot in the 79-85 range and pretty happy. The two or three great shots a round keeps me coming back and enjoying trying shots rather than playing for a score.


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#32 kozubs

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 09:38 AM

Another way you could start having some fun is to play some games where score doesn't really matter.  For instance, go out and play only with 4 clubs of your choice.  Or play a scramble with a partner and play worst ball.  Or even play with a lower HC player and agree to always from from the worst drive.  I heard Tom Watsom does this when he plays with friends.  

This is obviously easier to do if your a member of a private course that isn't very busy but it can be really fun but also help your creativity with shots.

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#33 Man_O_War

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 01:39 PM

i just hate it when people i play with say..wow.,,, i have never seen you hit a shot like that...it's ffing golf....I do hit shots like that. Being good is not perfect. Not even close... so find a way to enjoy it, hit golf shots...forget score... hit great beautiful shots... enjoy that... you aren't paid to go low...take the pressure of yourself mate. It's all you causing your anguish.. You aren't a PGA player whose mortgage has to be paid ..and the lower he goes... the easier the mortgage gets paid off ...Hit beautiful shots, high towering drives, shaped irons shots, pitch and chips...that stop on a dime and backup...forget about putting lol
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#34 wkuo3

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 02:38 PM

Handicap index is like the stock market index.  They go up and down sometimes without apparent reason.

Learn to enjoy the grind.  It's part of the game.  I fully understood the feeling of not wanting to slip down on the index after you had worked so hard to get it low, but, it's a fact of life.

BTW, not playing hickory these days?   Hickory is getting more popular these days on the West Coast.

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#35 Sean2

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 08:11 PM

 golfgirlrobin, on 27 September 2017 - 11:56 AM, said:

It's a tough balance.  It's my competitiveness that gets me working hard enough to improve, but it's my competitiveness that can crater my attitude when I'm not playing well.  

I'm working hard at taking the long view of my game by seeing getting into bad situations as opportunities to practice getting out of them.  If I see them as a different form of practice, it doesn't drag me down the same way.  

It's hard, though. Playing badly just generally sucks and it's hard to convince yourself that it's still fun.

Yes, I never agreed with that phrase, "a bad day on the golf course is better than a good day at the office."

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#36 b.helts

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 08:41 PM

Nope. I used to play for a living. I didn't make it. It was frustrating and disappointing, knowing I had the game but never broke through.

Now? Fun, every time.

Every.
Time.

Bar none.

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#37 sheldonjhacker

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 08:46 PM

If you are trying to make a living...care about your golf game.  Otherwise, just have fun with it for the rest of your life.  

Whenever I get down about my golf, I pull my head out of my a** and appreciate the fact that I can physically play this wonderful game.

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#38 Andrew Bond of Glencoe

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 08:54 PM

I had a tough moment today. I was playing at a buddy's country club that was built in the early 1900s. The course is tight and to be quite frank they have let the trees play too much of a part of the course.

I am biased because I have never played well on the course.

I parred the first hole and came to the second which is a extremely short par 4 at 320 yards. The issue is that the fairway is maybe 20 yards wide and just off the left side of the fairway is a Street and OB. I play safe with a 4 iron and hit a draw which hits a sprinkler head in the fairway and goes OB. It's literally that tight. Double bogey.

The next hole a par 5 I nuke a drive and left myself 220 to the hole. Again I realize there is trouble long and play safe hitting a 4 iron which left me 10 feet off the green but with a delicate flop over a pot bunker. Fluffy lie my damn club went under the ball and the ball went in the small bunker. I pulled an idiot shot and hit the lip on my 4th. Over the green for my fifth into another bunker. Bunker shot to 3 feet- tapped in for a 7 when I was 10 feet off the green in 2!!!

I recovered a bit of myself during the round but i really bottomed out, and tell me if you have heard this before--- one of our foursome a 15 handicapper looks me up and down and says,

"YOU are a 2 handicap?

Does anything hurt more than that?

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#39 sheldonjhacker

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 09:14 PM

 Andrew Bond of Glencoe, on 29 September 2017 - 08:54 PM, said:

I had a tough moment today. I was playing at a buddy's country club that was built in the early 1900s. The course is tight and to be quite frank they have let the trees play too much of a part of the course.

I am biased because I have never played well on the course.

I parred the first hole and came to the second which is a extremely short par 4 at 320 yards. The issue is that the fairway is maybe 20 yards wide and just off the left side of the fairway is a Street and OB. I play safe with a 4 iron and hit a draw which hits a sprinkler head in the fairway and goes OB. It's literally that tight. Double bogey.

