The title of this article is true whether we are talking about the space between the start and finish of a round of golf, or how you start and finish each shot. The key to a strong finish is maintaining a consistent approach to your game shot by shot and hole by hole.
You must have routines that work, and a willingness to stick to your routines no matter what.
How many times have you started strong, but been unable to maintain that confident and successful approach through 18 holes? You might think that the biggest obstacle to a consistent round lies in your erratic technical game. But the truth is that your biggest issue is inconsistent thinking due to inconsistent (or ineffective) routines.
Let me explain…
No matter what level they play, the best golfers are the best because they invest their time, effort, energy and attention to managing the parts of the game over which they have direct control, rather than worrying about the score they cannot control. To effectively manage the controllable aspects of the game, the best golfers apply a consistent and disciplined approach to their preparation, execution and follow-up to every shot.
No matter how the round unfolds, these golfers choose to never deviate from their approach. They have routines in place that work, and they are committed to working their routines. So ask yourself the following important questions:
- Do I have routines that I consistently use before, during and after every shot?
- If yes, do my routines enable me to play to the best of my ability every round?
- And, lastly, do I stick to my routines from the start to the finish of every round?
If you answered “yes” to all three of those questions, then you are likely starting and finishing strong most of the time. If your answer to any of those questions was “no,” then I encourage you to learn how to play with good pre- and post-shot routines to help you more easily navigate the ups and downs of the game, and more often play to your ability.
Once you have the basics in place, you can finish every round strong by sticking to your routines. Sure, it sounds simple. But there are a lot of golfers who change things up as they go.
Is it better to play safe?
Think about the last time you had a solid start to your round that carried you all the way through the front nine. At the turn, you may have realized just how well you were playing and gotten excited about the prospect of finishing with an all time low score. Perhaps you starting thinking about how to protect your score, how to play safe so you could avoid messing up. Has this happened to you?
This shift in thinking is why many golfers start strong, but neglect to give themselves the chance to finish strong. Instead of realizing that their routine approach has been the key to great play up to this point, and continuing to stick to their routines, they get defensive and change their process thinking it’s better to play it safe.
So the next time you have a strong start, be aware of the direction your thoughts are leading you while you play. The moment you start thinking about how to protect your position, take that as a warning that you are likely going to miss the opportunity to finish strong. Decide to stick to your routine, recognizing that your routine has been working well, and stay the course to finish strong.
Discover how to PLAY GREAT!
If you need help with establishing strong and effective routines in your game, consider taking part in one of my golf schools or booking a playing lesson with me so you can experience the joy in starting and finishing more of your rounds with strength. It’s never too late to discover the simple tactics to play great. To find out more, give me a call at 239-431-6810.