Making five pars in a row isn't too much to ask of a good golfer. Too often, however, you play five or six holes at even par, realize you're on a hot streak, then come crashing to earth with a double bogey. You must be able to handle a hot streak to become a consistently excellent golfer. Here are some tips to keep a good streak going.
Don't Think in Bunches
One common streak-killer is "streak awareness." You're playing well, in a good rhythm, and then you realize you've made four straight pars. Suddenly the question "How many consecutive pars can I make?'' becomes more important than "What do I do to execute the next shot?'' It takes concentration to remain focused on the shot at hand during a hot streak. Go a little overboard setting up each shot when you're playing well.
Picture exactly the kind of shot you want to hit: how it will feel coming off the clubface, what the ball flight will look like, where and how it will bounce when it hits the ground. If you have to, picture yourself in a different surrounding: Pretend you're on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach or the 12th hole at Augusta. That way, every shot will get your full attention.
Follow Up Strong
Par. Par. Par. Par. Birdie. What's next? If it's double bogey more often than par, your problem isn't talent -- it's mental toughness.
Don't let the high of making birdie overcome you. Spend the walk from green to tee savoring it, then forget about it! Remain committed to the rhythm and pace that carried you through those good holes.
Don't let a birdie change your game plan, either. There's no need to get conservative. Chances are you had to be aggressive to get into the hot streak, so stick with it. It may bring you another birdie.
Private Lessons 1999 Times Mirror Magazines, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.