Playing to MY Par

As the snow rolls into Chicago and my season officially wraps up, I have been looking back on how I approached this past season and the goals I set for myself.  One of my co-workers is getting her Master’s degree in sports psychology and has agreed to take me on as a bit of a project.  I have sat down with her a few times already and discussed how I approach practice, playing, setting my goals and how I deal with stress and my bad shots on the course.  It has been interesting to say the least and I am very excited to continue working with her on my mental game throughout the winter and into next season.

The very first thing we discussed was how I measure my game on the course.  She gave me a book that her advisor wrote called “Smart Golf” by Dede Owens and Dan Kirschenbaum and one of the very first concepts they discuss is playing to your own personal par.  I have been very caught up in the idea of breaking 80 and getting myself to a single digit handicap.  Every time I go out and play and I don’t break 80 I consider it a failure.  Since I have yet to break 80 you can imagine how many times I have walked off the course feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything even if I played decent.

When I go back to San Diego this week I am going to try this new technique.  I am going to approach each round with the mindset of simply trying to break my own personal par.  For me that means I get a stroke on the 14 toughest holes on the course.  If I go out each round and try to shoot below my handicap, eventually I will start to drop my handicap and break 80.  I really need a new metric of success on the course because the fact that I still have not broken 80 is getting very frustrating.  I am hoping this new approach will let me enjoy the game a bit more and allow me to start seeing small victories as progress on the road to my larger goals.


One Comment to “Playing to MY Par”

  1. Excellent move to jettison the break 80 target. Get immersed in the process and enjoy; it WILL happen, no worries!

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