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As you know, hitting a golf ball out of position is commonplace. Whether a mishit shot, or wrong clubbing. Maintaining your score and not ruining your card comes down to one thing… Taking your medicine.

We define ‘taking your medicine’ as making a conscious decision to strategically play a safety shot to get the ball back into a playable position. This may involve giving up a stroke through penalty or even moving the ball backwards with a shot.

Although it can be tempting to make up for a bad shot, don’t take that risk! Taking risks often leads to even more trouble and worse scores. Take your medicine, play a safe shot and you will be able to damage limitate and provide yourself more chance to recover your score.

Benefits of taking your medicine:

-       Limit worsening your score.

-       Less chance of finding more trouble through aggressive play.

-       You will be able to keep your head and it won’t affect your for the rest of the round because of a card wrecking hole.

Taking your medicine allows you to minimise risk and recover, this can keep scores low and confidence high. Due to successful course management and sticking to your plan. This will in turn maintain your confidence and improve your happiness on the course.  

Taking your medicine enables you to stick to your plan. As you know that you can get the shots back on other holes. Not taking your medicine may lead to frustration and your plan falling apart. Accepting that you have hit a poor shot and that you are going to take your medicine enables you to also stay disciplined which is what you need to become a great golfer or even just shoot lower scores.

Taking your medicine enables you to stay focused and engaged because you will always be in the hole. This can help to keep you mentally sharp which in turn will promote better shot selection and execution in the future.

Taking your medicine will improve your course management also. The more you make smart decisions on the course the faster you’ll develop how to score lower. Examples include hitting 4 iron off the tee to finish 15 short of  bunker that you may be able to fly if you hit a good driver. This is because your best 4 iron wont get to the bunker but your best driver will just scrape over it. This means that you’ll have to hit your Sunday best to keep the ball in a scorable position rather than leaving yourself in the middle of the fairway with the 4 iron. These strategies separate the winners from those having a great golf season and those who struggle to improve.

These skills over time become second nature, enabling you to make great choices and avoid unnecessary silly risks, leading to not only lower scores but a much more enjoyable and fulfilling day out on the course.

However, it is also important to understand the risks of not taking your medicine. Sometimes, you may need to take that aggressive shot or hit that driver over a bunker for multiple reasons, such as:

-       Applying pressure in matchplay

-       Playing with momentum

-       Closing out a round to win

These variables may mean that you take the tough shots on, but just remember that these shot’s do not come around too often and that you should weigh up whether you’ll gain more from taking your medicine in the long term or playing aggressive. Even though, there may be times where aggression pays off you must remember that aggressive shots can lead to high numbers.

In conclusion, ‘taking your medicine’ when you’re out of position is the most effective way to maintain low scores on the scorecard and even improve your performances. Through accepting your bad shots and strategising how to recover you will not only improve your course management but also leave the course feeling good about your ability to golf the ball in all conditions and even when you’re hitting the ball poorly.

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