The next hole a par 5 I nuke a drive and left myself 220 to the hole. Again I realize there is trouble long and play safe hitting a 4 iron which left me 10 feet off the green but with a delicate flop over a pot bunker. Fluffy lie my damn club went under the ball and the ball went in the small bunker. I pulled an idiot shot and hit the lip on my 4th. Over the green for my fifth into another bunker. Bunker shot to 3 feet- tapped in for a 7 when I was 10 feet off the green in 2!!!

I recovered a bit of myself during the round but i really bottomed out, and tell me if you have heard this before--- one of our foursome a 15 handicapper looks me up and down and says,

"YOU are a 2 handicap?

Does anything hurt more than that?
"Golf owes us nothing"...work on your short game.  :dntknw:

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#40 finleysg

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 10:30 PM

It's a game. A great game, but still a game. It is not our life. We are lucky to be able to pursue our passion. We are very lucky if we can play at a high level. We are beyond lucky if we can do that with friends we love.

Still, a bad shot can drive a man crazy, but it's not worth more than a few seconds of anger.

And really,  who gives a rat's patootie what some stranger thinks of your golf game?

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#41 KCCO

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 10:56 PM

If it's more in the direction of getting "bored" with it, try something different. Whether playing more tournaments/competitively, or less and just go out trying things you never tried in fear of tarnishing your cap. Worst case you challenge yourself to get it back to where you were or better.

Also agree with other hobbies, I enjoy fast cars/track days, there's a plateau there as well, but takes some time off from course, and adds value and appreciation to what you may have been humbly taken for granted.

Too much of anything gets stale. Just gotta switch some things up. So many great ideas in previous posts.

Trying other courses helped me, I got so stuck in a routine at a private course, always the same. Literally wears on you, but also only so many can be lucky enough to have that luxury. When I go to a different course it feels so much different and actually fun. But it's hard when your a member somewhere, have a group that expects you to play, etc. I want to try more courses. I live in northeast, family all in Florida. I'm missing out.
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#42 Matt J

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 11:14 PM

 Andrew Bond of Glencoe, on 29 September 2017 - 08:54 PM, said:

I had a tough moment today. I was playing at a buddy's country club that was built in the early 1900s. The course is tight and to be quite frank they have let the trees play too much of a part of the course.

I am biased because I have never played well on the course.

I parred the first hole and came to the second which is a extremely short par 4 at 320 yards. The issue is that the fairway is maybe 20 yards wide and just off the left side of the fairway is a Street and OB. I play safe with a 4 iron and hit a draw which hits a sprinkler head in the fairway and goes OB. It's literally that tight. Double bogey.

The next hole a par 5 I nuke a drive and left myself 220 to the hole. Again I realize there is trouble long and play safe hitting a 4 iron which left me 10 feet off the green but with a delicate flop over a pot bunker. Fluffy lie my damn club went under the ball and the ball went in the small bunker. I pulled an idiot shot and hit the lip on my 4th. Over the green for my fifth into another bunker. Bunker shot to 3 feet- tapped in for a 7 when I was 10 feet off the green in 2!!!

I recovered a bit of myself during the round but i really bottomed out, and tell me if you have heard this before--- one of our foursome a 15 handicapper looks me up and down and says,

"YOU are a 2 handicap?

Does anything hurt more than that?

Tell him you'll give him 5 a side for the next 16 holes and play for whatever he wants.

Hit good shots and let go of the results.  You can't control hitting a sprinkler head.  You gotta laugh at that... the flop you just gotta own and move forward.

Maybe it's time for a little break.  I always say I want a week off and two days later I'm on the range trying to work it out.

But, I did something for a living that I was passionate about for 15 years and when it wasn't fun I quit.  Don't miss it in the least.

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#43 Andrew Bond of Glencoe

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 06:12 AM

Agree with many of the comments. Two back to back doubles right out of the gate, the first was bad luck the second was 3 insanely dumb shots. The big issue is lacking the ability to mentally reset the round. Yesterday I fell into my own self made trap of "well I either and on or I am off and today I must be off." It's a mental cop out.

All that being said right now I seem to live and die with the woods off the tee. If I am hitting the driver/3 wood well I go low. If I am off - God knows what I am capable of doing.

Just two days prior I shot a 74 on a tough but fair track in World Woods Pine Barrens. I only shared this past story because it fits this post to a T.




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#44 bobfoster

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 06:31 AM

I long ago understood that golf is a hobby, not a profession. I'll never be even remotely close to the top of the game - the pros inspire awe in me. And even they screw things up. Chunk it out of traps, Hook it into the next fairway. Chip it into a false front only to watch it roll back down.

Myself? The enjoyment of the friends I play with, the bright blue sky and green grass is my primary enjoyment. I certainly do like it when I shoot a good score, but that is not necessary to enjoy a round.

