The field found Southern Hills to be challenging on Saturday of the 104th PGA Championship. Between the damp weather and the golf course, players had to shift their expectations from scoring to survival. As a PGA Coach, I believe weather wasn’t the only headwind the players had to face. Perry Maxwell’s Major Championship masterpiece is a tough test.
Saturday’s third round was defined by five holes. The 6th through 10th holes played a cumulative 1.6 strokes over par. The 6th hole was the most difficult on the course. When you see Tiger Woods make triple bogey, you know the struggle is real. To make matters even more demanding, the 7th was almost as treacherous.
The 8th, 9th and 10th closed the brutal stretch for the field on Saturday.
Par 3 - 218
Par 4 - 493
Par 3 - 224
Par 4 - 385
Par 4 - 417
Knowing that, how can you find a better way to handle the toughest stretch of holes you face on a golf course?
Golf is hard – Saturday proves we should all keep an open mind when it comes to performance. Don’t let hard holes get you frustrated. Making a bogey or worse doesn’t define your entire day. Especially when it comes on a hard hole. Maintain a short memory and move on.
Separate the shots – Bad shots can add up quickly. If you have a bad stretch stop the bleeding by returning to your fundamentals. Run a quick check of your positions at address and make a practice swing or two with your most successful swing thought. Bad play tends to make us play faster, slow it down and reset.
Look around – This is the one time you can compare yourself with others on the course. If others are having issues as well, take solace in that. Give yourself a slight pass and push on mentally to the next hole. It’s important to stay focused because soon there will be an easier hole and you’ll need to be ready for a birdie moment.
The weather will change tomorrow, but the underlying challenge remains. When you consider even the best in world have their moments just like you, it does ease the pain of playing poorly.