Is Three a Magic Number? (How to Block-out Score Related Thoughts on the Course.)
One of the most difficult parts of golf is taking the round “one shot at a time” while simultaneously playing for position on the next shot. Keeping a hole by hole record of how many over (or under) you are on the round, is one of the most destructive mental habits that many juniors fall into. It is tempting to want to know where you stand, and at the same time it is a psychological battle to keep score related thoughts out of the mind.
That being said, focusing on score detracts attention from where it should be, and can lead to late round collapses (especially when trying to win or set a personal best). From experience and expert opinion, the best way to avoid this common mistake is to break the round apart into six three hole stretches. Three hole stretches are small enough windows to detract from the total score but large enough windows to make up for a bogeys/mistakes.
Try to set a goal for each 3 hole stretch, having small goals for the 6 parts will allow you to feel more free. Also, after each three hole stretch the player should clear their thoughts and try to accomplish that goal for the next stretch (even if the previous didn’t go as planned).
For example: if one sets a goal to be -1 on each stretch and meets this goal 4 out of 6 times, that player is under par for the majority of the round and should not get bogged down by the results of the other two stretches.