Tel: 07973 614969 
You may have never consider this but golf is just like a crossword puzzle – nine across and nine down. Yes, the front nine and the back nine and you must complete all 18 clues to solve the conundrum! With the crossword, its only you pitting your wits against the author, by attempting to fill in all the correct letters using the 18 clues. On the golf course, its just you using your knowledge and skills to shoot par or better and instead of the author it’s the course architect and green keeping staff that’s giving you the clues. 
So, when you out on the course in a competition, whether it’s your club’s monthly medal or professional tour event with 100 to 150 golfers you must remember it’s only you against course and the elements, no-one else. So, you need to use all the relevant information available to you to plot yourself through the maze of 18 holes for example: 
Score card: gives you the yardage / metres, par and stroke index for each hole, front and back nine as well as the overall 18 hole; and the standard scratch score for the course. You just need to fill in the blanks! 
Course planner (yardage book): in the good old days, every club had a course planner where pictorial layout of each hole giving distances off the tee and to the centre of the green, hazards and slopes etc. These courses have either stopped doing these as they have a series of pictures or video with notes or a running commentary on their website instead! 
Satnavs and Scopes: with the ever-increasing speed of technology the array of navigational systems (watches, phones and specific devices etc.) provide all that the course planner does or did! The scopes provide distance from where your ball lies to the flag or a specific hazard or point on the hole you’re playing. All these electronic items come at a cost, but it seems the average golfer is more than willing to shed a fistful of money for the latest gadget! 
Rules of Golf: every golfer should have the very basics of the rules of golf and frequently increase their knowledge and use, because there will be times when they can be very useful and not always penalising you. Many clubs often have ‘rules of golf’ evenings to raise the level of knowledge and understanding during the winter months and at the start of each season. 
Caddie: for serious amateur and professional golfer then an experienced caddy (often a low handicapper him / herself) are recruited to assist the golfer around the 18 holes. 
However, the final part in solving the crossword is you the golfer who must make the right mental strategic decisions and physically execute the shot and plot yourself around the course and fill in the score card with the number of shots taken. Unlike cricket if you have a good front nine you can’t retire you must fully complete all 18 holes before you can hand the scorecard in! 
Practice rarely makes perfect, but it should make improvement so using the relevant and range of information at your fingertips (see above list) and then by using the principle of the two-box routine on every shot you should over time be able to build sufficient knowledge to plot yourself around the course with a good level of intelligence rather than just hitting driver off all the par 4’s and 5s and hoping it lands in the middle of the fairway. So, there is a good chance you’ll not only play to your handicap but may even finish the crossword puzzle! 
If your serious about your golf and want to make major strides to lowering your minus or plus handicap and be in contention more often then perhaps make contact with My Golf Mindso we can see if we can work together! 
Until next week - keep it on the fairway ... 
Remember that My Golf Mind carries out 1-2-1 and group sports master mind-factor coaching sessions, either face-to-face, Skype / FaceTime or telephone if you want to improve your mental tenacity. My Golf Mind also offer a free session if you book (six sessions for the price of five) my gold performance coaching programme. 
Do give My Golf Mind a call on 07973 614969, or leave me a comment by filling out the form below if you have any questions or want to challenge what I've said. 
Keith Haynes 
Northamptonshire’s First Sports Master Mind-Factor Coach 
PS ... My Golf Mind also delivers a two-hour 'Spring Clean Your Mind; Spring Clean Your Game' seminar if you or your golf club are interested! And now everyone gets a free gift for attending that is guaranteed to improve your mental tenacity and golf, so get in touch now ... 
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