When I was a high school golfer, I saw both great success and my fair share of failure. I learned a lot more about myself and my golf game from the failures than the triumphs, and they helped shape me into a great player who was able to play at the collegiate level. One thing I noticed a lot playing in junior events was just how many kids failed to show up on day two after a poor first round. I’ve never been one to give up, and you shouldn’t either. Here’s how you can bounce back from a bad round of golf and make something out of any tournament.
- Set an attainable goal for day two. After a poor first round (depending on just how bad the score was) you are not likely to win the tournament. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t play. Set a goal for yourself, either where you’d like to finish (“hey, I think I can make up enough ground to finish in the top 20”) or pick one aspect of your game that you’d like to improve on (“I want to play this round without three putting”). This will help improve your game both mentally and physically and keep you focused on round two rather than dwelling on the previous round.
- Head to the range after the round. I know from experience that all you want to do after a bad day of golf is go home and forget about it, but it’s actually a great time to make some vast improvements. The mistakes you made during the round are still fresh in your mind, so head to the range or short game area and pick the one or two most disappointing aspects of your game from the round and see if you can work it out. You might find that with the pressure off, your mistakes were silly and easily fixable, giving you more confidence heading into round two.
- Talk through your round with another golfer who you trust. You may realize that the errors made during the round were not mechanical, but poor course management or club selection problems.
- Don’t ever get down on yourself. You are allowed to be disappointed, but everyone has bad days and letting it get to you will only make things worse. Rally around a bad day instead of letting it ruin you, and use it as motivation to play better the next time around.
I hope some of these above tips and suggestions will help you make the most out of your upcoming high school and junior tournament season!