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#45 huddledtoast

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 11:40 AM

I've been having a tough time with this lately as well. Worked hard to get my index from a 14 to a 10 this season, but the last couple rounds have been awful. Completely lost my swing and shot a worst-of-year 96 last week.

Maybe a break over the winter is just what I need.


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#46 MountainGoat

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 02:05 PM

I play so well I hardly enjoy it at all.

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#47 Danny Young

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 04:16 PM

This is a great post , and it's full of very valid points . I can definitely relate to this . I am a 5 handicap and normally score a little better then this (today i shot a gross 68 which was 2 under par) around my normal links course . I have had a very poor season and part of it is from trying so hard to get my handicap back to a 2 where I used to be a few years back . Getting angry and upset and even taking it home most weekends . The best part is when I actually stop to think about it all is that nearly 4 years ago I had my left hip replaceded at only 24 years old , the surgeon damaged some nerve ends and now I am suffering from drop foot and no feeling in my left leg , I need a brace on my leg to walk or even do the most simple things like take the bins out or go pick my baby boy up. Finally starting to realise that it doesn't matter if I shoot 70 or 93 , I still have a family to go home to , I haven't lost my house and I generally live a happy comfortable life . It's very easy to say this but it's only a game. Some great posts on this topic and some interesting points , also makes me realise am not the only one going crazy with this game  😎🏌🏽⛳️

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#48 elwhippy

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 04:49 AM

I sympathise. It baffles me that someone can enjoy shooting 100 off 28hcp and be happy when I shoot 77 and am annoyed at the score. I am approaching 50 and find I have to grind out every score instead of free wheeling it round in 71 or 72 without a single swing thought.

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#49 mwkbmw

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 01:22 PM

I can so relate to this. Just yesterday, I played a pretty decent round of +5, including a double bogey. I came in and my wife asked if I had fun and I said, "Actually, yes. I only had to repent three times."
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#50 chippa13

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 01:32 PM

 elwhippy, on 01 October 2017 - 04:49 AM, said:

I sympathise. It baffles me that someone can enjoy shooting 100 off 28hcp and be happy when I shoot 77 and am annoyed at the score. I am approaching 50 and find I have to grind out every score instead of free wheeling it round in 71 or 72 without a single swing thought.

And it baffles others that someone who supposedly plays this game for fun feels they have to grind out every score.


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#51 chippa13

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 02:04 PM

View PostMrJones, on 27 September 2017 - 07:50 AM, said:

I have a hard time mentally enjoying some rounds as I improve because it's becoming easier to see and remember the few really simple shots I screwed up that cost me much better rounds. I had a round this weekend that ended in a good score for me but I deep lipped 5 putts. "What if those had just dropped? What if just half of those had dropped?" I'll let those types of thoughts really get to me. Nothing wears on me as bad as a few really bad chips that cost me a double these days.

I've found though when I go out and play non-money matches and just play with the game I've got, I play better. But with that comes a lack of focus that also sometimes leads to a few bad shots. Seems like I need a mix of both care and no care.


I tend to go the other way with my thinking. I'll be disappointed with poor shots but at the end of the round I'll have more of a positive feeling about them. I'll be more like, "Man, this round could easily have been XX had I just this, that or the other".

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#52 Under2hours

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 09:18 AM

So sad..... Just a game.  Sure I get frustrated and have not made the strides I expected this year, but really I don't have goals beyond making solid contact, being around the green and some nice bunker shots.

Start wanting a great 18, then it is worrying about the next 17 holes.  Then 3 hole increments, then 6 (1-6, 7-12, 13-18),  Then a good back nine and finally let's finish strong......

Then repeat the next day.....

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#53 callawayjay

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 10:33 AM

As a 6 Iím in the 95th percentile of alll golfers on the planet.
Quit focusing on the outcome and enjoy the moment.

I enjoy every round. Itís not suppose to be a job. Itís a break from my job. Unless your bad shots cost an insane amount of money let it go

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#54 Mignuz

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:27 AM

I perfectly understand and it's the same for me.
I used to play a lot, I'm 43 and i started golfing at 29.
I played a lot until 40 and usually hit in the 70's...a 79 was a failure.
Then a newborn baby forced me to play and practice less and less, plus I have a yips on the putt, and puttting within a meter is an agony.
I'm constantly shooting in the middle 80s and I don't enjoy the game anymore.
Handicap dropped from 3 to actual 5.2.
It's not easy at all not having expectations, because I know I can play way better than this and shooting 84 like yesterday with 4 doubles and 3 times three putt is not funny at all.
I'm starting to think that maybe it would be better to quit for a couple of years and then start to play again, but as you know golf is addicting.

