Make the Most of Your Good Days

Some days you’ve got it, some days you don’t. Golf instruction tends to focus on salvaging a decent score when your swing is out of synch. But what about those days—rare though they may be—when everything is clicking? Oddly enough, these can be even harder to manage.

When you’re firing on all cylinders—hitting fairways, sticking iron shots, holing putts—the best-case scenario finds you lost in the moment. You ignore your score and the possibility of a great round. You don’t question why you’re in such good form or wonder when (not if) it will desert you.

Of course, amateur golfers rarely reach such a blissful state. That’s why it’s important to know how to handle success when confronted by it. Here are some tips from squeezing the most from your best days.

  • Focus on the process, not the outcome: The so-called “process vs. outcome” mental approach is one every golfer would do well to adopt for every round, and even practice. It’s especially useful when everything is going your way because it keeps you in the moment, focused on the shot at hand instead of the potential outcome—good or bad—of the swing.
  • With a process vs. outcome mindset, you concentrate on the things you can control, such as alignment, breathing and swing tempo. Whatever happens once the ball is struck is up to the golf gods. Click through the above links for steps to learning this highly effective mental technique.
  • Get aggressive: The moment they recognize how well they’re playing, many golfers become conservative. They try to protect their score, afraid of making a big mistake that leads to a bad hole and wrecks the round—much like the football team that goes into “prevent” mode with a fourth-quarter lead.This goes against logic, however. If your swing is on track, you’re less likely to hit that huge slice or wicked hook. And if you do run into trouble, you can likely recover with minimal damage because your game is on.Don’t shrink from the moment—seize it. If you’re confident you can carry a hazard and reap a reward, go for it. Take a run at that 12-foot putt knowing that if you miss, you’ll drain the comebacker. Remember, the idea is to shoot as low a score as possible. And you never know how low you can go until you actually push the envelope.
  • Don’t let one bad result derail you: One bad swing is just that: one bad swing. Nobody in the history of golf has ever played a perfect round, and you can’t expect to be the first. Put maximum effort into every shot, but don’t get down when the inevitable happens. Analyze your mistake, figure out the best way to avoid it later, and focus on the next shot. If you get a lousy break, don’t dwell on it—laugh it off and note that the golf gods owe you one.A little positive thinking can go a long way on the golf course.
  • Why ask why? So you’re cruising along, playing “out of your mind” or “over your head.” Great! Don’t think of it as an aberration or a lucky run that’s sure to end any minute. Think of it as you playing to your potential, finally taking your practice swing to the course, doing what you’ve always known you were capable of. If you weren’t, it wouldn’t be happening. Right?


In short, trust yourself. Playing well is never an accident.

Making the most of your good days on the golf course is essential for maximizing your performance and enjoyment. Here are some golf tips to help you capitalize on those days when your game is on point:

  1. Stay Focused: When you're playing well, it's easy to get complacent. Stay focused on each shot and maintain your concentration throughout the round.
  2. Stick to Your Routine: Stick to your pre-shot routine, even when you're playing well. Consistency in your routine helps build confidence and keeps your mind focused on the task at hand.
  3. Stay Positive: Embrace the positive momentum and maintain a positive attitude, even if you make a mistake. Focus on the good shots and build on the success.
  4. Avoid Overconfidence: While it's great to feel confident, avoid overconfidence that may lead to risky decisions or careless shots. Stay committed to your game plan.
  5. Play Within Your Limits: Stick to shots you know you can execute well. Don't try to do too much or attempt shots you haven't practiced.
  6. Manage Expectations: Manage your expectations and stay in the moment. Don't let past success or future outcomes distract you from the shot at hand.
  7. Stay Patient: Golf is a game of ups and downs. Even on good days, there will be challenging moments. Stay patient and maintain your composure.
  8. Analyze Your Rounds: After a good round, take some time to analyze what worked well and identify areas for improvement. Use this knowledge to refine your game.
  9. Trust Your Swing: When playing well, trust the swing that got you there. Avoid making swing changes on the course, as this can disrupt your rhythm.
  10. Enjoy the Moment: Embrace the joy of playing well and enjoy the experience. Golf is meant to be fun, especially when your game is on fire.


Q1: How can I build confidence during a round when I'm playing well? A1: Focus on the good shots and positive outcomes you've had during the round. Remind yourself of past successes and stay confident in your abilities.

Q2: Should I take more risks when I'm playing well? A2: While it's tempting to take more risks when playing well, it's essential to balance risk and reward. Avoid unnecessary risks that could lead to trouble on the course.

Q3: How can I avoid getting overconfident when I'm playing well? A3: Stay focused on your game plan and routine, and avoid getting ahead of yourself. Remember that golf is a challenging game, and anything can happen on the course.

Q4: How can I handle the pressure of maintaining a good round? A4: Focus on one shot at a time and stay present. Don't get ahead of yourself by thinking about the final score. Trust your abilities and stay composed under pressure.

Q5: What if my good round starts to turn into a bad one? A5: It's normal to have ups and downs in golf. If your round takes a turn for the worse, stay patient and avoid dwelling on mistakes. Refocus on the next shot and try to finish strong.

Q6: How can I carry the momentum from a good round into my next round? A6: Reflect on the positive aspects of your good round and take those lessons into your next round. Stay confident in your abilities and build on the successes.

Q7: Should I change my game plan if I'm playing exceptionally well? A7: If your game plan has been successful, there's no need to make significant changes. Stick to what's been working and continue playing to your strengths.

Q8: How can I avoid becoming too complacent during a good round? A8: Stay focused on each shot and maintain your intensity throughout the round. Avoid taking shots for granted, and stay committed to your routine.

Q9: What can I do to savor the moment when I'm playing well? A9: Take a moment to appreciate your good shots and the enjoyment of the game. Celebrate your successes, and remember to have fun on the course.

Q10: How can I use my good rounds to build confidence in my game overall? A10: Use your good rounds as evidence of your abilities and potential. Remind yourself of your successes when facing challenges, and approach each round with a positive mindset.