How many times have you been on the verge of a great round, perhaps a personal best or achieving a long-wanted goal, and it slips away at the end?
There's no question, closing a good round of golf can be tough. So what do you to become a better closer? I would suggest two things.
Give yourself a mental edge by taking the pressure off. While playing college golf, when tournaments and championships were on the line and not only playing for yourself but your teammates and your school were on your mind, the pressure could be really intense.
So one of the things we did was to divide the round into six three-hole rounds. The goal was to finish each 3-hole round by being even par or +1 at worst. But no matter what, once those holes were done, forget them and go on to the next three. Stay focused on that score only and go through the same routine. This narrows your focus, releases tension and keeps your thoughts free of the big picture pressure.
Give yourself a physical edge by staying hydrated. I start each 3-hole routine by taking a drink, whether I'm thirsty or not. When you get tired or dehydrated, it affects not only your swing but your ability to think clearly. Eat a banana during your round, and be sure you hit each water cooler or get some type of energy drink.
Coming through under pressure, late in the round, is one of the most satisfying feelings in golf. Being prepared to do so will help in many ways when you find yourself in a position to do just that. I hope you have many opportunities!
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