Edited by Mignuz, 09 October 2017 - 03:28 AM.


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#55 Mcgeeno

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:34 AM

Iím also the same index and my main stumbling block mentally is the early double bogey...

Deep down I know every hole is birdieable but the early double makes me mentally quit and I lose some enjoyment early in the round.

Damn this game is hard.


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#56 Tcann32

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:30 AM

I can relate to some extent. I still enjoy the game regardless, but I definitely have trouble calling a day where I shot a bad round, a "great day", just because I was golfing. I'm grateful to be able to golf, physically, financially, etc. but I'm not as easily satisfied now.

Like you, I am streaky. That being said, to make sure I do enjoy the day, as long as it isn't one of those days where I'm just punishing my self, I always think about the fact that I don't play or practice enough to be any better at this game than I am. Now, not in any arrogant fashion, that works for me, because I've basically always gotten what I've put into the game. When I put the time in, and keep up on my swing, then I get better, but when I only get to play once a week and hit 30 range balls in a week, then I do realize that I won't play to the same level as the times I have the opportunity to get to the range a few times a week and play a couple times a week. That's also a down fall for me, because I'm very much a feel type player, and it's easy to lose your touch, or at least it is for me, when you don't keep up on it, especially the confidence.

I haven't played all that long, and haven't been in the mid-low single digits for more than a season, and it's tough to perform to that "level" all the time, and it's even harder to make yourself believe that.

This summer I started shooting closer to par for a few rounds, and then bought a house, and haven't gotten out much at all, and it's tough to not expect yourself to keep playing that well, but I know I can't expect it, and to get myself to enjoy the rounds more, I just convince myself to learn more from the mediocre rounds. Try new lines on the course, be less conservative in the places I lay up usually, or more conservative in the places that don't always pay off in those better rounds, etc. Basically, everything is just preparing for that random day where things come together, so I don't find myself guessing misc. things that hopeful, fateful day... lol
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#57 nitram

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:57 AM

What a great thread!

As a +4, @ 32, life began to interfere with golf as I couldn't devote the time necessary to maintain that level. I couldn't enjoy a "casual" round and actually began to hate the game (and myself for sucking). So much in fact, I totally walked away from the game for almost ten years.

When I resumed playing, I made it back to a +2.4 and began falling back into the same trap. My solution; Instead of trying to play 200+ rounds a year, I backed out of the throttle and began to play twice per week and even then, refused a wager (if even for a beer).

Now (@54) I comfortably accept I'm anywhere this year from a -0.5 to a -3.8 and don't try half the shots I used to. Isincerely enjoy helping others (who ask) and the golf experience.

Maybe my change in mindset is maturity but it's also realizing I don't have the same game the tour guys do and quite frankly, never have.
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#58 pearsonified

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:31 PM

"A bad day golfing is better than a great day working."

So unbelievably false.

I have given up a LOT in my chase to become a + handicap and a highly competitive amateur. Bad rounds are antithetical to my goal (except for my tenacious desire to learn something from my failures), and I would be MUCH better off working my tail off than blowing 6 hours on a crappy round.

I MUST play great, and I MUST continue to improve, or else I cannot justify this incredible addiction.
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#59 b.helts

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:37 PM

View Postpearsonified, on 10 October 2017 - 03:31 PM, said:

"A bad day golfing is better than a great day working."

So unbelievably false.

I have given up a LOT in my chase to become a + handicap and a highly competitive amateur. Bad rounds are antithetical to my goal (except for my tenacious desire to learn something from my failures), and I would be MUCH better off working my tail off than blowing 6 hours on a crappy round.

I MUST play great, and I MUST continue to improve, or else I cannot justify this incredible addiction.

Wow dude. That's crazy to me. Very interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing it.



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#60 Sean2

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:27 PM

View Postpearsonified, on 10 October 2017 - 03:31 PM, said:

"A bad day golfing is better than a great day working."

So unbelievably false.

I have given up a LOT in my chase to become a + handicap and a highly competitive amateur. Bad rounds are antithetical to my goal (except for my tenacious desire to learn something from my failures), and I would be MUCH better off working my tail off than blowing 6 hours on a crappy round.

I MUST play great, and I MUST continue to improve, or else I cannot justify this incredible addiction.

I am not in your bracket ( current HI is 6.6), but I have certain expectations when I play. When I don't meet those expectations I get...annoyed. lol

I know some will say that having expectations is a bad thing, but when you put a lot of work into something, you expect results. However, I am making an effort to focus more and more on what I did well in any given round. Today I shot a 75 with two doubles. Instead of thinking what could have been, I look at those things I did well today...and take encouragement from that.

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